The Journal of the AGLSP



Get an “MA in Curiosity” with SDSU’s MALAS (Master of Arts in Liberal Arts and Sciences), Southern California’s most innovative interdisciplinary Masters degree

Regardless of where they come from, MALAS graduate students are making the world a better place and becoming supercharged, engaged intellectuals and community activists in the process.


First-year graduate student Towan Adams is using MALAS to “evolve [his] passion, developing resources and programs to increase high school and college graduation rates for low-income students from disadvantaged backgrounds…and looking forward to the wide spectrum of opportunity that MALAS has cooked up.”

Equally driven is second-year student Christian Benavides, who spent summer 2017 studying literature in Japan. In his own words: “I’m excited to join MALAS because it is the perfect program for me to explore multiple different subjects I am passionate about on and off campus. That list would include: Chicanismo, literature, creative writing, social justice, anthropology, immigration, and Latin American art/culture. It is safe to say that my future plans are still under construction, but I know I’ll be sticking to academia until my PhD is hanging on a wall.”



Casey Hands came to MALAS via her SDSU undergraduate program in journalism: “I’m a seasoned editor who enjoys working with other students on literary analyses/critiques, copyediting, and idea synthesis. I’m a self-proclaimed bibliophile, so I hope to spend the remainder of my time in MALAS sharpening my eye for great literature and learning as much as possible from fellow academics and faculty. You can find me on campus holding writing labs and tutoring students at the Educational Opportunity Program (EOP) or at the CSU's oldest publishing house, San Diego State University Press, selling diverse academic texts to readers and educational institutions across the globe.”


Last but not least, Lora Paz comes to MALAS from one of Southern California’s diverse Native American communities. Paz is clear about her goals: “I want to educate both Natives and non-Natives about the issues that we face as indigenous people. I work very closely with Native youth to encourage them to obtain a higher education, so that they will be able to take this knowledge back home to their tribes. I am committed to learning my language (Tiwa), my culture, and traditions to pass onto the next Seven Generations. I will be focusing my thesis on the American Indian Movement. Mitakuye Oyasin(all my relations).”

All our graduate students embody the clear goals of MALAS to invent programs of study that are also blueprints for action, with a determination to study and be an activist/engine/enzyme for change here in San Diego and beyond. With MALAS, one is not trapped within the legendary ivory tower—far from that, as with MALAS you learn how to translate your research into public engagement with the surrounding community in California and the rest of our planet.