It was always a goal of brothers John ’20 M’23 and Matt ’21 M’23 Bisono to attend college together. That dream was fulfilled when the two transferred to the University of Mount Union during their undergraduate careers. As they near completion of graduate degrees from their alma mater, their care and drive for their fields of study and each other is propelling them to achieve their ambitions.
Originally from Long Island, New York, the Bisonos' journey to Mount Union was not linear. After moving to Cincinnati, Ohio and graduating from Deer Park High School, John played football at Fairmont State University in West Virginia and Matt played lacrosse at Tompkins Cortland Community College in Dryden, New York. When Mount Union came up on John’s radar for football, he noticed that the lacrosse program could be a great fit for Matt, reuniting the brothers and driving them to success.
“I always strive for greatness when I’m with my brother,” John said. “I knew we would keep that up if we were able to attend college together, and Mount Union just made sense for us.”
After transferring to Mount Union, the Bisonos began to make their marks on the field. John earned All-OAC honorable mention honors in 2021 as an offensive lineman, and Matt scored 33 goals and was a three-time letter winner on the lacrosse team. While successful on the field, the brothers also continued to excel in the classroom.
After John earned a bachelor’s degree in sport business and Matt in integrated media, the brothers wanted to pursue their master’s degrees. With their undergraduate experiences lining up with Mount Union’s graduate offerings, it made sense for their Purple Raider careers to continue.
An area manager at Amazon, John is wrapping up the Master of Business Administration degree program in leadership and innovation. Though the program is fully-online, he appreciates the interactions with faculty and the application of classroom knowledge to his daily work.
“There has not been a time during undergrad or my time in the MBA where I was not able to reach out to my professors with questions at any time,” John said. “Plus, every assignment I have had can directly apply to my work at Amazon. The MBA program has primed my leadership style and made me more grounded and aware as a mentor and leader.”
“John has been an outstanding student in the MBA program. He has transferred his experience from the football field and demonstrated teamwork and work ethic that will continue to build his leadership skills in the future,” said Dr. Wendy Ziems-Mueller, director of Mount Union’s MBA program. “John’s outstanding character will be a great representation as he becomes a member of the elite group of graduate-level Mount Union alumni.
Matt is also immediately employing techniques from his program into his day-to-day work. As he completes his Master of Education degree in athletic coaching, he is in his second year as an assistant coach for Mount Union’s men’s lacrosse team.
“It’s a blessing to get the chance to see the culture of a team you played on develop, and I’m constantly learning valuable things from the program that impact my coaching,” Matt said.
"During Matt's time in our athletic coaching program, he stood out as a truly impactful student and coach,” said Dr. Mandy Capel, director of Mount Union’s Master of Education program. “Matt demonstrated an exceptional level of commitment to both his personal growth and the development of his team. His dedication to learning and improvement is a testament to his success not only in the classroom, but also as an assistant Lacrosse coach at Mount Union."
While both are set to earn their second degrees from Mount Union, their career paths are in sight. Though John is currently making his way through the ranks at Amazon, he hopes to one day be his own boss as a consultant for small businesses to aid in their logistics and processing. Matt has made an impact in the collegiate world but hopes his career will reflect his M.Ed. capstone project in helping youth athletes in their academic development, while pursuing a career in coaching.
Not all siblings get to achieve their dreams while sharing a college experience, and the Bisonos are grateful for their collective Mount Union journey and the individuals who have helped along the way.
“There are so many people – friends, family, professors – that have been part of our success, and they deserve a big thank you,” John said.
Matt has always considered his older brother a role model who is always keeping him grounded. John appreciates the resilient creativity of Matt, pushing him to think differently while leading. While both are ready to make their marks in important careers, their achievements in earning two degrees and athletic success are quite notable. Though most notable to the Bisonos is that they have been able to reach their goals and realize their dreams together at Mount Union.