MOUNT UNION EXPERIENCE DRIVEN: Hands-On, Socially-Minded, Future-Focused

 
MOUNT UNION EXPERIENCE DRIVEN: Hands-On, Socially-Minded, Future-Focused
MOUNT UNION
                 MOUNT UNION MAGAZINE | MOUNTUNION.EDU/MAGAZINE | #MOUNTUNION

 FALL/WINTER
   2016

EXPERIENCE DRIVEN:
Hands-On, Socially-Minded,
Future-Focused
MOUNT UNION EXPERIENCE DRIVEN: Hands-On, Socially-Minded, Future-Focused
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MOUNT UNION EXPERIENCE DRIVEN: Hands-On, Socially-Minded, Future-Focused
2    President’s Message
EDITORS                       PHOTOGRAPHERS
Justine Fraley                Cockrill’s Studio
Ryan Smith ’14                Jennifer Byrne Photography
DESIGNER
Melanie White
                              Steven Kachilla (’17) Photography
                              EDITORIAL BOARD
                                                                            4    Talking Points
CONTRIBUTORS
                              Justine Fraley
                              Melissa (Smith ’98) Gardner                   8    Expert Voices
Justine Fraley                Tiffany Hogya
Melissa (Smith ’98) Gardner
Dick Merriman
                              Gregory King ’89
                              Dick Merriman                                 10   First Look
                              Ryan Smith ’14
                                                                                 Exceptional Education
Kevin Meyer
Ryan Smith ’14                Melanie White                                 14
Kristin Werstler ’18          Mount Union Magazine is published in
Alana (Wolonsky ’08) Tarry    the winter and summer by the University of
                              Mount Union Office of Marketing, Univer-
                                                                            20   Inspiring Stories
                              sity of Mount Union, 1972 Clark Ave., Alli-
                              ance, OH 44601 for its alumni and friends.    26   Class Notes
MOUNT UNION EXPERIENCE DRIVEN: Hands-On, Socially-Minded, Future-Focused
PRESIDENT’S
      MESSAGE

    With support from alumni and friends, the University of
    Mount Union will continue to grow and support students
    from all backgrounds in their pursuit of success.

                                      Dear friends,
                                      At their recent fall meeting, the University’s trustees approved Compass 2021: Mount

       “Compass
                                      Union’s Plan to Lead, Collaborate, and Innovate. This Board action culminated a yearlong
                                      process involving hundreds of people assessing the challenges and opportunities facing
                                      Mount Union. Approved by the University’s senior administrators, faculty, and the Board,

             2021                     Compass 2021 commits the University to a number of strategies designed to, over the next
                                      five years, extend and cement Mount’s leadership position among colleges and universities
                                      in the Midwest.
    commits the                       First and foremost, the plan calls for the preservation of the University’s great strengths:
                                      excellent academic programs, close interaction with outstanding faculty members, and

      University                      co-curricular experiences that encourage engagement and personal growth. I am excited
                                      that Mount Union will be fostering a global perspective and taking a number of steps to
                                      strengthen programs that focus on leadership development. We will be deploying technol-
        to extend                     ogy in innovative ways to more effectively engage our students and to amplify the reach,
                                      impact, and visibility of the University in our region and around the world.

     and cement                       Compass 2021 also responds to the affordability challenge facing higher education today.
                                      The plan will energize collaborative efforts to control costs, increase non-tuition revenue,
                                      and reach and serve new populations of students. These efforts will be combined with active
         Mount’s                      work seeking new gifts to significantly increase the University’s endowment for scholarship
                                      and financial aid support for our students.

      leadership                      More information about Compass 2021 is on the following page. I look forward to working
                                      with you to advance the goals of the plan and to build a brighter future together.

         position                     Thanks for all you do for Mount Union!
                                      Best regards,

            in the
       Midwest.”                      – Dick Merriman
                                                                                              WANT  MORE? For more
                                                                                              information on Compass 2021, visit
                                        President, University of Mount Union                  mountunion.edu/strategic-planning
2
MOUNT UNION EXPERIENCE DRIVEN: Hands-On, Socially-Minded, Future-Focused
C MPASS 2021
MOUNT UNION’S STRATEGY TO LEAD, COLLABORATE, AND INNOVATE
The University of Mount Union has a long and storied history of adapting for
success. In every era, it has been active in sensing the needs of the time and
working to meet those needs. Today’s challenges – concerns about affordability,
doubts about the value of a college degree, evolving learning styles, changing
student demographics – will summon Mount Union’s traditional strengths:
steadfastness in facing difficulties, inventiveness in meeting society’s needs, and
an instinct for inclusion and service to others that expands the institution’s reach
and impact. Committed to leadership, collaboration, and innovation, Mount
Union promises to prepare students for exceptional futures.

In December 2015, the University con-            • Ensure financial strength, affordabil-     “The campaign will focus on affordabil-
cluded Advancing Excellence, an ambi-              ity, and enrollment success                ity, the quality of our programs, and the
tious and successful five-year strategic         • Enrich the experience of an increas-       leadership of our students and alumni,”
plan. At that time, the University began           ingly-diverse student body                 said Greg King ’89, vice president for ad-
collaborative work to create a new strate-       • Brand the University as a remarkable       vancement. “Through the continued loy-
gic plan that would build upon those re-           Midwestern institution                     alty of our supporters, we will be poised
cent successes. After months of work, and        • Create an effective and collaborative      to further enhance the Mount Union
with input from hundreds of members of             workplace culture                          experience and ensure that it is accessi-
the University community, the Strategic          • Leverage existing and emerging             ble to students of all backgrounds.”
Planning Steering Committee proposed               technology
                                                                                              Alumni and friends will have oth-
Compass 2021: Mount Union’s Strategy to
                                                The impact of Compass 2021 on the             er opportunities to support the plan
Lead, Collaborate, and Innovate. The plan
                                                University’s future will be evident as        as well. The University plans to put a
was approved by the faculty and Board of
                                                efforts to raise endowed funds to support     spotlight on campus-wide programs that
Trustees in the fall of 2016.
                                                scholarships and academic programs            encourage the development of leaders,
“The plan balances aspiration – we want         take center stage in the University’s fund    which will require a growing network
to be ambitious for the University’s fu-        raising efforts. Past Mount Union capital     of individuals and organizations that
ture – with realism. A plan isn’t valuable      campaigns have focused on significant         can provide internship, shadowing, and
if it isn’t implemented, but it’s also not      facilities projects, but an upcoming capi-    networking opportunities. Alumni and
valuable if it doesn’t stretch us,” said Dick   tal campaign will shift attention to build-   friends will also be asked to help with
Merriman, president of the University.          ing the endowment for scholarships.           efforts to grow Mount Union’s visibility
“Given the very dynamic environment             In addition, Mount Union will seek to         and recruit new students in key geo-
in which Mount Union operates, it is not        annually secure gifts totaling $100,000 to    graphic areas.
feasible to state with great certainty that     $200,000 for a student rescue fund de-
                                                                                              “The loyalty of our alumni and friends
Mount Union will be executing specific          signed to help upperclassmen complete
                                                                                              is a great strength of Mount Union,” said
steps five years from now. Instead, the         their studies and earn degrees.
                                                                                              King. “I have no doubt that, as we work
plan articulates a number of key goals
                                                “The rising cost of college and increasing    to implement our new strategic plan and
for the University – our compass – that
                                                student debt are top concerns for today’s     launch a campaign, our supporters will
will guide our work over the next five
                                                families,” said Merriman. “Both are           once again step up to the plate to offer
years.”
                                                significant hurdles for our undergrad-        their time, talent, and treasure in sup-
Compass 2021 focuses on six initiatives:        uate students, and even more so for the       port of the institution and our
 • Cultivate an innovative and expand-          substantial number of first-generation        students.”
   ing academic environment                     students we welcome each year.”
                                                                                                                                           3
MOUNT UNION EXPERIENCE DRIVEN: Hands-On, Socially-Minded, Future-Focused
TALKING                                                       KAREEM ABDUL-JABBAR TO PRESENT
         POINTS                                                        SCHOOLER LECTURE
                                                                       Mount Union is proud to announce that Naismith Memorial
                                                                       Basketball Hall of Famer, six-time NBA champion and three-
                                                                       time NCAA champion Kareem Abdul-Jabbar will present the
                                                                       annual Schooler Lecture on Tuesday, April 4, 2017 in the Timken
                                                                       Gymnasium of the McPherson Academic and Athletic Complex.

