Marla Stuart, 53, identified the best moment of her four and a half years at Berkeley without hesitation.
“When I wrote the last sentence of my first chapter of my dissertation,” said Stuart, who had just been awarded her doctorate in social welfare. “I saved the first chapter until the end to summarize everything, so the last line of the first chapter was the last line I wrote at Berkeley. It really pulled all that work together.”
Stuart, a mother of two who commuted to Berkeley from Santa Rosa, had spent her career as a social worker. Berkeley offered her a chance to improve and refine her skills.
“I feel like I am a better person after coming to Berkeley,” Stuart said. “Even though I am a social worker and committed to social justice, and have been for all of my career, I now feel more modern and more up to date in terms of the data and trends on social welfare.”
Her dissertation focused on using open data to improve the outcomes of social welfare work, and she hopes her new doctorate will help her find a academic job where she can continue to focus on her research.