Ryder Cunningham, '14
Ryder Cunningham, a senior from Tuscarawas, Ohio, is double-majoring in English and Spanish.
Like many students, Ryder chose Muskingum primarily because “it just felt like the right place.”
Ryder is active on campus as a writing tutor for the Student Athlete Study Center, Vice-President of Spanish Club, and a member of Phi Sigma Iota (the foreign language honorary) and Sigma Tau Delta (the English honorary).
Ryder studied abroad in Córdoba, Argentina. “While being abroad in Argentina…I tried to embrace each new experience and be open to the culture. After graduating, my goal is to work toward my Ph.D in Spanish in order to become a professor.”
Heidi Landis, '14
Heidi Landis, a junior from New Waterford, Ohio, is majoring in geology and chemistry. She spent the summer at Northern Arizona University’s Research Experience for Undergraduates (REU). During the eight-week session, Heidi “applied Optically Stimulated Luminescence (OSL) dating to the lava flow of Strawberry Crater volcano in the San Francisco Volcanic Field, Arizona.”
“When quartz minerals are buried, the natural radiation around them causes them to slowly gain energy due to the movement of electrons in to higher-energy ‘traps.’ When exposed to light, heat, or certain radiation, the electrons are released from the traps along with energy that can be read as luminescence. The luminescence signal increases with the amount of time the sample was buried, so the amount of time since the burial of the grain can be calculated,” she explains further.
On campus, Heidi is involved in many clubs and organizations, including Cru and the Lighthouse, two Christian life organizations; Circle K, a volunteer organization; academic groups, including American Chemical Society, Geology Club, and ODK; and World Vision and the Muskingum Anime Group. She also attends Zumba and Kelley Coffeehouse, and works in the Student Success Center as a tutor.
Heidi found Muskingum through an online college search and, upon visiting campus, liked the size of the school. She is thankful for “the great community of students and professors; there is always someone to go to for help or advice.”
Chelsea Blamble, '14
Chelsea Blamble, a nursing student, will graduate in 2014 with her Bachelors of Science in Nursing. Her primary reason for choosing Muskingum was the nursing program, and she has not been disappointed.
“My nursing experience has been amazing...the nursing program itself is like a family. My biggest class size right now in nursing is 23 and my smallest class size is 7. The program is definitely NOT easy, but it is possible. It is challenging, but it gets you ready to take the NCLEX [National Council Licensure Examination for nursing graduates]….
“Clinicals are my favorite part – I get so much hands-on experience. The nice thing about this nursing program is that your sophomore year, you start clinicals right away, and by the end of the year you are administering medications to patients! Last spring I had clinical at the Nationwide Children’s Hospital in Columbus. However, most of our clinicals are either in Zanesville or Cambridge. For me personally, I love the surgery setting. My favorite part is going into the OR and watching surgeries firsthand.”
Chelsea hopes to someday be a Nurse Practitioner or Nurse Anesthetist. She plans to work in critical care for a year or two and then move on to grad school.
Besides being dedicated to her studies, Chelsea is involved in Greek life (she is the president of her sorority) and is a violinist in the South Eastern Ohio Symphony Orchestra. She also coordinated Muskie Preview, the orientation for incoming freshmen in May. She is a campus tour guide and is involved with the Board of Trustees.
Cameron Godfrey, '16
Cameron Godfrey, a chemistry major with an integrated science and chemistry teaching certification, spent his summer in Ocean City, New Jersey on a Summer Project with Cru, an international Christian ministry.
Cameron knew several current Muskingum students, as well as alumni, who also spent a summer during college on a Summer Project. Their high praise of the experience encouraged Cameron to apply.
During his Summer Project, Cameron worked full-time doing maintenance and construction work for the owner of the building where he was staying in Ocean City. He lived with other students from around the country, as well as Cru staff members. Throughout the summer, students built relationships with one another and with their co-workers. They engaged in Bible studies, leadership skill-building, and spiritual growth activities.
Cameron spoke of his experiences in the workplace: “We reached out to those around us, specifically those at work, who did not know Jesus. We did this in a loving and non-intrusive way, meaning that if they did not want to hear it then we did not push the topic any further; we wanted to respect their individual beliefs.”
Halfway through his twelve-week Summer Project, Cru staff members left and students then picked up the leadership roles formerly filled by the staff.
Emily Bay, '14
Emily Bay, ’14, a chemistry major from Cumberland, Ohio, spent her summer interning at Akron Children’s Hospital, where she did clinical research in neonatology.
“As a Summer Pediatric Research Intern, I worked under two attending neonatologists,” she explained, one of whom was the Director of Neonatology. “I am doing a retrospective review for [some of their previous] research (on past patients) but am working with the entire NICU in the daily running as well, mainly shadowing.”