                                                                       The NBA’s all-time leading scorer, who regularly contributes as a
                                                                       columnist to The Washington Post and Time Magazine, recently
                                                                       released the New York Times best-selling book Writings on the
                                                                       Wall - Searching for a New Equality Beyond Black and White.
                                                                       The book offers Abdul-Jabbar’s personal perspectives on polit-
                                                                       ical issues facing America today. Abdul-Jabbar was one of 21
                                                                       recipients of this year’s Presidential Medal of Freedom, awarded
                                                                       by President Barack Obama.

                                                                       At the Schooler Lecture, Abdul-Jabbar will present “It’s All about
                                                                       the Rebound,” during which he’ll discuss his life successes and
                                                                       the many challenging obstacles he had to overcome along the
                                                                       way including racism; criticism from the press and his peers;
                                                                       anti-Muslim sentiment; professional struggles as an NBA player,
                                                                       coach, and television commentator; and being taken seriously as
                                                                       a writer. Each of these obstacles was overcome through disci-
                                                                       pline, perseverance, patience, and some harsh introspection.

                                                                       To reserve complimentary tickets for the lecture, call
                                                                       (330) 829-6120 or visit mountunion.edu/schooler-3.

    MAEL PROGRAM UNVEILS ONLINE-
    EXCLUSIVE DEGREE
    For the first time in its academic history, the University of
    Mount Union is offering a completely online degree through its
    Master of Arts in Educational Leadership (MAEL) Program.

    The MAEL Program has been approved by the Ohio Depart-
    ment of Higher Education and the Higher Learning Commis-
    sion. The program, which is completing its fifth year at the
    University, has been rooted in online learning throughout its
    time at Mount Union. Transitioning to a completely online
    program provides flexibility for working professionals hoping
    to continue their education.

    “Mount Union’s M.A. in Educational Leadership Program
    maintains personal connections between faculty and students
    through an active online community,” said Dr. Mandy (Geddis
    ’98) Capel, associate professor of education and director of the
    MAEL Program. The program is currently accepting appli-
    cations with rolling acceptance until April 30. Mount Union
    alumni receive a five percent discount off of tuition.
4
MOUNT UNION EXPERIENCE DRIVEN: Hands-On, Socially-Minded, Future-Focused
PHYSICAL THERAPY ENROLLS FIRST CLASS, RECEIVES                                                  MOUNT UNION SEEKS
CANDIDACY FOR ACCREDITATION                                                                     CANDIDATES FOR VPAA
The Doctor of Physical Therapy Program at Mount Union has received candidate                    The University of Mount Union invites
for accreditation status from the Commission on Accreditation in Physical Therapy               nominations and expressions of inter-
(CAPTE). It also secured approval from the Higher Learning Commission and autho-                est as it begins its search for a new vice
rization from the Ohio Department of Higher Education. The program enrolled its
                                                                                                president for academic affairs and dean
inaugural class of 26 students in the fall of 2016.
                                                                                                of the University (VPAA and dean).
“The body of work completed for CAPTE allows us to enroll students and have
                                                                                                The VPAA and dean serves as the chief
confidence in knowing we will prepare them to be great physical therapists,” said Dr.
                                                                                                academic officer and is responsible for
Robert Frampton, director, associate professor, and chair of the Department of Physi-
                                                                                                Mount Union’s educational mission and
cal Therapy.
                                                                                                academic program. In fulfilling this role,
                                                                                                the VPAA and dean serves as the leader
                                                                                                and advocate for the academic program
                                                                                                and faculty, as a key member of the
                                                                                                President’s Council, and as chief liaison
                                                                                                officer to the Academic Affairs Commit-
                                                                                                tee of the Board of Trustees. In addition
                                                                                                to oversight of all academic departments
                                                                                                and programs, the VPAA and dean over-
                                                                                                sees key administrative areas.

                                                                                                This search comes as the result of a
                                                                                                change in position for Dr. Patricia
                                                                                                Draves, current VPAA and dean, who
                                                                                                will transition to a new role at Mount
                                                                                                Union as vice president for strategic
                                                                                                initiatives and academic advancement.
MOUNT UNION CHOIR REUNION CELEBRATED DURING                                                     In this position, she will be focusing on
ALUMNI WEEKEND AND HOMECOMING                                                                   efforts to launch Compass 2021: Mount
                                                                                                Union’s Strategy to Lead, Collaborate, and
More than 50 classes were represented at the Mount Union choir reunion that was held            Innovate and helping with fund raising
this past October. This year also marked the 50th reunion for the 1966 World Choir              initiatives for the plan.
Tour. In celebration of the reunions and alumni returning to campus, several events
were held, including the reunion itself, a performance during the annual Alumni                 Nominations and expressions of interest
Brunch, and a worship service honoring the alumni who passed away in 2016.                      should be sent electronically to: Scott
                                                                                                Mason, professor of chemistry and di-
This reunion provided choir alumni, many of whom traveled from across the country,              rector of the pre-medical and pre-health
with the opportunity to celebrate with current members of the Mount Union choir,                professions program, and Michelle
reunite with friends, and share their stories of the love they have for Mount Union and         Sundstrom, vice president for enroll-
their days in the choir.                                                                        ment management, co-chairs, VPAA
                                                                                                and Dean of the University Search
                                                                                                Committee, University of Mount Union
                                                                                                at: UMU@agbsearch.com. This search
                                                                                                is being assisted by: Loren Anderson,
                                                                                                Ph.D., senior consultant, AGB Search,
                                                                                                cell: (253) 223-3566, lja@agbsearch.com.

