Convocation 2019 – Alison Neuman
With a lifetime of accomplishments already under her belt, a Master of Arts in Interdisciplinary Studies (MAIS) is an added touch for recent graduate Alison Neuman.
While working on her degree, she published a memoir and two children’s picture books, had her musical Searching for Normal in the Edmonton International Fringe Festival, performed as a wheelchair dancer in several shows for iDANCE Edmonton and CRIPSiE (Collaborative Radically Integrated Performers Society in Edmonton), and had her play The Sunset Syndrome produced and presented. She also experienced various health issues and had both of her parents pass away.
To say she was busy is an understatement, but her key to success was the flexibility offered from AU. She was able to complete her courses and work on creative projects while caring for her mother and managing her health.
“I would do my homework in the morning, usually from 5:00 am to 8:00 am,” recalled Alison when discussing how she managed her schedule. She also would work on homework in advance, which to others made her seem like a keener, but it was to balance that with her health issues. If she wasn’t feeling well, she would still be able to hand in assignments.
“I have wanted to get a degree since I started my college education, it was always in the back of my mind, and I’m so thrilled to have made it,” she said. “It’s been a few really challenging years while pursuing this degree. It reminds me that if you set your mind to it, you can do anything.”
Alison is also a strong supporter of human rights and advocating for persons experiencing disabilities. Her capstone project focused on how to include students with disabilities in dance.
“I went into this program because it’s my dream to be able to help put forth arts education for all those that are marginalized, it’s what I’m trying to work towards. I’m not there yet, but I want to make arts education accessible,” she said.
Her degree might be finished, but Alison is just starting. Her next chapter will focus on writing her next adult novel as well as developing choreography for a piece in the 2020 Chinook Series in February.
To learn more information about Alison’s works, visit her website here.