Joseph MacBenn M '15
Hometown: Lima, OH
Undergrad schools attended/degrees earned: Bachelor of Music Education at Mount Union, 2001. Master of Education from Ohio Northern University, 2005.
Expected Program Completion Date: June 2015
Current Job Title and employer: Orchestra Director, grades 4-8, Lima City Schools.
MY EXCEPTIONAL STORY
Why Mount Union
I received an alumni postcard about the MAEL program. I called, and Dr. Melissa Askren-Edgehouse got me hooked. It fit my educational needs and plans for the future, and I knew it was a quality school with a great reputation. Mount Union would provide a quality product that I could count on and I knew that the institution was not going to let me down. Mount Union adds a very personal touch and I knew that I wanted to have that.
Mount Union’s faculty members are preparing me with real-life scenarios and projects that I can complete in anticipation of my future career. Mount Union has brought together a wealth of knowledge and networking. I hope this degree is the gateway to another chapter in my life in which I can do some school administrative work and possibly get into the arena of higher education.
Last summer’s orientation to the program was pretty awesome. It is a seven-day session where all of the MAEL students come together on campus to learn, attend workshops, listen to speakers and receive helpful one-on-one interaction. I’m anticipating this year’s Summer Institute to be even better. I love the way that the faculty members are so helpful and only a couple of phone calls away.
The faculty have all been incredibly receptive and willing to work with me. My favorite professor so far is Dr. Mandy Capel. She communicates effectively, is willing to tailor the learning experience to best suit the situation and is always willing to help out whenever and wherever possible.
The online learning aspect of the program is great. The professors have organized it in such a way that it is very easy to execute. It is personable, and even with it being online, you feel like more than just a number.
I have a busy schedule but the program is very easy to fit into my daily routine. I work full-time, teaching from 7:30 a.m. – 4 p.m., then I have music lessons from 4 p.m. – 6 p.m., then I have family time in the evening and from 9 p.m. until bedtime, I work on the Master’s degree. I know that I have to distribute some time to each and work on my time management.
I’d love to be a professor specializing in being the liaison between music and education departments at a small university in northeastern Ohio. I think that everything I’ve done so far, as far back as high school, has sort of pointed in that direction.
The MAEL Program fit my educational needs and plans for the future, and I knew Mount Union was a quality school with a great reputation.