Dr. Melissa Askren-Edgehouse
Teaching Area(s): Education
Title: Assistant Professor of Education
Courses Taught: Educational Leadership
I think I indicated that I wanted to be a teacher when I completed my first All-About-Me book in second grade. My mom was a second grade teacher for 35 years before she retired, and my dad was a teacher, principal and director of student services before he passed away. I cherished our family time together each evening, weekend and summer, and since my parents both adored their jobs, it seemed like the perfect fit for me.
In 2008, I was elected vice-president of OhioASCD, the state affiliate of ASCD International. During this four-year term, I also served as president-elect, president and past-president of an organization that serves about 800 school leaders across the state. Now that I’m in the last phase of this experience, I’m grateful for the opportunities ASCD has given me.
Facilitator to Student Growth
I used to be much more involved in actually instructing students via PowerPoint, large group discussion, etc. However, because I often teach technology, I’ve learned that most students retain what they learn much better if they actually teach themselves, so I more readily identify myself as a facilitator to student growth.
Creating New Programs
Over the past few years, I’ve worked with Dr. Gannon and Dr. Capel in creating our new Master of Arts in Educational Leadership. Writing a cutting-edge, innovative and relevant curriculum for future school leaders was so much fun! We really enjoyed the process (even though it was pretty rigorous), and we’re so pleased that the program is up and running now.
The people are absolutely my favorite part of my job. Mount Union seems to attract students who not only work hard, but who are also fun to be around and teach. I also really like my colleagues. I’m so fortunate to work with individuals who always make me smile!
I love my office in Chapman. It’s huge, has lots of natural light and is away from faculty and right in the line of students heading to and from class on the second floor. It’s perfect for meeting students. I just need to add more décor to the walls to make it cozier!
What we (Mount Union) so often feature are faculty members who have the time—and the drive—to get to know students on a personal level. They can subsequently offer them an education that dovetails with their interests, passions and professional goals, all the while challenging their worldview.
Women in education, leadership and organizational change, high quality professional development, educational technology, teacher evaluation, data and testing
B.A., Elementary Education, Mount Union College
M.Ed., Administration and Supervision, Ashland University
Ed.D., Educational Administration and Leadership Studies, Bowling Green State University
I love my office in Chapman. It’s huge, has lots of natural light and is away from faculty and right in the line of students heading to and from class on the second floor. It’s perfect for meeting students.
- If You Could Teach Another Class
- I’d love to teach culinary arts, but since Mount Union doesn’t offer any sort of food programs, I suppose the next best thing would be a themed course related to food, writing, sustainability and why some people hate their friends who always take pictures of their food at restaurants.
- Favorite Quote or Motto
- I’ve always taught by the motto, “Teaching is all about trickery.” I really believe you need to trick students into learning—that’s when they’re the most successful and truly enjoy what they’re learning!
- Surprising Fact About Yourself
- I love indie rock. I’m fairly fluent in the latest bands and trends. My husband and I still manage to get to concerts from time to time, especially for bands we really love.
- If You Weren’t a Professor
- I’d love to work for AAA, Fodor’s or Michelin and be a critic. Going out to eat and then writing about my experiences, or staying in hotels and rating their performance would be so much fun for me. I’m constantly analyzing the cleanliness of sink drains and salad forks, and I love trying to deconstruct and rate food.
- Places to Visit or Things to Do
- A whirlwind trip through Europe—London, Budapest, Paris, Lisbon, Madrid, Florence—would be wonderful for the art (my husband’s a buff) and the food.
- Favorite Movie
- Pulp Fiction is my all-time go-to answer, but in recent years I’ve grown to truly appreciate Jonathan Demme’s Rachel Getting Married.
- Favorite Book
- I adore Lucky Peach, a foodie quarterly edited by Anthony Bourdain and David Chang.
- Hobbies and Interests
- Aside from spending time with my family and friends, I really like to run, cook and shop for both food and fashion.