January 8, 2020

Spotlight Series: William Sade M.A.H.P. '22

Get to know William Sade M.A.H.P. '22

Our spotlight series highlights a student or graduate of the Welch Center for Graduate and Professional Studies. We asked these individuals about their careers, hobbies, and what they love about their program.

This week's feature is: 
William Sade M.A.H.P. '22
Seasonal Ranger for the Maryland Park Service

What excites you most about your job/field of work? As a seasonal park ranger for Gunpowder Falls State Park with a background in history, I educate visitors about the park’s natural, cultural, and historic resources. But I do not recite a pre-canned talk. Instead, I explore channels to create a visitor experience that gives a new perspective, narrative, or viewpoint into a different world for each group that I meet. Those narratives can be historic in nature, such as the story held by an old structure, or the story of the uncontrolled raw nature of the world. Each experience can be tailored to follow a group’s particular interest or background knowledge. It requires creativity, real-time organization, and an ability to read and respond to a diverse group’s questions and body language. 

What is the most interesting/unusual/challenging project you’ve worked on? This past winter, I studied the antique furniture and artifact collection at the Rock Run Mansion at Susquehanna State Park. I assessed the building itself as both a historic structure and as a museum structure. I made recommendations to the park management to maintain the integrity of the historic building while providing accommodations for the historic collection within it. I found it both interesting and challenging to work with the many levels of park leadership, volunteer groups, Maryland Conservation Corp members, and local historical societies because they all had different visions of how the building should be maintained.

What do you like most about your program? I like the flexibility of the program, especially being able to attend class meetings at locations of my choosing; additionally, I like the evaluation of written content instead of exams. The coursework is much more closely related to my interests than it was in undergrad. 

What is the most important thing you’ve learned in your program? The online format of the classes is new to me, and the graduate-level work is open-ended in the content and quantity of work. I have had to learn to develop my own structure for the courses, such as planning the entire semester and giving myself goals to succeed. I also learned to use my own interests to apply the subject matter in my own way to my learning goals. It’s very interesting to see how a subject, such as sustainability, can be applied to so many fields in so many ways.

What are your favorite pastimes/hobbies? Hiking, photography, volunteering at the historic Jerusalem Mill Village. In my time volunteering, I lead group projects to maintain the village, which is part of Gunpowder Falls State Park. Also, in my free time, I research local history in the Baltimore region.