UWW alumna spotlight: Charlean Malone

Monday, September 17, 2012

Meet UMass Amherst UWW alumna, Air National Guard member, mother and human resource specialist Charlean Malone. A proud member of the class of 2012, Charlean earned her B.A. with a concentration in Human Resource Development. Her advisor was Lisa Fontes.   

Why did you choose UMass Amherst UWW to complete your degree?
I chose UMass Amherst UWW because of the convenience of being able to study from home. Working full-time, it was somewhat difficult for me to make it to class in the evenings. I also wanted to attend UMass Amherst because of alumnus Bill Cosby whom I admire (he continuously speaks about the college as if it were his second home), all the wonderful majors that UMass Amherst has to offer, and the prestige and recognition of attending one of the best colleges in Massachusetts.

What was the best part about being a UWW student for you?
The best part of being a UWW student was the fact that I was accepted and able to complete.

What was your favorite class at UMass Amherst?
My favorite class was Meteorology. I enjoyed learning about the Earth and its atmosphere, weather, and different weather conditions.

If you wrote a portfolio to earn credit for experience, what was the best part of that process for you?
The End! When I started my portfolio, I really was not understanding the main focus of writing. I thought it was to be written as an autobiography, so I as I began writing I could remember how my journey to Human Resources began. Although I was a little off track as to how I was supposed to outline my portfolio, it was a comforting journey to remember all the steps I took to get where I am today. Through all the corrections, rearranging and memories, I can truly say I was able to get back on track and complete my portfolio earning a “B” for bravery.

What was the best part of studying online for you?
Because I do not like traveling in inclement weather, the best part of studying online for me was the fact that I did not have to leave home. It was a very convenient experience.

Tell us about your deployment.  Where did you go, what did you do and how long were you there?
I was deployed for 6 months at an undisclosed location in South East Asia. The deployment as a whole was an experience I will never forget. I had the opportunity to meet individuals of all nationalities, young and old, with bright futures. The education and teachings I learned from UWW were very helpful. I used my knowledge to coordinate team activities, I was the president of the squadron booster club, and I volunteered at the American School of Doha.

How did you balance being a mother, wife, student, and deployment?  What advice do you have for other students finishing their degrees while in the military?
It definitely was not an easy task.  My advice to others that are trying to juggle going to school, working full-time and part-time, being a wife, mother, and an active member of the Arm Forces, is to take it one day at a time. Breathe. Always make time for yourself - it is very important.  Try to be stress-free. Don’t consume your thoughts with negativity - it will drag you down all the time. The end results are truly rewarding.

What are your future plans professionally and personally?
My future plans both professionally and personally include: completing my Master’s Degree - not sure what studies at this time but I have thought about an MBA or Health Studies.

Tell readers one cool thing about yourself that they wouldn’t guess about you.
One cool thing I think about myself is that I am always thinking of ways to better me.

Please add anything else you want people to know about you, your family, and your story.
My husband is medically retired from the VA, I am an active member of the Air National Guard, and my eldest son will be joining the Air Guard this coming summer. My son had the opportunity to attend the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Passage Conference at UMass Amherst during the fall of 2011 and enjoyed it so much that he decided to study Biology once completing basic training and technical school.