ACE Fellow Details Experiences at Mount Union College

April 01, 2010

Dr. Virginia Schaefer Horvath, dean for academic and student services for Kent State University Regional Campuses, offered a presentation to Mount Union College faculty and administration on Tuesday, August 19, reviewing the 2002-2003 academic year, which she spent on the Mount Union campus.

Dr. Virginia Horvath
Horvath worked closely with Mount Union College President Jack Ewing and administration and faculty as an American Council Education (ACE) Fellow, a program that identifies and prepares promising faculty and senior administrators for responsible positions in college and university administration.

During her time on the Mount Union campus, Horvath made various observations, which she summarized, calling them "Lessons from Mount Union."

"I observed that you were deeply engaged with the students' learning, and I was inspired by your commitment," said Horvath. She added that, with the unique perspective of an outsider, she was able to observe various attributes of the College.

"Mount Union exhibits various characteristics which are important for a college to be successful and I have noted several of these characteristics during my time here on campus," said Horvath.

She discussed various points, which she illustrated with photos taken on campus throughout the academic year.

"A successful college has a clear sense of mission and identity, and that is very visible here," she said, showing a photo taken in the Physical Plant office of the College's mission statement framed and hanging on the wall. "Everyone may not be able to recite the mission statement, as I have heard President Ewing do, but certainly you can see those values everywhere on campus. I have been able to be behind the scenes and it has been impressive to me that that is always the guiding principle - not just what is the best thing to do but what is the right thing to do?"

"A successful college values its traditions and has a strong sense of pride. I can certainly see that here at Mount Union," said Horvath, illustrating this point with photos of students, faculty and staff wearing Mount Union apparel. "I have spent time looking around campus, and at any given time, nearly half of the students are wearing something with "Mount Union" on it. They have pride in their college."

Horvath said that it also impressed her that faculty and staff clearly took pride in their work at Mount Union. "When you ask someone to talk with you about what they do, their faces light up."

"I want to thank the faculty and staff for giving me - an outsider - such a level of trust. I think that is another aspect of a successful college - it relies upon mutual trust," said Horvath.

President Ewing announced that Horvath's two daughters will be attending Mount Union this fall - one as a freshman and the other as a transfer student. "This is certainly the highest compliment she could pay us," said Ewing.

Dr. Thomas Botzman, associate dean of the college and professor of business administration at Mount Union, served as an ACE Fellow at St. Mary's College in Maryland for the 2002-2003 academic year. An article on his experiences will also be featured on the website.

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