                                                                                                Please visit agbsearch.com/cur-
                                                                                                rent-searches/senior-executive to view
                                                                                                more information about this position. To
                                                                                                ensure full consideration, all materials
                                                                                                should be received by January 31, 2017.
                                                         Members of the 1966 World Choir Tour

                                                                                                                                             5
MOUNT UNION EXPERIENCE DRIVEN: Hands-On, Socially-Minded, Future-Focused
MOUNT UNION RANKED A TOP COLLEGE                                      MOUNT UNION FEATURED IN THE
    BY U.S. NEWS AND WORLD REPORT FOR                                     PRINCETON REVIEW’S GUIDE TO 361
    26TH CONSECUTIVE YEAR                                                 GREEN COLLEGES: 2016 EDITION
    The University of Mount Union was ranked as a top college by          This year, the University of Mount Union was listed in the
    U.S. News and World Report for the 26th consecutive year. This        Princeton Review as one of the 361 most environmentally-re-
    year, Mount Union was ranked 10th among Midwest Regional              sponsible colleges in the country. The Princeton Review chose
    Colleges – a category that includes institutions from Illinois, In-   the schools for this seventh annual edition of its “green guide”
    diana, Iowa, Kansas, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska,         based on data from the company’s 2015-16 survey of hundreds
    North Dakota, Ohio, South Dakota, and Wisconsin.                      of four-year colleges concerning the schools’ commitments to
                                                                          the environment and sustainability.
    The University was also ranked ninth among Midwest Regional
    Colleges as a U.S. News and World Report “Great School, Great         The profiles in the Princeton Review’s Guide to 361 Green
    Price” institution. This calculation, according to U.S. News and      Colleges provide information about each school’s admission
    World Report, “takes into account the school’s academic quality,      requirements, cost, financial aid, and student body. They also
    based on its ‘Best Colleges’ ranking, and the 2015-16 net cost of     include “Green Facts” about the schools with details on the
    attendance for a student who received the average level of need-      availability of transportation alternatives at the schools and the
    based financial aid. The higher the quality of program and the        percentage of the school food budgets spent on local/organic
    lower the cost, the better the deal.”                                 food.

                                                                                                  WANT MORE? For more campus news,
                                                                                                  visit: mountunion.edu/campus-news.

    “We are pleased that we continue to receive
    high marks from U.S. News and World
    Report for quality among our peers in the
    Midwest. Given concerns about the cost of
    higher education, it is particularly exciting
    to have these important rankings highlight
    the outstanding return on investment we
    provide to students and their families.”
                                                          Dick Merriman
                             President of the University of Mount Union

6
MOUNT UNION EXPERIENCE DRIVEN: Hands-On, Socially-Minded, Future-Focused
MOUNT UNION HONORS RETIRED
                                                                     CONGRESSMAN RALPH REGULA WITH
                                                                     92ND BIRTHDAY CELEBRATION
                                                                     A 92nd birthday celebration to honor retired Congressman
                                                                     Ralph Regula ’48 was held Friday, December 2 in Canton, Ohio.
                                                                     The evening featured special guest Senator Rob Portman, a pre-
                                                                     view of the upcoming PBS documentary of the life and times of
                                                                     Regula, and fellowship with the Regula family. The event raised
                                                                     funds for Mount Union’s Ralph and Mary Regula Center for
                                                                     Public Service and Civic Engagement, supporting scholarship
                                                                     initiatives.

                                                                     The Regula Center works to embody the ideals of Ralph and
                                                                     his wife Mary (Rogusky ’49) while supporting the University’s
                                                                     mission to prepare students for fulfilling lives, meaningful work,
                                                                     and responsible citizenship. Providing students with experiences
                                                                     that will enhance their time at Mount Union, compliment their
                                                                     classroom learning, and help them develop crucial skills for
                                                                     leading in the future are at the core of the Regula Center.

                                                                       “DON’T EVER UNDERESTIMATE HOW MANY
                                                                     LIVES YOU CAN TOUCH BY GIVING A HELPING
                                                                        HAND TO A STUDENT IN NEED. THE YOUNG
                                                                         PEOPLE COMING OUT OF COLLEGE TODAY
                                                                      ARE THE FUTURE LEADERS OF OUR WORLD.”
                                                                                                                      Ralph Regula ’48

STUDENTS INTERN AT REPUBLICAN,
DEMOCRATIC NATIONAL CONVENTIONS
Five Mount Union students interned at the Republican and
Democratic National Conventions (RNC, DNC) in the sum-
mer of 2016, prior to the most recent Presidential Election.
Sophie Ramsey ’19 and Bridget Dennis ’17 interned at the
DNC in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania while Nic Hendryx ’17,
Corbin Hershberger ’19, and Alex Mills ’17 went to Cleveland,
Ohio for the RNC.

“Interning for the Democratic National Convention has been
the best experience of my life thus far,” stated Dennis. “I gained
so many connections through the process and learned a se-
mester’s worth of material in two weeks. I encourage everyone
to be more involved in politics, as it can truly be a lot of fun
and very rewarding at the same time.”

All five students had this opportunity through The Washington
Center for Internships and Academic Seminars, an indepen-
dent, nonprofit organization serving hundreds of universities.
                                                                                                                                          7
EXPERT
          VOICES

                                      FEARS
    Face Your
                        Mount Students Calm Anxiety While Riding Roller Coasters
                          by Dr. Kevin Meyer, Associate Professor of Psychology, Neuroscience and Human Development

