Thea Morash - Religious Studies
Thea Morash is from St. John's, Newfoundland. She completed a first class B.A. in Religious Studies here at MUN.
"I am currently in the first year of a two-year M.A. program in Religious Studies. My area of specialization is Buddhism, specifically Buddhism as it is understood and practiced in North America. As one of the fastest-growing religions in North America today, this is a fascinating area of study.
"I found my undergraduate work to be very valuable, but I felt that I needed the challenge of graduate work. Above all else, the opportunity to spend an extended period of time engaged in specialized research was very appealing.
"Memorial University was my choice for a number of reasons. Having completed my Bachelor of Arts here, I felt comfortable with the faculty. As well, because I was familiar with the department, I knew that my area of interest would be welcome, and could be supported by a supervisor with knowledge in the area.
"The Religious Studies department at Memorial is nothing short of enviable. We may be relatively small, but the faculty and staff are supportive, helpful, and encouraging. Our graduate classes are small, and the department in general fosters an environment of learning and camaraderie.
"Memorial University as a whole is a great place to study. Our library is above average, which is important not only for graduate students, but for the entire university community.
"St. John's is my home, so I doubly appreciate being able to study here. At times I fear I could take for granted our spectacular city, having grown up here, but I seem to be constantly reminded of how lucky we really are. The city is large enough to have a great number of facilities in terms of both educational and community resources, and small enough that it maintains an air of intimacy, something one would expect of a small town. It is clean, friendly, and full of life. Our arts community is vibrant and varied, which is of special importance to me.
"Other than my academic pursuits, I enjoy my involvement in the theatre community in St. John's. Most recently, this involvement has been as an actress, performing in a children's show called Once Upon a Blah Blah Blah, which encourages creativity and imagination in young children, as an alternative to pastimes such as television and video games.
"I plan on continuing on to Doctoral studies after the completion of my degree. I would like then to pursue a career as a university professor. I have chosen this career path because of a desire to contribute to scholarship, and to teach at the post-secondary level.
"On the basis of academic excellence in the course of my undergraduate degree, I was a recipient of a number of scholarships: The St. Aiden's Presbyterian Church Memorial Scholarship, for the 2002-2003 academic year; and the John M. and Elsa S. Morgan Scholarship in Religious Studies, in both 2002-2003 and 2001-2002.