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UNCA announces graduate program scholarships and fall classes
Tuesday, 02 April 2019 23:37

From Staff Reports

UNC Asheville’s Master of Liberal Arts and Sciences is now enrolling for the fall 2019 semester, and applicants who apply by April 30 will be given priority consideration for scholarships. The scholarship program is new this year, thanks to a gift from MLAS alumnus Stagg Newman.

“I’m a very strong believer in the value of a liberal arts education and taking the holistic approach,” said Newman, a December 2018 graduate who returned to UNCA for his second master’s degree after several decades as a telecommunications technologist with Bell Laboratories, Bellcore, McKinsey, and the Federal Communications Commission, where he was chief technologist.

Stagg previously earned degrees from Davidson and Cornell. “The sciences and the humanities have so much to give one another, and you need insights from both to come up with solutions for what we do as a civilization and as individuals.”

The solution to his search for lifelong learning, and in particular more knowledge on climate change and sustainability, came from UNCA, where in addition to earning an MLAS, Newman also earned graduate certificates in Climate Change and Society and Environmental and Cultural Sustainability.  

“This is a very exciting time for the MLAS Program,” said Program Director Gerard Voos. “Stagg’s very generous gift will provide scholarship opportunities for current and prospective students that we simply couldn’t offer before. Stagg also has provided funds for students to attend professional conferences around the country, an important component of graduate school training that most programs can’t provide. We always look forward to a new academic year, but we are thrilled at the possibilities beginning this fall semester.”

The Lee and Martha Newman Fund for the Master of Liberal Arts and Sciences Program, named for Stagg’s parents, will offer four $1,000 scholarships each semester, and students who receive the scholarship in the fall will also be eligible for it again in the spring 2020 semester for a total of $8,000 awarded each year. The $10,000 annual fund also offers opportunities for professional development to support students outside of the classroom. 

UNCA’s MLAS program offers an individualized, interdisciplinary curriculum offering graduate students the opportunity to pursue their passions and professional aspirations through an advanced degree. 

Small seminars with expert faculty range from a creative writing workshop with acclaimed novelist Tommy Hays to climate change science with NCEI Chief, Information Services Division, Tim Owen ’92.

The evening seminars accommodate various work schedules, and students interested in an intermediary, more immediate graduate goal, can sync their coursework into the five-course Environmental and Cultural Sustainability Certificate or Climate Change and Society Certificate programs. 

For more information about these certificates and the full MLAS curriculum, visit

Fall graduate courses at UNCA include:

  • Creative Writing Workshop with Novelist and Lecturer Tommy Hays
  • The World Since 1945 with Historian and Professor Emeritus Bill Spellman
  • Exploring Sustainability through Literature and Media with MLAS Program Director Gerard Voos
  • Climate Change Science: Principles and Applications with NCEI Chief Information Systems Officer Tim Owen
  • Energy Systems with Physics Professor and Department Chair Randy Booker

MLAS fall courses begin Aug. 19. Each course awards three graduate-level credits, and is limited to 10 students. Students who would like to apply for a scholarship should submit their application materials no later than April 30.

All other program applications will be reviewed by the Graduate Council on a rolling basis. Applicants are encouraged to reach out to  Voos before or during the application process at  This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it " target="_blank"> This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it . To enroll, contact 250-2399 or visit


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