    As I write this, I am 10 days from arriving at Cedar Point with
    a bus full of anxiety-filled students who, just eight weeks
    ago, professed a full-blown phobia of the mechanical wonders
    they will soon ride for the first time.
    As you read this, you can rest assured that those individuals        You may be wondering how I am so confident in the success
    have joined the ranks of hundreds of successful alumni of the        of this year’s class. For starters, 83 students have been in the
    Face Your Fear Project, an ensemble of some of the most cou-         participant group over the past six years, and the success rate
    rageous, hard-working students with whom I have ever had             is 100 percent. Yes, all 83 students have set goals and found
    the pleasure of working. Now in its seventh year, this experien-     ways to reach them. And yet, like any coach, I will spend hours
    tial journey brings abnormal psychology to life, and students        listening to the voices in my head whisper worry and self-
    witness first-hand how anxiety disorders are diagnosed and           doubt: “Did you do enough?” or “Have they done enough?”
    treated.                                                             With that said, when that anxious noise gets louder, it helps to
                                                                         remind myself that I have learned something invaluable from
    Before fall classes begin, the 30 students who signed up for         my students: trust them. Actually, I have learned a lot working
    the course are screened to see if they display either an ex-         with my students over the years.
    treme anxiety or phobia of roller coasters. If they do, they are
    cast into the “participant group” and begin a journey toward         If you ever find yourself dealing with the boogeyman inside
    freeing themselves from the shackles of their fear. If they don’t,   your head, here are two lessons to keep in mind (pun intended).
    they become part of the “support group,” and play a vital role
    in their peers’ journey.
                                                                              WANT    MORE? To watch ABC News’ Nightline
                                                                              feature from last year’s Face Your Fear Project, visit
                                                                              abcn.ws/1PtVJLN.
8
Be Here, Not There                                                   4. As you breathe, make an effort to keep focused on your
Next time someone asks you what you are doing today, say,            breath. Your mind will wander. That’s OK. It happens to even
“Not much. Just going to find a quiet place to meditate.” As you     the most seasoned, mindful meditators. The brain-change
walk away, there is a good chance the person will either brush       happens when you make the choice to not feel guilty or shame-
it off as you trying to be funny or wonder where your robe and       ful about not being focused 100 percent of the time. No one
sandals are, since you have clearly become a monk or joined          can. The trick is to keep reminding yourself that these are just
some hipster cult of pseudo-medicine. If your answer was             thoughts moving through, to mentally wave them goodbye,
honest, you are among a growing group that has chosen to tap         and make an effort to refocus on your breathing. A non-judg-
into a well-researched practice in which anyone can participate      mental mindset (of yourself) is key.
at any location.
                                                                     5. Keep this up for 15 minutes every day and give it at least
It is natural for our minds to meander through our pasts and         four to six weeks to make an impact. Most people want quick
futures. While this is not necessarily a bad thing, anxiety lives    fixes and immediate results, but most quick fixes may not offer
in the what-ifs of life. For someone struggling with anxiety,        lasting relief. Adopting a small lifestyle change like this can
those “what-ifs” often take the form of catastrophic poten-          have lasting results.
tials that feed the boogeyman and can set off a vicious cycle.
Keeping our minds in the present takes concerted effort, but         Come Together
we reap the benefits when we practice for as little as 15 min-       A common question about Face Your Fear is, “What do the
utes every day. Our concentration improves, and negative             support students do?” I am convinced that, without the help of
emotional reactivity goes down. We feel happier and more             this group, the outcome of the project would not be as success-
satisfied with our lives. We’re more prone to empathy. We learn      ful. Students in the support group learn from the other students
better. Our blood pressure drops. Did I mention United States        about how they can help on the day of exposure (the portion
Marines practice it? NFL teams? I could go on, but the bottom        that takes place at Cedar Point). They work with them over the
line is that, by choosing to insert some mindful meditation          eight weeks by conducting interviews about their progress, in-
into your life, you are taking a huge step toward improving you.     sights, and experiences. In brief, the groups become something
                                                                     greater than their parts. They are all working toward a common
Now that I have you convinced, here is a simple way to get           goal, all equally committed to everyone’s success. That sounds
started. It’s a little exercise that everyone involved in the Face   an awful lot like family, and it’s precisely the type of support
Your Fear Project learns on day one:                                 anyone battling anxiety needs. The take home? You don’t have
                                                                     to be in the fight alone, so choose not to be.
1. Find a quiet place to sit. Anyone joining you must also be a
quiet participant. Relaxing instrumental music is optional, as       So if you happen to feel alone, I promise there are empathet-
are Buddhist robes and incense.                                      ic therapists living amongst you with the knowledge and life
                                                                     mission to be there for you. They listen, ask what type of help
2. Take a slow, deep breath, and when you do, make sure your         someone might need, and sometimes help provide the caring
shoulders do not move up or down. In fact, the only part of          and understanding push needed to get on that roller coaster.
your body that should move is your abdomen, and it should            Or drive down that highway. Or get on that plane. Or give that
extend out – way out. This may feel awkward to some people,          speech.
as many don’t know how to use abdominal breathing. Unless
you do it this way, you are not using your lungs to their maxi-      As I write this, there’s a voice in my head whispering that this
mum capacity. So keep practicing!                                    time I didn’t do enough for my students’ success. But that’s
                                                                     just the anxiety talking, so I’m going to go find a quiet place,
3. Take a slow, deep breath in to a count of five, and hold it       meditate, and remember to trust my students. Now where did
for a couple moments. Next, exhale to the same slow count of         I put my robe…
five, pressing all of the air you can out of your lungs. Take two
normal breaths, then repeat.
                                                                                                                                        9
FIRST
     LOOK

             EDUCATING THROUGH
                     EXPERIENCE
                 The Spectrum Education Center
                Offers Exceptional Opportunities

10
In 2007, just a year after Dr. Kristine Turko became a facul-        Students who participate in Spectrum’s Internship Program
ty member at the University of Mount Union, she founded              work at a clinical site 24 hours per week while completing
Outreach for Autism, a program that offered students the             courses specifically designed for the program. The courses
opportunity to live and work at the Cleveland Clinic Center          focus on the fundamentals of working with individuals with
for Autism for 10 weeks over the summer. Sixty-six students          developmental disabilities. Students investigate professional
have participated in the program since its inception, and more       research on best practice in disability services and compare the
than three-quarters of them have pursued graduate degrees or         theory to what they experience in their daily work.
careers in autism intervention.
                                                                     Turko has built relationships with several local institutions,
Outreach for Autism paved the way for the launch of the              including the Cleveland Clinic, Golden Key Center for Excep-
Spectrum Education Center at Mount Union in May of 2016.             tional Children, The Arc of Ohio, GentleBrook, The Work-
Although the name has changed, the mission remains the               shops, Inc. (TWi), and more.
same – to provide training and education for those interested
in autism intervention and advocacy. The Spectrum Education          “This semester, we have three students enrolled in the Spec-
Center now encompasses student training, community out-              trum Program Internship, and with each working at a different
reach, and professional development.                                 clinical site, they offer unique perspectives to complex discus-
                                                                     sions in the classroom. They are able to make real contribu-
“The center was developed, in part, to get students who are          tions to the places in which they work and help these organiza-
interested in autism intervention and advocacy experience            tions and others function in the most effective ways possible,”
working in the field before they choose a career path,” Turko        Turko said.
explained.

EXCEPTIONAL EXPERIENCE
Marisa Rinaldi ’17, a psychology major from Tallmadge, Ohio,
divides her internship work between The Arc of Ohio and
TWi. Both facilities provide advocacy and support for indi-
viduals with intellectual and developmental disabilities. These
programs work to maximize the independence of these indi-
viduals through employment and vocational training.

“I became interested in this program after I took Dr. Turko’s
Introduction to Autism class last year,” she said. “It sounded
like a great opportunity and an amazing experience.”

