Hilary Tress

This is a photo of a MALS program alumnus. This is a photo of a MALS program alumnus.

My name is Hilary Tress and I obtained an undergraduate degree from New York University’s Gallatin School of Individualized Study with a major in Aesthetics in Visual Art and Literature in 2005. I went on to receive a graduate degree from the University of Miami’s Master of Arts and Liberal Sciences Program in 2014, and a Master of Arts in Fine and Decorative Art from Sotheby’s Institute of Art in 2015. I work for the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine as a Manager of Business Operations in the Department of Medicine. The extracurricular activities I participated in during my time at the MALS Program and continue to participate in include Antique Shows, literature reviews for art and fashion, travel abroad, fine art lectures and coursework and equestrian lessons.

Q&A With Hilary

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  • Q: What made you decide to pursue a graduate education?

    A: I decided to pursue a graduate education because I believe the pursuit of knowledge and personal improvement should be lifelong commitments. I think it is your responsibility as a member of society to learn to converse and write intelligently, cultivate yourself as a well-rounded individual and bring meaning to your life. The MALS Program provided a means to achieve these aspirations and goals.

  • Q: Why did you choose to enroll in a liberal arts graduate studies program?

    A: I chose to enroll in a liberal studies graduate program because the arts bring the greatest enrichment to my life. Although my work experiences, business objectives and academic training acted as a series of stepping stones for a career in the arts, this pursuit was problematic. Thus, I took a practical path regarding my career and entered into the healthcare industry. I was overjoyed that I could still learn from, be surrounded by and enjoy the arts through the MALS Program.

  • Q: What was your favorite thing about the MALS program?

    A: My favorite thing about the MALS Program was the professors. Their incredible enthusiasm for the subject matter, passion for teaching, questioning and contesting the accepted norms was remarkable. Their exceptional demeanor made it a pleasure to attend class. I adore these professors and would enroll in any art class they teach regardless of topic. It was a privilege to learn from the brightest minds in their respective fields.

  • Q: What skills did you acquire from the MALS program, and how have these skills played a role in your career?

    A: The MALS Program had the following three objectives: That students learn to analyze and read texts critically and demonstrate their ability to express that knowledge in their oral and written work with accuracy and insight; that students learn new ways of thinking through the study of various disciplines and develop wider perspectives on the world of knowledge; that students develop the habit of critical thinking and find a sense of pleasure in learning for its own sake.

    As the pursuit for completion of the Master’s program came to a close, I felt fortunate for the opportunity to have achieved an advanced academic degree, further garnered critical thinking skills and analysis from a challenging academic program. I was better prepared to pursue another graduate degree and advanced research through course offerings such as French Architecture, Landscape Design and Urbanism from the Middle Ages to the Modern Movement while on location in Paris, Modernism, Photography and a Mechanical Universe and Perspectives on Human Behavior. I believe that the diverse curricula offered through this Liberal Arts Program had produced a well-rounded student.

    In summation, I chose the Master of Arts and Liberal Sciences Program because the Fine and Decorative Arts are a core component of my life. From the academic courses I selected, to the subject matter of my major, to the choices of employment and the numerous ways in which I spend my free time - all of these find a basis in the art world. They allude to an unequivocal admiration and adoration of the arts.

  • Q: Why would you recommend the MALS program to a student interested in attending graduate school?

    A: The MALS Program was ideal for those individuals who wanted an advanced degree that afforded them the opportunity to maintain a typical work schedule and attend graduate courses at night. This program is tailored to and for that individual.

    It provides applicants with a chance to explore various Liberal Science courses, gain greater insight into different cultures, and improve upon skills that make you a valuable employee. It also provides an amazing outlet for individuals that relish the Arts, but are not employed in the Arts.

    It is also a remarkable feat to be able to hold a full-time job and earn a graduate degree at the same time. It forces you to be disciplined, fills you with confidence and arms you to be a well-spoken employee capable of complex analysis and leadership skills. It makes you an adept thinker, encourages you to reflect upon social mores and encourages you to fulfill personal and professional aspirations.