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Muncaster finds inspiration in art

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Allison Muncaster isn’t afraid of new experiences or stepping outside her comfort zone.

“I first went to college at 16,” the St. Louis, Mo., native said. “The school district I grew up in wasn’t the best, so I choose to actually get my GED and go to college early because it wasn’t the best learning environment in high school.”

It was there she looked toward a degree in art education, but life had other plans. Her husband, John, was offered a job as a mathematics teacher at Divide County School District in Crosby.

“I moved up here with him, and I took a good year or two to substitute teach and then I became a paraprofessional. Then, after becoming a paraprofessional, I felt like, okay, I really need to get back to school,” she said. “And Minot was the best college in the area where I could still get the degree I wanted.”

With the help of the art department, Muncaster found the transfer process to Minot State smooth going.

“Professor Bloom (Micah Bloom, art associate professor) was very helpful with figuring out what needed to be transferred and how things would transfer. And Linda Olson (art professor) and Bill (Bill Harbort, art, broadcasting, and professional communication chair) were very helpful,” she said. “Everyone was really encouraging. There were a couple sections where I had to do independent study just to bring the credit hours up to what was needed, but they worked with me and made sure everything went through.”

The encouragement she found in the transfer process was also found in the classroom.

“My favorite part about Minot State is how my professors were very encouraging about trying new things, even if I didn’t know how to do something,” Muncaster said. “They were very open minded to experimenting and stepping out of your comfort zone and trying new things and not getting discouraged.

“My experience will help me allow students to do the same thing. It will keep me open minded. For example, if a student were to try something new, to look at their efforts and willingness to try new things as opposed to the final product.”

As Muncaster finishes her final class for her Bachelor of Science in Education with a major in art, she reflects on the impact art has made on her life.

“It’s the idea of being able to use art as a responsible way to express my feelings or a more constructive way of escaping certain trials and tribulations that I’ve had in my life and knowing that art really can’t be wrong,” she said. “You can use it for so many good things, it is the experience and process of creating art that inspires me in life.”

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