Although Rinaldi started her internship focused on a career
as a child life specialist, her experience has opened doors to
opportunities she may never have considered otherwise. Spec-
trum interns become keenly aware of the importance of their
work and the diversity in the job while learning what they can
expect as professionals in the field.

“I am so incredibly happy to have been able to participate in
these internships,” she said. “Even though I have only been
working with individuals with disabilities for a few months, I
have realized that this may be another career path to pursue.”

The Spectrum Program Internship provides students with
unique perspectives that university courses alone cannot.
These intensive, hands-on experiences allow students to see all               “I AM SO INCREDIBLY HAPPY TO HAVE
that a career in the field of disability services offers, from the
miraculous to the mundane and everything in between.
                                                                              BEEN ABLE TO PARTICIPATE IN THESE
                                                                             INTERNSHIPS...I HAVE REALIZED THAT
“Most students complete the program and know they want
to work in the field of disability services, and a small percent             THIS MAY BE ANOTHER CAREER PATH.”
realize it’s not for them. Both outcomes are equally important
to students’ development in the field and their future goals,”                                                      Marisa Rinaldi ’17
Turko said.
                                                                                                                                         11
Chad Gentry ’17, a neuroscience major from Louisville, Ohio,
     began the Spectrum Program Internship thinking he wanted
     to focus on a career in sleep studies. But after completing a
     summer internship at the Cleveland Clinic Center for Autism
     and working at GentleBrook in Hartville, Ohio, in the 2016
     Fall Semester, his goals began to shift.

     “My interest was in sleep research until I worked at the Cleve-
     land Clinic and was introduced to autism studies. With the
     influence from internships, my career interests have shifted to
     working in the developmental disability field,” he said.

     Gentry assists the clients at GentleBrook with daily activities
     and assorted craftsman projects, which can be anything from
     staining furniture to needlework. He also helps with research
     initiatives conducted with the individuals working at Gentle-
     Brook. These studies will help him and other employees better
     understand how to help those with developmental disabilities
     choose meaningful and appropriate career paths.

     “GentleBrook focuses on giving all individuals with develop-
     mental disabilities a chance to work in the way they want and
     deserve to work, just like anyone else,” he said.

     Emily Wolfe ’16, a psychology major also from Louisville,                          “WITH THE INFLUENCE FROM
     Ohio, who graduates in December 2016, works with pre-
     school students at the Golden Key Center for Exceptional
                                                                                 INTERNSHIPS, MY CAREER INTERESTS
     Children, an autism charter school in Canton, Ohio. The class-                HAVE SHIFTED TO WORKING IN THE
     room in which Wolfe works has children with and without                      DEVELOPMENTAL DISABILITY FIELD.”
     autism diagnoses working together. The classroom structure
     provides opportunities for intervention with the children with
                                                                                                                         Chad Gentry ’17
     autism and allows them to work on fine motor skills, listening
     skills, and social development. Wolfe often assists in the motor
     skills center of the intervention classroom, allowing her one-
     on-one time with many of the children. She hopes to become a       marriage and family therapist, so interacting with both chil-
                                                                        dren and their parents has been an invaluable experience.

                                                                        “Getting to see family dynamics in action has helped me learn
                                                                        that these families are like anyone else’s, but they sometimes
                                                                        need a little more patience and support than others,” Wolfe
                                                                        explained. “Being a senior gives me great flexibility with my
                                                                        schedule, so I am able to go out into the community and help
                                                                        others while earning credit. It’s so rewarding. Every time I see
                                                                        a child, even if it has only been a few minutes since I last saw
                                                                        them, they light up and run toward me for a big bear hug.”

                                                                        A COMMUNITY-FOCUSED FUTURE
                                                                        Students at Mount Union currently participate in several of
                                                                        Spectrum’s outreach initiatives on campus, including peer
                                                                        mentoring for individuals with developmental disabilities, a
                                                                        service that is desperately needed in the community. Turko
                                                                        plans to expand the peer-mentoring program in the spring of
     “IT’S SO REWARDING. EVERY TIME I                                   2017.

     SEE A CHILD...THEY LIGHT UP AND RUN                                “We have two undergraduates currently piloting the peer-men-
     TOWARD ME FOR A BIG BEAR HUG.”                                     toring program, both of whom are former Spectrum interns.
                                                                        They work with middle and high school students to help them
                                                                        develop academic and social skills,” Turko explained.
                                                 Emily Wolfe ’16
12
In addition to the Spectrum Program Internship and                   really help out families that need guidance, and at TWi, I am
peer-mentoring program, Turko offers a series of lunchtime           able to give individuals with disabilities a chance to integrate
lectures that are open to the community. Presentation topics         into the community and actually have a say in what they want
include advocacy, culture, current issues, and research on           their lives to be.”
developmental disabilities. The lectures have been a great suc-
cess, and they will continue to be held every third Wednesday,       Gentry feels similarly about the time he has spent teaching and
January through April, in 2017.                                      mentoring individuals at GentleBrook.

“These lectures help support regional professional develop-          “The best part of this internship is putting smiles on the cli-
ment for educators and clinicians, the people on the front lines     ents’ faces,” he explained. “There is nothing more rewarding
of helping individuals with disabilities and their families,”        than a client coming to you for advice and seeing them change
Turko said.                                                          their own lives.”

SHAPING TOMORROW’S LEADERS                                           Wolfe hopes to start impacting the community after graduat-
Although the three current interns in the Spectrum Education         ing this winter, and the experiences she has had as a Spectrum
Center are all from Mount Union, Turko’s goal is for students        intern have only emboldened her mission and drive to accom-
from peer institutions to participate in the program as well.        plish her goals.
Students in the internship program will live on campus and           “I think that, most of all, this work has made me even more
work in the greater Alliance area. Each semester, the cohort         passionate about helping others,” Wolfe said. “Every day is an
members will learn from one another’s experiences while              irreplaceable memory.”
allowing them access to all the faculty, staff, and resources that
Mount offers.                                                        The Spectrum Education Center has offered students and
                                                                     members of the community incredible opportunities, and with
For current interns, their work has not only been about gain-        its continued success, its benefits will grow. As the program
ing insight into potential career paths and helping the commu-       continues to expand, attract more students, and broaden its
nity, but also about what the individuals with whom they work        reach within the region, new groups of students will be able to
have taught them. Through the program, Rinaldi has been a            change the lives of people in their communities. The Spectrum
part of major development projects, including the creation of        Education Center truly helps prepare students for fulfilling
curricula and the design of new physical spaces in which indi-       lives, meaningful work, and responsible citizenship.
viduals with disabilities will work and learn at TWi.

“The most rewarding part of my job at both The Arc and TWi
is knowing that I am making a difference in people’s lives,” she          WANT MORE? For more information,
explained. “Working at The Arc, I have had the opportunity to             visit: mountunion.edu/magazine.

