As an institution of higher education, academics have remained at the core of a Mount Union experience for nearly two centuries. While the types of academic offerings have adapted to societal demand throughout the years, Mount Union has remained steadfast in providing relevant classroom work with hands-on experience. Check out some stories and images below from the past 175 years, and submit your own story about your experience with Mount Union academics using the button below.
175th Anniversary | Academics
Courtney Bush '20As education major my experience at Mount was amazing! From the professors that gave it their all each class to the amazing field experience we were given. All of those things combined allowed me feel confident in my abilities to be the best educator I could be. I feel the education program at Mount prepares you for your career in every aspect. From giving you the knowledge to allowing you to implement that in hands on ways. I could not be more thankful than I am for everyone at Mount Union.
Kacy Carter '04
My senior year, I worked as a student coach for the football team. I overloaded on credits because I couldn’t afford to go beyond four years. I took several night classes to schedule around football practice, but one of them conflicted by a half hour or so. Worrying about it, I talked to Coach Kehres and Coach Monty. Both told me that my classes come first and it would not be a problem. Throughout that semester, I would get up early (I was a commuter and also newly married) and I would come into the 24-hour computer lab to work prior to my classes starting. Virtually every time, I would see football players in there doing the same thing. I have taken that mentality (academics come first) into my teaching and coaching career, and now as a middle school principal.
Rebecca Cooper '18
As a first-gen college student, I wanted to make the most of my time at Mount Union, so I double majored and double minored. Although he was initially concerned about the amount of work this would entail, my advisor, Dr. Wuchter, trusted that I knew what what best for myself and worked to support my goals in whatever way he could. The support did not stop there - professors in each of my disciplines always worked to encourage me and to help me reach my goals. I am especially thankful for the support of the political science and accounting departments. Their assistance in applying to law school and securing internships helped me get to where I am today - a law school graduate beginning my career in tax consulting. I will always be proud and thankful to be a Purple Raider!
James Cunningham '06
My senior year, I worked on/off campus as a student teacher at Alliance Middle School and the local YMCA while juggling max credits hours as an athlete. Coach Homon very supportive of the load I had allowed me to do my co-op experience with him. I learned the recruiting process and helped recruit Cecil Shorts (future NFL player) from my hometown.
Learning how to recruit good people would help propel me into my career in financial services as I now head up a multi-million operation for my company American Income Life. We have been ranked Best Place to Work, Top Workplace, featured on ESPN and Forbes Happiest Companies to Work.
My team has played in our version of a national championship game the 7/10 years producing several national championships, Heisman award winner and named consecutive times to our company executive board. One thing I’m proud of is that we’ve produced more “NFL contract” earners than any other office in our state. I can confidently say the foundation of recruiting and winning started at UMU.
Courtney Gazda '12
My music education at Mount Union definitely shaped my career path. It allowed me to experience music from a lens of both education and performance, and to grow my skills with my instrument of piano and with voice in Concert Choir. I was able to gain experience post-grad with performing on a cruise line, teaching music full time, and completing a graduate degree in arts administration. It ultimately led me to The Cleveland Orchestra, where I return to the facets of my academic experience at Mount Union being able to educate students and district teachers, and still perform with my Cleveland Cocktail Piano side business. I think having a robust and well-rounded major and academics was important in shaping where I am now.
Ida Gorman '13
As an education major I can truly say that Mount gave me an advantage when interviewing for teaching positions through my experiences in undergrad. Not only is the campus beautiful and picturesque, but the University and surroundings of Alliance are rich with history. After graduation, I visited with an aunt out of state who informed me that I was a legacy since my great grandmother attended and graduated in the early 1900’s (Anna Lanam). All along during my journey in college, I replicated my ancestor’s time at Mount Union over a hundred years later unbeknownst as she was also involved in the music department at one point, took on leadership roles, and also passionate about education like I am. Every time I get the chance to step onto campus, I am reminded of this legacy as I take in the picturesque views and reflect on my time with how grateful I was to attend Mount Union as it has given me opportunities beyond belief.
