Kristen (Vazzano '97) Zurbuch
Job Title: Guidance Counselor
I am a School Counselor at GlenOak High School in the Plain Local School District in Canton, Ohio. In my role as a School Counselor, I am responsible for a caseload of approximately 380 students in grades 10-12. School counselors attend to the personal, academic and college/career readiness domains of a students’ life at school.
Choosing Mount Union
I fell in love with campus when I visited as a junior in high school, and didn’t look back. It was the perfect fit from the start! The friendly, supportive environment was a must for me, and Mount Union provided a nice selection of majors from which to choose. This was also important because my major was “undecided” when I entered as a freshman. For me, it was also the right blend of “old” and “new”. I love the time-honored traditions passed down from generation to generation at Mount Union, but also appreciate the university’s eye toward progress and the future.
I had many great professors, but Dr. Tammy Daily and Dr. Jeri Thompson stand out to me. I remember admiring for them because they were two women at the top of their field and that was very inspiring to me.
I entered graduate school directly after graduating from Mount Union, but worked concurrently as a Job Specialist for the Jobs for Ohio’s Graduates Program at Lake High School in Uniontown, Ohio. My job was to develop and monitor the job readiness skills of at-risk teens in high school. After that, I was hired at Mount Union as an Admissions Counselor for three years, and then I worked for five years as an Assistant Director of Admissions at Kent State University. I earned a Master of Arts in Counseling and Human Development from Walsh University in 2001, and then I earned an Ed.S. (Education Specialist) degree in School Counseling from Kent State University in 2010.
I was very prepared for the rigor of graduate work, which I appreciated. But aside from what I learned the classroom, I developed a sense of confidence and a level of comfort in establishing relationships with new people. I also learned how to lead, communicate and organize which are huge assets in the career-world no matter what the job. Mount Union has a very good reputation, and holding a degree from the institution is impressive. I was prepared for graduate school, launched a successful career and am a part of a vast network of alumni who support one another.
Liberal Arts Education
The liberal arts experience teaches you to view life from multiple perspectives. Rarely in life are things “black and white”, and the ability to view situations through multiple lenses has helped me throughout my career. In any given setting, I know that I’ve had at least some exposure to the topic at hand, and can communicate and problem solve by tapping into that knowledge.
I return annually to speak to the Professional Development class about my career path as a former Psychology major, and share my stories about when I was a student. I have also attended Schooler Lectures and sporting events. My friends from Mount Union and I consider each other life-long friends. Months and years have gone by, but in an instant we reconnect like we did when were freshman on the first floor of King Hall, or suite-mates in HP. I was also involved in Greek Life on campus (Alpha Chi Omega). I also was a member of the Dance Team, Color Guard and served as a Student Orientation Leader.
I was prepared for graduate school, launched a successful career and am a part of a vast network of alumni who support one another.