                                                                                                                                        13
EXCEPTIONAL
      EDUCATION

                                                                               Connecting through
                                           Intellect
            Department of Psychology, Neuroscience, and Human
        Development Provides an Atmosphere for Diverse Learning
     Human beings are incredibly complex. Understanding their          demically and prepare them for the real world,” said Dr. Sarah
     thoughts, emotions, and behaviors is a challenging process. In    Torok-Gerard, associate professor and chair of the Department
     the Department of Psychology, Neuroscience, and Human De-         of Psychology, Neuroscience, and Human Development.
     velopment at the University of Mount Union, faculty members
     prepare students with some of the most diverse experiential       The coursework within each major blends practical career and
     opportunities that the field has to offer, allowing students to   graduate work preparation with the liberal arts foundation
     develop appropriate research skills while completing course-      that is a hallmark of Mount Union’s rich academic tradition.
     work and learning experiences that span across psychology’s       Currently offering more than 40 unique courses, the curricula
     many sub-disciplines.                                             of the three majors represent both the breadth and depth of
                                                                       the field. Students can explore everything from understanding
     The department is home to three undergraduate majors: psy-        mental illness and the counseling process to nervous system
     chology, neuroscience, and human development and family           influences on behavior, social and developmental processes,
     science (HDFS). Covering a broad range of topics, each pro-       and human and animal cognition.
     gram brings its own distinct perspective to students who may
     come to the classroom with a limited understanding of what        “What could be more interesting than learning why people
     the field of psychology actually offers.                          think and do the things they do?” said Chelsea Black ’17, a
                                                                       psychology major from Millersburg, Ohio. “I chose psychology
     “Regardless of a student’s selection between the three pro-       as my major because it is a broad field that opens many doors
     grams, each student is provided with a rich, varied set of        to more specific career areas.”
     coursework and experiences that will challenge them aca-

14
STIGMA-BUSTING LEADERSHIP
Movies and Madness, a course taught by Dr.
Tamara Daily, professor of psychology, neuro-
science, and human development who holds
the Lewis Miller Professorship in Psychology,
is always a sought-after choice for students
regardless of major. The course focuses on how
mental illness is portrayed in film and helps
students understand the realities of how peo-
ple, as well as their friends or family members,
handle mental illnesses.

Daily, a social psychologist who has taught
the class since 2004, tasks her students with
creating “stigma-buster” projects to help raise
awareness and break down stereotypes related
to mental illness. Examples of past projects in-
clude radio and print public service announce-
ments, posters, discussion groups, mental
health screenings, and many other community
education endeavors. The projects give stu-
dents the opportunity to be actively engaged
in Alliance and surrounding communities and
the ability to be at the forefront of important
conversations regarding mental health.

ANIMAL INSTINCTS
Daily also brings her horse to campus each year as an expe-        dents can take what they learn in the lab and apply it at home.
riential exercise in the Learning and Conditioning class and       The techniques of behavioral training are far more resonant
Animal Cognition class taught by Dr. Melissa Muller, associate     and rewarding when a student’s own canine companion learns
professor of psychology, neuroscience, and human develop-          right along with them.
ment. The first-hand learning that Muller implements in her
classes not only features horses, but dogs as well. Tearing a      Muller also facilitates bringing therapy dogs to campus each
page out of the Pavlovian playbook, one of the skills that she     semester to help students manage the stress of final exams.
teaches is clicker training in dogs of all breeds and ages. The    Working with Therapy Dogs International, Muller provides
students’ own dogs are often those who come in to learn new        students with a calm and cuddly presence that gives them a
tricks. Muller knows that the training is more impactful if stu-   much needed breather during their most stressful days.
                                                                                                                                     15
help students with both their career and graduate school ré-
     “MY FAVORITE EXPERIENCE IS BEING ABLE                                sumés by showing that they not only understand the material,
                                                                          but they can critically design projects and do the work in the
     TO TAKE WHAT I’M LEARNING IN SOCIAL                                  field. At Mount Union, students are actively involved in subject
                                                                          running for my lab and also do most of the data quantifica-
     PSYCHOLOGY AND OBSERVE IT IN OTHER                                   tion. That allows them to have a larger role in the publication
     PEOPLE.”                                                             process, both for conferences and research articles.”

                                                                          In the neuroscience major, students also develop the research
                                                Bailey Grimm ’17
                                                                          skills necessary for graduate and professional school through
                                                                          journal articles and laboratory experiences in the Neurosci-
                                                                          ence: The Brain and Neuroscience: Behaviors and Psychiatric
     MAKING A REAL-WORLD IMPACT                                           Disorders courses.
     Mount Union is doing its part to help contribute high-quality
     research to the field by studying current psychological and neu-     Beyond these independent study laboratories, the heart of the
     ropsychological issues affecting our society. Students and faculty   department’s curriculum focuses on creating quality research-
     utilize a variety of laboratory suites for independent research      ers. Muller and Dr. Kristine Turko, associate professor of
     and experiential learning, including a physiological and neuro-      psychology, neuroscience, and human development, teach a
     psychological research lab, a social and counseling lab, and the     two-course research methods sequence that helps budding
     new canine cognition lab. These facilities provide students with     scientists develop during their sophomore and junior years.
     research experiences that they would not typically see until their   During their senior year, all psychology, neuroscience, and
     master’s thesis projects. These experiences are not only benefi-     HDFS majors take part in a senior research project that spans
     cial for their résumés, but to the literature of the field.          the course of two semesters. Students work collaboratively
                                                                          under the mentorship of Daily and Turko to create their own
     Dr. Michael Knepp, associate professor of psychology, neu-           studies, collect data, run results, and discuss their findings.
     roscience, and human development, leads an undergraduate             These sequences provide students with a minimum of four
     research team every semester. Students in his lab gain qual-         semesters’ worth of practical skills and exposure to a depth of
     ity field experience by running multiple cardiovascular and          scientific inquiry not even found at most Research-1 institu-
     neuropsychological studies. The interaction that Knepp is able       tions, which are universities in the United States that engage in
     to have with his students is pivotal because they are able to        extensive research activity.
     receive individual attention. Knepp and his students created
     many international conference presentations over the past five       “I enjoy watching students grow and move toward their goals,”
     years and have been published in Psychological Reports, Later-       Daily said. “This is especially true when I’m working with
     ality, and Perspectives on Psychological Science.                    students on their senior research projects. Doing your own
                                                                          research as part of a team can be an anxiety-provoking and
     “At most schools, you would only get to create your own proj-        sometimes overwhelming process. Our job as faculty mem-
     ect as part of an honors thesis,” said Knepp. “These experiences     bers is to shape and fade. We mold and tug and give loads of
                                                                          feedback. Then we back off and allow them more and more
                                                                          responsibility in the process. I love it when they start to take
                                                                          the reins and say, ‘I’ve got this.’”

