At the seventh annual conference, Marissa Krupa of Helena, Mont., presented “Perceived Emotional Support in the Teacher-Student Relationship,” the capstone project for the recent graduate of Western’s online M.A. in Education program. The conference was first recommended to Krupa by Western Lecturer Kim Silbaugh, Ph.D., as a way to receive feedback on the project for future publishing
“It was a crowning moment for me to bring all my skills from business and education together in this presentation,” Krupa said. “Everyone was wowed. Winning the award is an incredible honor!”
Although her area of focus was literacy, Krupa said she now feels more called to educational leadership, especially around the idea of mental health and emotional support for students in schools. With the master’s degree and requisite capstone project from Western under her belt, she hopes to support and influence Montana public schools in such a way that their landmark programs may one day be rolled out to the entire country.
“I wasn’t sure, at first, whether I’d enjoy an online program,” Krupa said of the M.A. in Education program at Western. “However, in the end, I appreciated the self-paced nature of the classes with the direct classroom application of the knowledge I gained while studying. Everything I learned was relevant, and the professors found new and cutting-edge educational practices to share with us.
“The culminating moment for me was the capstone project. I learned about myself, honed new skills and discovered something interesting that sparked my passion for helping youth. I’m excited to see where my project will take me next!”