Graduate and Professional School Student Appreciation Week profile: Mary Lou Carney

Graduate and Professional School Student Appreciation Week profile: Mary Lou Carney

The National Association of Graduate-Professional Students sponsors this week's celebration of graduate and professional student contributions to our campuses, government and communities. Throughout the week, Bulletin Today is publishing short profiles of St. Thomas graduate students, courtesy of Brian Dusbiber, director of the Student Affairs Life/Work Center on UST's Minneapolis campus. Here's the second profile.

By Brian Dusbiber, director, Student Affairs Life/Work Center

Mary Lou Carney is challenging herself with a second master's degree. She believes that this one, a Master of Divinity at the University of St. Thomas, will take her in a different direction. After receiving her M.B.A. in 1987, Carney enjoyed a successful career owning her own business. She recently sold her company, committed herself to her education, and now wants to give back for the welfare of others. She describes UST as the place she was meant to be.

Carney believes that both she and her husband are learning more through their discussions outside the classroom and enjoying opportunities for reflection. Now that her children are grown, she is finding it a little easier to focus on her studies. She has been surprised at the depth of her self-formation and how the process of participating in the degree program has encouraged that growth. She has found it to be a joy to learn about herself so deeply.

She credits a strong faculty in the St. Paul Seminary School of Divinity with her intellectual development. In particular she appreciates the mentoring of Vice Rector Father Peter Laird in her Moral Theology class and consequently learning how she will apply herself in the real world. She cites the program's staff for helping her put the whole experience together. She finds herself spending more time in prayer, becoming more reflective and trusting God's plans for her.

By pursuing the Master of Divinity now and coupling it with her M.B.A. degree, Carney plans to serve the church as a chaplain. She has been active in her church in a variety of capacities and hopes to expand into pastoral ministry work after completing her degree in two years.