Thoughts from the Publisher : On Graduating

neena strichartBy Neena Strichart, Publisher

Tonight I will do something I never dreamed of doing—I will graduate from a university with a master’s degree. At 7 p.m. my mother, husband and closest girlfriends will witness my graduation from Cal State Dominguez Hills with a master’s degree in Negotiation, Conflict Resolution and Peacebuilding (NCRP). It has been a difficult task at times, but is not without its rewards.
After mentioning the possibility to Mom, and receiving an over the top positive reaction from her, I began the process of applying for the program. Before being accepted I had to write an essay declaring my intentions, have three recommendation letters submitted on my behalf, send over transcripts from Cal State Long Beach, fill out an application and receive blessing from my dear husband Steve. The essay was a breeze (I’ve had lots of practice writing to you folks weekly since 2000); I was fortunate to have good friends like Betty Colston, Tom Allen and Ken Farfsing write letters of recommendation for me; CSULB sent over transcripts lickety-split; the application was easily completed and the support from my dear hubby was overwhelming. Before I knew it, I was on my way to higher learning [Note: A neighbor of my mother’s warned me to be careful of educating myself beyond my intelligence—I still heed that warning].
What now seems like a lifetime later, I will be donning my cap and gown for the fourth time in my life—and what my husband Steve hopes is my last—we’ll see. I graduated from Wilson High School in 1973, Golden West College in 1985 (A.A. in psychology), CSULB in 1994 (B.A. in psychology/marketing) and now CSUDH (M.A. in NCRP).
Over the past two and a half years I have completed the following courses—all of them online: Theories of Conflict, Research Design/Interpretation, Communication and Conflict, Negotiation Tactics, Organizational Conflict, Intercultural Conflict, Alternative Dispute Resolution Processes, Divorce and Family Mediation, Directed Research, and Conflict Resolution in Schools. My final class, a capstone, was completed on campus. It was a class to assist with the culminating event for the program—the dreaded portfolio (similar to a thesis). Now that’s a lot of reading, writing and research!
Thanks to the patience of my sweet husband, wonderful mother and incredibly supportive staff I have completed a very important goal. I also want to thank our readers and advertisers for your encouragement through this process. I couldn’t have done it without you. Thank you all.

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