Meeting Maja Stojanović
Baton Rouge -- Maja Stojanović is a PhD candidate in the School of Leadership & Human
Stojanović is originally from Ćuprija, Serbia. Today, she tells us about her education, goals, achievements, and gives some advice to her peers, current and future Tigers.
Stojanović is currently working as a graduate assistant for the Office of Faculty Affairs & Professional Development within the College of Human Sciences & Education. In the past, she worked as a graduate assistant in the School of Leadership & Human Resource Development and served as one of the Steering Committee members of the CHSE Health and Wellness Initiative.
She got involved at LSU in many capacities, including being a Member-at-Large in the International Student Association in 2019 and Secretary of the Association in 2020. She is a graduate student representative for the School of Leadership & Human Resource Development in the Graduate Student Association, as well as a Graduate Student Ambassador since 2020. Additionally, she served on LSU’s COVID-19 Response Evaluation Committee as a member of the Qualitative Evaluation Team.
Most recently, Stojanović was named Director of the American Association for Adult and Continuing Education (AAACE) Commission for Graduate Students of Adult Education, having been a member of the organization since 2018, her first year in the PhD program. This role is one that she loves because she is able to support and mentor other graduate students in the field.
Maja's academic and professional achievements include the Emerging Scholar Award by the Twenty-Eighth International Conference on Learning and the Lillian L. Oleson Scholarship awarded within the College of Human Sciences & Education.
Stojanović presented her work at multiple national and international conferences and authored four peer-reviewed articles and multiple book chapters on topics related to intercultural communication, multilingual literacy, critical literacies, and professional development. She has also co-edited a book titled Global Citizenship for Adult Education: Advancing Critical Literacies for Equity and Social Justice, which was published with Routledge in July 2021.
Why Leadership & Human Resource Development?
Stojanović tells us that she decided to pursue a doctoral degree in Leadership & Human Resource Development because of its broad field of application and its connection to both adult education and professional development – her main areas of interest. The field is closely connected to her educational and professional experiences and aspirations.
“I earned a Bachelor’s and Master’s Degree in English Language, Literature, and Culture and I taught English to adult learners in Serbia, which is what made me interested in adult education practices and the importance of multilingual literacy for personal and professional development.”
Further, the global nature of the courses in the program was very appealing to her. The research interests of her major professor, Dr. Petra A Robinson, aligned with hers. This has proved to be extremely important for her research progress and success.
Goals for After Graduation
Stojanović firmly believes that knowing multiple languages as well as understanding and respecting different cultures makes us richer and makes society more inclusive. She also considers multilingual and intercultural literacies to be essential skills for successfully navigating work and life in the 21st century, which is why her research focuses on the role of multilingual literacy in personal and professional development.
After graduation, Stojanović plans to focus on producing practice-oriented scholarship that advances multilingual and intercultural literacies and challenges monolingual ideologies.
Her aim is to pursue a career in academia, which would allow her to contribute to the field as an adult educator by preparing students to thrive in multicultural settings, and in which she would also be able to make a global impact through research and practice related to multilingual and intercultural literacies.
Advice for Fellow Tigers
Stojanović has two pieces of advice that she would like to share.
She emphasized the importance of finding a mentor at the beginning of your program and nurturing that relationship.
“Having a supportive mentor has helped me map out my academic journey, grow as a researcher, and develop both on a personal and professional level.”
The second piece of advice that she shares is to capitalize on the opportunities that come your way and actively seek those opportunities that can help you grow. This includes accepting invitations to join research groups and projects, engaging with on-campus and off-campus organizations, applying for scholarships, awards, and grants, as well as submitting proposals, and attending academic conferences.
“I know that this may seem overwhelming at times and I acknowledge the importance of maintaining balance, but I truly believe that we can keep balance and still reap the benefits of continuous engagement with the community and our field.”
“I am very grateful for the continuous support I have received from my mentor, other faculty in my program, the College of Human Sciences & Education, and the International Student Association at LSU. Despite being an international student, I have always felt accepted and supported at LSU and I have found this to be one of the key factors in my positive experience at LSU and my academic success.”