Emily first heard about the internship from Jackie Vascura in Career Services. “Jackie has been wonderful, critiquing everything from applications to cover letters,” Emily says.
Emily puts her chemistry coursework to good use on campus as a tutor in the Student Success Center, a Chemistry Lab Mentor for freshmen classes and president of the American Chemistry Society. She is also secretary of Omicron Delta Kappa, an academic honorary, and a member of Beta Beta Beta, the biology honorary. She ran cross country for her first three years as a student.
Emily plans to continue her education with graduate study after leaving Muskingum, although she isn’t sure exactly how that will look. “The research experiences I have had at Muskingum… lead me to believe that a career in research is definitely a possibility. Our advanced lab class simulated what research in the ‘real world’ is like and being exposed to those types of situations has influenced what I think I want to do with my life,” she states.
When asked what part of her Muskingum education she is most thankful for, Emily responded: “The chemistry department faculty is incredibly demanding in their expectations of the quality of work I turn in. Through struggling and being forced to work harder than I ever have before, I think it has made me a better student and shown me that I can handle more than I ever felt possible.”
Elaine Blood, '13
Elaine Blood is not your traditional undergraduate student. Until recently, she was working at Cedarville University, taking one class per semester for several years as she worked toward a bachelor’s degree in graphic design. However, upon marrying Head Athletic Trainer Ken Blood, Elaine decided to take classes full-time at Muskingum so that she could complete her degree by December of this year. She is now a digital media design major.
Elaine jokes that she takes on “more of a ‘mom’ role” with her classmates.
Elaine spent the summer interning at Whispering Willows Primitives, where she had the opportunity to design a logo; work on the layout and design of a website; create an online presence in social media, including a Pinterest page; as well as create some promotional pieces for the business. “It has served to build upon the principles I’ve been learning in my classes throughout the years and the experience will be a great addition to my résumé. It has been a great experience and I hope that the things I've created for Kimberly, the owner, will greatly benefit her business.” Elaine says of the internship.
Whispering Willow Primitives, which is located in a pole barn just a few miles outside of New Concord as you drive east on Route 40, “doesn't look like much from the outside, but Kimberly purchases used furniture and odds ‘n’ ends at auctions and refurbishes the pieces for sale. When I realized that my taste is very similar to Kimberly’s, I approached her with the idea of my internship. We worked through the specifics and I proposed the idea to my advisor and department chair and they approved.”
Karen Sidwell, '15
Since February of this year, Karen Sidwell, a rising junior from Zanesville, Ohio, has been interning in the Purchasing Department of The Fabri-Form Company. A staff member recommended her for the position.
Her experiences have been varied and her opportunities to learn continue to expand. “Being able to work for a company, learning how they do business and being given many responsibilities is great learning experience. I am very grateful to have received this opportunity [and] I have learned so much.”
Karen has had the opportunity to practice everything from simple office tasks like filing and answering the phones to writing reports, filling purchase orders, and even working on invoices in the accounting office.
Karen is a triple-major in public accounting, business and economics.
Lindsay Mullen, '14
Lindsay Mullen, ’14, is a native of Marietta, Ohio majoring in mathematics and working towards her teaching license for grades 7-12. She made her first college visit to Muskingum and felt that it offered the “whole package…great financial aid, great education and math departments, and professors and students that really made me feel welcome.”
As a senior in high school, Lindsay applied for the Choose Appalachian Teaching (CAT) Scholarship, which is awarded to students from an Appalachian region who commit to teaching math or science in Appalachia upon graduation from college. As a part of her scholarship, Lindsay attends a yearly symposium in which students, professors, educators and researchers come together to discuss education within Appalachian schools.
“Presenters of all varieties share their research. What makes this program so unique is that the [recipients of] this scholarship are even given the chance to be the presenters. During a scholar’s senior year at the symposium, he or she will present a research project [related] to math and science education. I’m currently working on my research project to present next September. Right now my main focus and interests are on curriculum and calculator dependency.”
Lindsay says, “this scholarship has not only given me a chance to do research that will be useful for my future as a teacher, but it has also given me so many connections…with people from all different universities and school systems, and these connections could last a lifetime. I have people at several locations that I can get advice or help from and these are people I may not have met had I not accepted this scholarship. …I strongly recommend that people look into this scholarship.”
Of her interactions with Muskingum faculty, Lindsay says, “When I came to Muskingum as a freshman, I didn't really expect every professor to know me by name or know me by my character. However, every professor I have had so far has made the effort to get to know me as an individual and not just a number in the class. The professors want to support me and they want to see me succeed. I began seeing this more and more throughout my time at Muskingum and I never would have anticipated the length professors would go to ensure that my future looks bright and successful. Many of my professors have set me up with job opportunities in which they refer me to different individuals hiring. Most of these referrals have been for tutoring or education-related jobs, but these are things that make my résumé look good for the future when I enter an interview for a potential job in a school. It is amazing what lengths professors have gone just in order to help me out in the long run.”