Kayla Hogue '11
As I begin my 10th year in the education field I give so much credit to my undergrad experiences that the University of Mount Union has provided me. I was placed in the Perry Local School District (Massillon, OH) for my student teaching and I’ve been there ever since. What a blessing what I thought would be just a short placement has had on my life.
This year I can finally say that I have come full circle, as I’m teaching undergrad/graduate level special needs preschool courses this summer and fall as an adjunct instructor at UMU. I love getting the opportunity to share my passion for what I do with our future teachers. I was taught by so many wonderful education professors who helped guide me during my years on campus and I now hope to do the same for our current students! 💜
Stacey Mann '11
I have always known that I wanted to be a teacher. The moment I stepped onto Mount Union’s campus I knew I wanted to be a Purple Raider. Dr. Capel and Dr. Askren-Edgehouse were by far the most influential professors for me. Their classes sparked excitement and curiosity. While Dr. Capel’s class reminded me why I wanted to be a teacher with the fundamentals, Dr. Askren-Edgehouse’s class sparked creativity with learning how to incorporate technology and behavior management into the classroom. I am going into my 11th year of teaching. The best part is my Mount Union experience has come full circle. I was blessed to be able to have Dr. Askren-Edgehouse’s daughter in my third grade class and I hope this fall to be able to have her son. Her daughter once said, “If we fail it won’t be Miss Mann’s fault it will be my mom's because she taught her!” I laughed because I knew that would not be the case. Mount Union and these two professors made sure I wouldn’t fail!
Hannah Reimer '18
The phenomenal professors at Mount Union constantly pushed me to be the greatest academic I could be. There was never a time that I felt a professor give up on me, even through my most difficult semesters. I attribute much of my success thus far to my experience at Mount Union that to this day I continue to tell my stories about how my time at Mount has shaped me. I am proud to say I am attending medical school in August, and I have my professors and peers to thank, who never stopped believing in me and my abilities.
Elizabeth Wheeler '16
In my senior year I suddenly figured out a class I needed wasn't offered anymore. My advisor and other professors worked hard to provide a solution and offered two other field-relevant courses I could take instead. I took both, and one of them was the Art SCE. As a digital media major, I assumed I should do a graphic design project. I'd seen other people's and figured I could handle it. I just couldn't get excited about it though. Then Robert Buganski, who taught me design and sculpture, asked why I didn't just do a sculpture SCE. It never would have occurred to me. I thought I should only do something "relevant to my future job." My senior sculpture project is one of the things I'm proudest of and that I enjoyed most at Mount. It even won the Dean's Purchase Award. I use so many of my other courses in my job every day, but I use sculpture constantly in my life and hobbies and I wouldn't have explored it further without Bob's encouragement.
Sarah White-Jarman '21
My adventures, happiest moments, and accomplishments are owed to the professors! The music faculty at Mount Union go above and beyond for their students. Sharing emotions and connecting with students through music is just one of the many reasons why the music faculty is wonderful. I am so thankful to have had such a soul-enriching experience in the music department and to consider professors, friends!
Caleb Zehnder '14
While studying abroad in Thailand at our sister school, Chiangmai University, UMU Professor Mark McConnell led a course on International Business. Our class objective was to create a feasibility study for a company that was looking to potentially open an international operation in Bangkok. The company works to recycle soap from hotels to provide hygiene kits in local areas of need. We were split into groups and given different tasks; from meeting with lawyers, real estate representatives, hotel management, business executives, and more. After traveling to and from Bangkok and compiling our results, the class put together the report for the business; not feasible for what they were looking for unfortunately! However for the students, you couldn’t find a course more relevant, hands on, or impactful to a student like me, pursuing a degree in the business administration. I often talk about this with others as one of the best experiences of my life; and has resonated in many interviews I’ve joined. It’s provided great perspective as a professional, and a memory of a lifetime.