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Josh Wentz, '04

Josh Wentz, '04
Wentz with one of his students, number one NFL draft pick, Jadeveon Clowney

Josh Wentz graduated from Muskingum in 2004 as a double major in music and international business. The Belpre, Ohio native chose Muskingum “because I fell in love with the campus when I scheduled a college visit. I had visited several other schools in Ohio and never got that special feeling you get when you know you've found the right school. It was when I walked out on the lake and stood at the gazebo looking around that I experienced a sort of tranquility that I knew Muskingum was right. Plus, it was only about an hour from home, so that made it an easy decision.”

Since graduation, Wentz has spent many years traveling and performing. He says, “I've sung with many opera companies both in the U.S. and Europe. Most recently, I spent six weeks in Brazil performing all over the state of São Paolo.”

In addition to performing, Wentz finished his Doctor of Musical Arts (DMA) degree and began teaching.  He spent three years teaching at the University of South Carolina where he taught the #1 NFL draft pick, Jadeveon Clowney, in a music appreciation class. Wentz recently accepted a position at Western Wyoming Community College as the head of the music department.

Wentz’s initial post-graduate plans included law school, but at his senior voice recital, professor Carol Wilcox-Jones encouraged him to pursue music education. He auditioned for grad school and received a full tuition waiver and assistantship.

Wentz was well-prepared by his liberal arts education for life after Muskingum: “Not only did my music education at Muskingum prepare me for a professional singing career, but my studies in business helped better equip me for the tools I needed internationally. I hope the years I spent at Muskingum taught me enough about rural living, so that it will benefit me in Wyoming.  It's VERY rural out there!”

For Wentz, it was more than just his classroom education that taught and prepared him for life. “I never realized that, as a young man, I would grow more outside of the classroom than I did inside of the classroom.  The education that was taught was stellar but it was those other experiences outside of the classroom that helped develop who I am today.  I was actively involved with Student Affairs, the STAG club, Phi Mu Alpha Sinfonia, the Student Union, Student Senate, CenterBoard, Greek Life and everything else I could get my hands on.”

"I had so many wonderful professors and allies at Muskingum, but there are two people who really stand out as being the pillars that made me (and so many others) successful in life.  They are both retired but I'm sure their legacies continue to touch and influence students' lives.  They are Professor Bob Jones and Dr. Russ Brown, who I learned so much about what I could do and who I could become.  I will always be thankful to these two men."

Wentz advises students nearing graduation to “Do what you love, even if it presents monumental challenges.”