Chelsea Newill, '15
Chelsea Newill, a sophomore history and English major from Alliance, Ohio, chose Muskingum primarily because of the small class sizes. “I felt…I would be able to really develop relationships with people here.”
Chelsea stays active on campus serving as a Resident Assistant (RA) in Kelley Hall and the president of Circle K International, a community service club on campus. She is also a member of FAD, a sorority on campus.
Her expectations for a close-knit community on campus were exceeded, first when she became an RA and then when she joined her sorority. “I found groups of people that I really fit in with and could confide in, which has been wonderful.”
Chelsea has also been impressed by “the caliber of educators in the history and English departments.”
Chelsea’s advice to seniors in search of a college is to “stay overnight with a college student, go to class with them for a day, and get a feel for what the college life is like so it’s not as much of a shock when [you] make the transition from high school to college. Talk to…students and get an idea of what their work load is like, how much time should be devoted to studying, etc."
Brock Yackey, '15
For Brock Yackey, ’15, you could say that magenta is in his blood. A North Carolina native, Brock is the 11th member of his family to attend Muskingum!
When Brock was making his college decision, he appreciated the small school atmosphere that Muskingum provides. “I knew that I would be able to have a closer relationship with my teachers and classmates than I would at a big school,” Brock explains.
Brock is one student taking full advantage of all that Muskingum has to offer. He plays for the men’s soccer team, and wrestled during his freshman year. He is also a member of Ulster Fraternity and an employee in the Alumni Office.
Brock joined Ulster during his freshman year; he was the youngest member of his pledge class and, at the time, the youngest member in Ulster’s history. As part of Ulster, Brock and his fraternity brothers participate in community service projects. They recently helped to run games at the Pike Elementary School carnival.
Brock speaks candidly about his positive experience with the PLUS Program, which serves students with learning differences. He is thankful that, along with his hard work, the staff in the PLUS Program have helped him make the Dean’s List for three semesters running.
Brock advises students searching for a college to “find a college that you like, not one all your friends are going to. I would also tell them to take a risk and be willing to expand themselves to be able to accept anything that happens in life.”
Max Goldenberg, '13
Senior Max Goldenberg of Indianapolis, Indiana, will be graduating in May with a major in business.
Max spent two summers (2011 & 2012) during college working at Goodwill of Central Indiana, where he gained valuable experience that built on what he had learned in his business classes.
During the first summer internship, Max worked in the Sustainability Department, where he created initiatives to enable the stores to become energy efficient. At the end of that project, he presented his research to the Board of Directors and the Fundraising Board for Goodwill of Central Indiana.
For his second internship, Max worked in the Human Resources Department, where he learned to write audits and termination reports, among other projects.
Max cites his coursework at Muskingum as very helpful in preparing him for his internships, particularly his accounting classes, which taught him to work in Microsoft Excel.
When he enrolled at Muskingum, Max didn’t expect to find much to do in a small town, especially since he was coming from a city. However, he found something very different when he arrived on campus: “When I started to make friends and got to know my surroundings I found that in order to have fun, you have to create it, which made things more interesting and a great experience.”
Max also said that “I always pictured that I would be on my own in college and that there would be no help from my professors or anyone else. This was definitely not the case at Muskingum. Every professor cares about each and every student and their learning experiences….”
Max cites Gary Golden, business professor, as one of his most important influences on campus: “he challenges me…because he sees the potential in me and wants me to develop the skill sets to accomplish that outcome.”
After graduation, Max hopes to return to his hometown and work for a non-profit organization.
Jing Huang, '14
Jing Huang, ’14, is a journalism and sociology major from Lanzhou, China. She chose Muskingum because of the relationship the University has developed with her high school. Several students from her high school attend Muskingum because of the relationship Professor of Art Yan Sun – an alumnus of the same high school – has helped to forge.
Jing is involved as a staff writer at the Black and Magenta, the campus newspaper; last semester, she was a deejay on WMCO, the campus radio station.
For Jing, one of the benefits to the journalism program at Muskingum is that “every media or journalism major [here] has equal chances to practice what they have learned in our own TV station, radio station or newspaper office, and moreover, Muskingum’s programs even require us to take practicum classes. I think it’s the best thing about a small school – everybody gets the chance to use good resources.”
For instance, last year Jing “wrote a radio commercial for a local hair salon in Media Writing and Performance class. The owner of the salon picked my script as one of the best scripts. I was really glad how I applied what I have learned in [the classroom to] real life. I thought it was a great chance to actually write a commercial for a real business.”
