Out of the Box

Out of the Box

For Theresa Klear, learning is a lifestyle. Whether she’s in Italy or Columbus, Ohio, the Saint Mary’s alumna makes the most of every life experience. She made the most of her academic goals at the College when she participated in the student-designed major program. Klear majored in anthropology and literature. She also picked up an English writing major and a minor in Italian along the way. That’s where her love for Italy enters in. Klear studied abroad in Rome her sophomore year. “There is nothing that has impacted my studies, goals, or life more than this experience,” she says. “It is one thing to learn about other cultures, customs, or languages in a classroom and another to learn from people from different walks of life.”

On this trip, Klear took her interest in anthropology to Rome and came back a changed woman. She experienced another culture firsthand, and learning about how other people live helped her decide how she wants to lead her own life. “My experience at Saint Mary’s—the classes, studies abroad, volunteering, and participation in campus organizations—all taught me to look past myself toward the bigger picture, and encouraged me to continue to reach out,” she says.

That applies to the student-designed major Klear completed. Thinking outside the box, she developed cross-disciplinary plan that allowed her to combine her love of literature and different cultures. “Being at Saint Mary’s and working towards a student-designed major helped me realize that no field is completely separate from the rest,” says Klear. “You can apply the skills and ways of thinking you learn in one field to other fields, especially with Anthropology.” Klear continues to make these connections in her work at Allodial Title Company in Columbus, Ohio, while she looks forward to obtaining her Master’s in Fine Arts (MFA) degree. She hopes to continue her studies in anthropology and folklore in graduate school. As she begins to pursue her next learning experience, Klear appreciates the kind of thinking that Saint Mary’s encourages in its students. “You’re not taught to think inside a bubble,” she says. “You’re taught how to pop it.”