                                                                    “OUR JOB AS FACULTY MEMBERS IS TO SHAPE AND
                                                                        FADE. WE MOLD AND TUG AND GIVE LOADS OF
                                                                     FEEDBACK. THEN WE BACK OFF AND ALLOW THEM
                                                                   MORE AND MORE RESPONSIBILITY IN THE PROCESS.”
                                                                                                   Dr. Tamara Daily, Professor of Psychology,
                                                                                                    Lewis Miller Professorship in Psychology

                                                                               WANT   MORE? For more information,
                                                                               visit mountunion.edu/magazine.
16
DEVELOPMENT FOR THE FUTURE                                         work with original correspondences, manuscripts, and pub-
Dr. Kevin Meyer, associate professor of psychology, neuro-         lished works created by the very psychologists they’ve learned
science, and human development, focuses on experiential            about in their coursework. The end goal of the project is a
learning in the classes he teaches as part of the HDFS major.      historical autobiography of a selected theorist. While at AHAP,
Formed in conjunction with the Department of Sociology             students also get a chance to visit the adjoining Center for the
and Criminal Justice, HDFS has proven attractive to students       History of Psychology, which houses artifacts from infamous
who want to learn how family, society, and culture impact an       psychological experiments, like the shock generator used in
individual’s development.                                          psychologist Stanley Milgram’s studies on obedience.

“My favorite experience is being able to take what I’m learn-      Often when individuals think of psychology, their first
ing in social psychology and observe it in other people,” said     thoughts may focus on the clinical realms of the field, but
Bailey Grimm ’17, an HDFS major from McMurray, Pennsyl-            Mount Union provides students with a range of internship
vania. “It will prepare me for the career into which I hope to     experiences at sites throughout the area. Students from all
go. Educational Psychology is my favorite class so far because     three majors have participated in summer internships at the
I like learning about all the different teaching methods and the   Cleveland Clinic Center for Autism over the past decade. Fur-
way we develop over the years.”                                    thermore, Turko gives students the opportunity to participate
                                                                   in local internships through the Spectrum Education Center,
The student experience ultimately comes first for the faculty      of which she is also the director (see story on pages 10-13).
members in the department, a fact that becomes very clear          The center focuses on helping individuals with autism. The
when you walk into any one of Meyer’s classes. Students may        student interns gain valuable knowledge about understanding
take his Psychology of Humor course, which gives them              those with autism and the continued advocacy surrounding
the opportunity to try their hand at stand-up comedy while         the developmental disability field.
learning the research and psychological facets of humor. In the
class, students explore how humor develops in childhood and        The experiences we have throughout life help shape who we
how it can benefit an individual psychologically and physio-       are and who we might become. The faculty members of the
logically. In his Marriage and Family Therapy course, students     Mount Union Department of Psychology, Neuroscience, and
utilize the department’s counseling lab, playing the part of       Human Development know they have limited time to mold
therapist in live-action role-plays, which is another opportuni-   the minds of their students. They know psychology and its
ty typically not presented to students until graduate school.      various sub-disciplines are more complicated than a simple
                                                                   quiz question, and that making classroom content come to life
Torok-Gerard’s seminar, The Origins of Psychology, has helped      in real-world settings is an indelible form of instruction. They
students prepare for the subject GRE in psychology by exam-        know teaching is about taking risks, especially in a field where
ining the history of the field. In her class, students conduct     lack of innovation may put you behind. Preparing students for
research at the Archives of the History of Psychology (AHAP),      meaningful work in their careers is a commitment to which
located at the neighboring University of Akron. This is a          the department is passionately invested.
unique resource to which students have access, as they get to
                                                                                                                                      17
A WORLD OF SERVICE:
     MOUNT UNION CELEBRATES THE SOCIAL RESPONSIBILITY TRIP’S 25TH YEAR
     When Dr. Steve Kramer, semi-retired professor of psychology         get them involved in sustainability projects. Students better
     at the University of Mount Union, finished college, he decided      comprehend environmental impacts on these communities
     to dedicate his first two years as a graduate teaching in Iraq.     through their first-hand experiences on the trip. Through
                                                                         this work, Kramer has touched the lives of countless students,
     “I had never left the United States before going to Baghdad,” he    instructors, and individuals across a myriad of countries.
     said, smiling. “That experience changed the way I looked at so
     many different things – myself, the world, and the role of the      “I think it’s important to show the students that we aren’t just
     United States. Now I’ve traveled to over 70 countries. I’m still    in this together as a country, but as a member of the world
     trying to knock more off the list.”                                 community. We need to be exploring our responsibility in
                                                                         addressing these issues,” Kramer explained.
     This first trip ignited a passion for travel and service in Kram-
     er that led him to develop the Social Responsibility class at       “When you think about the number of lives that Dr. Kramer
     Mount Union 26 years ago. As a part of this class, students         has touched throughout his career – at Mount Union, in Alli-
     travel to countries like Haiti, Panama, Nicaragua, Guatemala,       ance, and around the world – it’s incredible, and it’s inspiring,”
     El Salvador, and others to learn the importance of public ser-      said Andrew Lattaner ’01, who participated in the trip during
     vice. Kramer believes this encourages students to continue to       his time at Mount. “He is a treasure, and I know that I am one
     give back when they return home, just as his first volunteering     of many who feel very fortunate to know him as a professor,
     trip did for him.                                                   mentor, and friend.”

     On these trips, students often sleep in shared spaces, in homes     During this year’s Alumni Weekend and Homecoming, the so-
     throughout the community, and even outside. The students            cial responsibility trip gathered to celebrate the 25th anniver-
     interact and talk with people about their experiences in the        sary of the program. Dozens of alumni who have attended the
     communities and country in which they live. Many of the             trip traveled from all over the country to meet again during
     projects Kramer and his students complete include infrastruc-       the weekend festivities. Kramer has headed several alumni so-
     ture development and maintenance, such as digging latrines,         cial responsibility trips over the years, which have been equally
     constructing stoves, building homes, and more.                      as popular as the student trips.

     When Abby Honaker ’11 had the opportunity to participate            To alumni like Honaker and Lattaner, these experiences are
     in the service trip during her senior year at Mount Union, she      not only unforgettable, but they also helped shape who they
     and her group visited El Salvador.                                  are today. Kramer continues to run this class despite his
                                                                         semi-retirement, and if it continues to touch lives, change
     “It really opened my eyes,” Honaker said. “After that experi-       minds, and inspire empathy and community engagement, it
     ence, I knew I had to do something meaningful with my life. I       doesn’t look like it will be stopping any time soon.
     had to give back.”

