MAEA Graduate Showcase

Last night DePaul University’s Center to Advance Education for Adults (CAEA) hosted the Master of Arts in Educating Adults Graduates’ Showcase which featured the Applied Inquiry Projects of the 2011-2012 academic year. The MAEA graduates who participated in this event included Amy Krenzke, Tonya Marie Mahomes, Lorena Guzman, Dennis Gregory, Pamela Thomas, Jacqueline Lewis, and Aaron Rucker, many of whom have recently graduated from the program. Catherine Marienau, MAEA Program Coordinator and Faculty Mentor, explains why the MAEA showcase is an important part of the program, “It is important to show that helping adults learn takes place in many diverse settings.  Those settings – which included universities, community colleges, non-profit organizations, vocational schools, high schools, and corporations – were shown in the students’ work.  More importantly, we want to show how the students’ academic projects are designed to influence change to improve their particular settings.”

School for New Learning (SNL)  MAEA graduate students produce a final project intended to effect change/improvement in their practice in educating adults, while the event allows participants to converse with graduates about new ideas and effective practices that they have developed through their MAEA program. One current MAEA student, Larnzell Harper, told us in anticipation of the event, “I am looking forward to meeting the current graduates, thinking of ideas for my 2014 applied inquiry project, and networking opportunities to meet more SNL and DePaul members.”

Amy Krenzke discussing her project with CAEA advisory board member Cheryl Cornell Powers

The event began at 5:30PM with poster displays and time to converse with the graduates about their project.

Amy Krenzke was eager to share information about one resource that was an enormous help to her while she completed her project: the DePaul ePortfolio website. “The ePortfolio site is easy to use and essentially gives students the ability to build a website to discuss a project. My AIP project final product is actually a portfolio so this was a perfect way to get my project out there electronically. I just think it’s a really great resource that DePaul offers!” Amy’s ePortfolio can be viewed at:

Lorena Guzman spoke of her project, which focused on the design of a workshop for college students that would allow for them to better understand how to file their taxes.  Guzman says that the course is designed to “initiate a dialogue between students and their parents about taxes.  By making them more aware of household finances, they close

Lorena Guzman with her Applied Inquiry Project

the gap between themselves and financial literacy.”  Guzman designed her workshop to appeal to youth, with a 20-30 minute online portion, 30 minutes for questions to be answered by an instructor, and 30 minutes for students to actually work with forms and documents – including the 1040, the 8863 and 8869 forms- as well as providing them with information about educational credits.

We were able to briefly speak with Jacqueline Lewis about her Online Tutoring Service project that she has actually been able to turn into her personal business.  The Online Tutoring Service has helped over 200 students in the areas of medical assistance, medical administrative, medical billing and Lewis says the service will soon include tutoring for pharmacy students and dental technician students.

This year Aaron Rucker became one of the first School for New Learning (SNL) graduate students (along with MAAPS student, Carl Bolton) to be selected to receive a SNL Student Excellence Award for his project entitled Designing and piloting an assessment rubric specifically for evaluating teachers of Emotional Behavior Disorder students.” During the panel discussion, Aaron spoke about how his project evolved through the course of his MAEA program: “When I look back on it, I think I changed my project at least six times.  One – I wanted it to be relevant to my job and to what I do. Two – I wanted it to be relevant to others and Three – I wanted it to still be valid at least five years from now.  The more that I tried to meet these criteria, the harder it got.”

Logo designed by TonyaMarie Mahomes

TonyaMarie Mahomes shared the logo she designed for her project entitled “Recommendations for Successful Strategies to Promote Multicultural Inclusion in a Complex Healthcare Organization.”

At 6:00, a panel discussion that included both students and AIP reviewers allowed for additional questions about the projects. Nearly 70 people crowded into the room, eager to ask questions and listen as students explained their personal experiences while working on their projects.  Dennis Gregory shared an insight he discovered soon after beginning the MAEA program, that “there’s a world of difference between educating adults and adult education.”  Gregory’s project, like many others, attempted to close that gap. Aaron Rucker spoke to the importance of  the practical application of learning, which really resonated with the group that included SNL faculty, staff, instructors, alumni, project advisers, prospective students and friends and families.  “Everything we did, including our Applied Inquiry Project, is useless if we don’t use it!” The panel discussion lasted over an hour with time afterwards for additional conversations. The night a great success. Congratulations once again to all of the students that participated and to our new alumni!

MAEA Showcase Panelists discuss what they included in their Applied Inquiry projects and what was left “on the cutting room floor.”

Additional quotes and pictures from the event can be found on our Twitter and on our Facebook page:


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