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Penn State DuBois Grad Earns Full Ride for Master's Program

Penn State DuBois graduate Wesley McMasters, of Houtzdale
5/20/2010 —

DuBois – Wesley McMasters, of Houtzdale, will soon add another "master's" to his name.  The 2010 Letters, Arts, and Sciences graduate of Penn State DuBois is set to begin a Master's of English program, with full teaching assistantship, at the University of Maine this fall. 


A 2007 graduate of Moshannon Valley High School, McMasters grew up near Houtzdale, Clearfield County.  He showed promise in English at an early age, but began to shine in the field during his college years. 


"Wes is one of the best students I have ever had," said Penn State DuBois Distinguished Professor of English Richard Kopley.  "I’m sure he’ll go for his Ph.D. in English after this MA in English at the University of Maine.  He’s bound for glory." 


McMasters did some of his most impressive work under Kopley's tutelage, compiling some of the first organized biographical information on a near forgotten contemporary of Edgar Allan Poe. The life and accomplishments of Morton McMichael, a friend of Poe's, who may have been an enormous influence on Poe's early publications, had never been formally researched or documented. McMasters is possibly the first person ever to write a biographical document on McMichael.  He also had the opportunity to present the paper at the Third International Edgar Allan Poe Conference in Philadelphia in October.


"The experience was awesome.  To be able to present my work, and not just be there as an observer, is more than I ever could have asked for," McMasters said.  He is considering following up his research and eventually publishing the first complete biography of Morton McMichael. 


However, McMasters will be very busy in the near future.  A teaching assistantship means he'll complete his master's program at no cost, but in exchange for teaching undergraduate students at the University of Maine.  It will be a full schedule, but one that he will embrace as an aspiring English professor. "Teaching while taking classes is probably the most thrilling part about this," McMasters confessed.  "I will be able to further build the foundations of a career that I started with getting my bachelor's degree." 


McMasters also looks at this next chapter of his life as an adventure, and a chance to broaden his own knowledge in more than just his English studies. "The opportunity to travel and live in another state is an exciting thought. I look forward to expanding the education that I got from Penn State DuBois while experiencing a new place," he said.
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