     Now when students visit various countries, Kramer tries to

18
OFF THE GRID:
THE WILDERNESS TRIP CELEBRATES ITS 41ST YEAR
This year marks the 41st anniversary of the Wilderness Trip        Since Kramer’s partial retirement in 2009, Dr. Paul Tidman,
and associated class, an experience many students and alumni       professor of philosophy and religious studies at Mount Union,
hold near and dear to their hearts. When Dr. Steve Kramer,         has taken over the course and trip. As a result, the focus of
semi-retired professor of psychology, first developed the trip     both the class and trip have shifted from group dynamics to
in 1976, it focused heavily on how groups function within          environmental ethics.
specific contexts and how students could apply the real-life
experiences they encounter to their work in the classroom.         “Studying environmental ethics is about looking beyond hu-
Most importantly, Kramer wanted to provide his students with       man beings and focusing on our obligations to the other living
situations that would challenge them.                              beings with which we share the planet,” he said.

“I think we all need ‘stretching’ experiences, things that take    Tidman stresses the importance of the preservation and ethical
us out of our comfort zones,” he explained. “These experiences     treatment of the natural world and encourages his students to
challenge us and strengthen our courage in ways that simply        notice the effects that climate change has had on the environ-
reading and discussing these ideas cannot.”                        ments in which they travel. At the end of his course, students
                                                                   write an essay that pulls together their real-life experiences and
The trip always takes place in early to mid-August so that         the theory they study in the classroom.
students can apply what they learned on the trip to their work
in the classroom during the fall semester. Before the trip, they   Tidman’s first trip with students in 2010 included just a hand-
meet on Mount’s campus to engage in a variety of team-build-       ful of individuals. Now, the program gets more applicants than
ing activities. Students learn to rock climb, master a ropes       Tidman can take.
course, and perform other group exercises that are designed to     “Many students, when the trip is over, tell me that it has been
develop connections and get them working together effectively      the best thing they’ve ever done, not only at Mount, but in
before they ever leave Ohio.                                       their lives,” Tidman said. “It’s very rewarding to be a part of
The 10-day trip in the Adirondack Mountains primarily              that.”
consists of hiking, but also incorporates rock climbing, swim-     As the Wilderness Trip enters another decade, it remains as
ming, canoeing, and service projects. Students work with park      popular as ever. Kramer hopes that the experience will contin-
rangers to repair trails, bridges, dams, and outhouses.            ue to inspire students and alumni alike. With the level of inter-
Amy (Hutchman ’89) Miller, who majored in biology, has             est it continues to garner on campus and beyond, the tradition
experienced the trip as a student and an alumni group lead-        of the trip should be able to continue far into the future.
er. She minored in education and is now teaching at Alliance
High School.

“Through the Wilderness Trip and Steve Kramer, I learned life
is not about the busy-ness, but rather, the quietness,” Miller
said. “Only when you strip away the distractions of life can you
listen to your inner self, reflect, and learn.”

                                                                                                                                        19
LEADING
       INSPIRING
        STORIES

 with a smile
     How C ai tie S h imp ’ 17 is P re p a r i n g fo r Po s t - G r a d S ucce s s

                                                                  { B Y K R I S T I N W E R S T L E R ‘ 18 }
20
“The mentors in the organization [BSU] helped
Caitie Shimp ’17                                    me develop as a leader. I know that the BSU
Hartville, Ohio                                     is the key piece that made my experience at
B.S., Psychology                                                  Mount Union a memorable one. “
University of Mount Union
                                                                                                             - Caitie Shimp ’17
For Caitie Shimp ’17, the decision to major in psychology was          Her first internship was with the Mount Union Office of
a no-brainer. A self-described people person, Shimp knew the           Counseling Services.
field of psychology was one in which she would thrive.
                                                                       “For the longest time, I thought I would be a counselor,”
“In high school, I took an Advanced Placement Psycholo-                Shimp recalled. “After my internship, I realized how much
gy course, and it just clicked,” Shimp explained. “At Mount            goes into counseling, and I had to really reflect on my own
Union, I began to realize all the things you could do with a           personal well-being. I have the tendency to be there for other
psychology degree. I could go into counseling, work in com-            people, but forget about myself. This internship was a really
munications, or explore a career in business. I know I’m going         great eye-opening experience that made me realize I want
to be dealing with people in my career, so what’s better than          the same type of interaction that comes from working with
getting to know the mind behind the person before working              and consoling students, but I don’t necessarily want to be a
with them?”                                                            counselor.”

Despite her friendly nature and draw to psychology, Shimp              Her second internship was with the Office of Alcohol, Drug,
worried she wouldn’t find her place on campus, but she quick-          and Wellness Education at Mount Union. It was through this
ly found her niche in the Black Student Union (BSU).                   experience that Shimp started to hone in on what she wanted
                                                                       to do with her degree.
“Where I grew up, I was one of two black people in my entire
school, so joining BSU was a big step for me,” Shimp said.             “It was great to see another application of counseling in a stu-
“It truly helped me find a part of myself that I didn’t know I         dent affairs setting,” she said. “I developed a love for student
had. The mentors in the organization helped me develop as              affairs through this internship and all my other leadership
a leader. I know that the BSU is the key piece that made my            roles, and I realized it is the atmosphere in which I want to
experience at Mount Union a memorable one.”                            work. I can still console, counsel, and work with students, but
                                                                       it’s not all that I would do. I feel that both of these internships
If Shimp could share one piece of advice with fellow and               made me realize what I like from both areas in the field and
future students, she’d tell them to get involved in a variety of       found that student affairs is the role that gives me the best of
activities – not just ones that fit their personalities, but organi-   both.”
zations that shape and educate.
                                                                       As a senior, Shimp is beginning to search for her next step in
“I really encourage people to not just stick with what they            achieving her career goals and trying to answer the question,
know,” said Shimp. “Once I was comfortable with BSU, it                “What am I going to do after Mount Union?”
would’ve been really easy for me to stop searching for other
opportunities, but I’m glad I didn’t limit my college experience.”     “I wonder that every day,” Shimp laughed. “I’m actually in the
                                                                       process of applying for graduate school right now, so fingers
Shimp became the political action chair of BSU, president of           crossed that goes well. I’m looking at a program that focuses
Student Senate, student coordinator for the Together Initi-            on college as a community.”
ating Excellence Program, and a Preview and Raider guide
coordinator. Needless to say, the ever-busy senior has her             According to Shimp, this program seems to be a great place
work cut out for her. Still, Shimp explains that her enthusiasm        to foster her passions and continue to develop her skills in the
for both her classes and campus involvement make the work              field of psychology.
enjoyable.
                                                                       “I’m all about making sure the overall experience for students
Shimp has refined her skills in the field through two intern-          turns out as they hoped,” Shimp explained. “You’re not going
ships. These opportunities gave her the chance to apply what           to make every person happy, but I want to encourage college
she learned in the classroom in a professional work environ-           campuses to listen to students and recognize that sometimes
ment, learn new job skills, discover the areas in which she is         pushing boundaries is what we need in our world.”
able to thrive, and identify those that do not fit her as well.

                                                                                                                                             21
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