It has been 40 years since I earned my M.A. in Human Relations in 1976. Understanding human behavior and society’s functioning from multiple perspectives was what drew me to the program after having an undergraduate degree in Psychology. Because I made that choice I believed it shaped my pursuit of knowledge from then on. Instead of having an unwavering loyalty to one discipline I have and continue to interact with multiple sources of information and consider many perspectives. I also have learned that in order to tackle society’s problems I need expertise from all fields of study, not just the one I concentrated on in college because I had to choose a “major”.
My career took me from government work to the private sector but I was always connected in some way to volunteer work that addressed society’s needs especially those of children and families. In that capacity I am currently the Chairman of Commissioners of a State agency, the Oklahoma Commission on Children and Youth. And the Board President of a nonprofit, the Oklahoma Institute for Child Advocacy. Several years ago I was asked to Co-Chair the Legislative Task Force on Foster Care System Reform. I do believe that my understanding of individual and group behavior has been an asset in becoming competent in these areas of responsibility.
Over the years I’ve met and collaborated with a surprising number of others who also share a M.A. in Human Relations. I do always feel a sense of camaraderie and respect when I meet others who have made the same choice.
I have attached a person biography to help give a fully picture of my journey. I would be a happy to talk to students about my life experiences if it would be of value.
Posted on Mon, September 19, 2016
by Stacy Smith