Alumna: Social Science (M.S.) ’17
At the start of the 2017-2018 academic year, Michele Calderon, a 2017 graduate of the social science master’s program, became acting assistant director of Towson University’s Writing Center. In this position, Calderon coordinates tutoring sessions for thousands of students each semester, mentors and trains the staff, and manages the day-to-day activities of the Writing Center.
During her first semester in this role, the Writing Center hosted close to 7,000 tutoring sessions, but Calderon was up for the challenge. While enrolled in the social science program, she fit the definition of hard-working parent by day and student by night. Immersed in both the TU community and her research, Calderon influenced her peers with her drive, intelligence and warm personality. She brings the same qualities to her role at the Writing Center, and reaches even more students.
Calderon came to Towson University with a strong academic record and promising research background. She chose the social science master’s because of the interdisciplinary nature of the program. “It was unique in its combination of breadth and rigor,” she said.
The social science master’s encourages individually tailored programs of study with options for specialization. Its rigorous, research-intensive approach challenges students to grapple with complex ideas with originality and perseverance.
Calderon decided to specialize in political science after taking a class in American Politics in the 21st Century with Paul McCartney, program director and professor of political science. She continued to delve into other subjects that offered insight and enriched her study of political science.
“As a graduate student, I not only deepened and broadened my knowledge of history, politics and other topics, but grew as a writer,” she said. “My goal coming into the program was to write with more conviction, and I believe the program allowed me to surpass this goal.”
Her thesis, which examined the inherent tension between security and civil rights in the United States, included historical chapters that provided context for her analysis of the NSA and Patriot Act.
As she progressed through the program, Calderon’s writing continued to improve and Professor McCartney encouraged her to become a tutor for the Writing Center. Her rapport with the Writing Center’s other tutors, strong work ethic, and lifelong approach to learning led to an invitation to fill the role of assistant director.
“I am grateful that I had the opportunity to study at Towson University,” she said. “Not only did I achieve the goals I set for myself in the social science graduate program, but my adviser, Dr. Paul McCartney, helped me determine a future career path. My position at the Writing Center is a direct result of the mentoring I received from him.”