Jing has found MU to be “a supportive community where students can grow up and be independent. Faculty and staff members are responsible and patient. Professors always know everybody’s name, and they grade every single assignment carefully. It is a place that makes you want to make efforts and be proactive. MU may seem small in scale, but it is a good place to find yourself.”
Ellen Conkey, '14
Ellen Conkey, ’14, is a special education major from Cleveland Heights. She chose Muskingum because of the PLUS program: “They are one of the best tutoring centers in this part of the country and they have really helped me throughout my years at Muskingum.”
Ellen is a “typical” Muskie in that she is very involved in a number of campus organizations that are of interest to her, including Circle K International (a service club); her sorority, FAD; and the M.I.N.D. Tutoring/Mentoring program.
In addition to her membership in each of those organizations, Ellen serves in a leadership capacity within Circle K: “I am the Lieutenant Governor…, which means I keep in contact with Marietta College, Muskingum University, and Ohio University's Circle K Internationals…. I make sure each club is on track with everything and help answer…questions they may have….”
As a tutor and mentor, Ellen works with students in Zanesville that come from broken families. “This is my 3rd year working with these children and I have seen much progress with each student’s grades as well as themselves.”
For Ellen, as for many students, the relationships formed on campus are one of her favorite parts of her experience at Muskingum. “I have made some great friends here at Muskingum. I know that there are a handful of people here that are going to be my lifelong friends. Muskingum [also] has some wonderful staff members. I have not had one professor that I did not like. The ones that I have had for class are very intelligent and I learned a lot from each and every one of them!”
Megan Duke, '14, and Valerie Toothman, '14
Two Muskingum University education students, Megan Duke and Valerie Toothman, co-presented with Dr. Rae White, Chair of the Department of Education, at the annual Appalachia from an Assets Perspective Conference. Hosted at Shawnee State University by the Southeast Ohio Teacher Development Collaborative (SEOTDC) with five universities in partnership, the December 3, 2012 session was entitled Teaching to the Common Core K-8.
Both Ms. Duke and Ms. Toothman are teacher candidates preparing to be mathematics educators, so they engaged the attendees in developing learning targets to set clear goals for students, breaking down the skills and concepts from the Ohio Math Common Core Standards. By using dice, cards and manipulatives they modeled ways to help students understand concepts of median, probability and reinforce multiplication skills. Fluency, including automaticity in computation and understanding, were addressed. Resources were drawn from Dr. Ky Davis’ Math Toolkits for grades K-8. The team built on the keynote presentation of Dr. Davis in how educators can use interactive strategies to foster mathematical knowledge and skill.
Muriel Smith, '13
Muriel Smith, a senior from Lima, Ohio, is double-majoring in History and Child and Family Studies, with a double minor in Political Science and Sociology. She chose Muskingum because of the beautiful scenery, small-town feel, friendliness of students during her visits, and the promise of small class sizes that would allow her to get to know her professors.
Smith stays busy as a Head Resident Assistant (HRA) in Memorial Hall, a member of the Board of Trustees Student Committee, member of two academic honoraries, and Treasurer and Vice President of College Republicans. She also attends Chapel services. Smith says, “I never imagined that college would be so rewarding and that I would grow so much. I fully believe that my experiences at Muskingum have fostered this growth.”
Smith has had numerous unique experiences as a Muskingum student: Helping to create Muskingum’s 175th Anniversary Exhibit, and presenting the exhibit to the Board of Trustees; working as HRA; and serving as student editor of a faculty member’s social gerontology textbook, and writing one of the modules within the text, among others.
Colleen Blair, '13
Colleen Blair, a Muskie from Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, spent her summer interning at AIM Academy, a school dedicated to helping children with language-based learning disabilities such as dyslexia. An Early Childhood Education major, Blair worked with Dr. Rae White, chair of the Education Department, to receive credit for her internship.
Blair feels her education classes have prepared her for life in the professional world by exposing her to many different teaching methods and lesson plan ideas. She hopes to receive her master’s degree in Special Education.
Kim Seitter, '14
Junior Kim Seitter of Dayton, Ohio comes from a long line of Muskies. Both her parents and both sets of grandparents count themselves members of the Long Magenta Line! Kim grew up paging through family scrapbooks and listening to her grandparents’ stories about college life.
However, Kim isn’t just walking in her family members’ footprints – she is creating her own unique path at Muskingum University. She was recently elected to the Top 3 of the 2012 Homecoming court. Kim has also been the starting libero for the volleyball team since her freshman year, earning many honors in the process.
Kim is 4th in career digs and 6th for digs in a single season at Muskingum. During her sophomore year, she received Academic All-OAC (Ohio Athletic Conference); as a first-year student, Seitter was the female recipient of the William F. Lange Outstanding Freshman Award.
Karen DeBaldo, '13
Karen DeBaldo, a senior from Pittsburgh, recently put her classroom education to the test. A German Education major, DeBaldo spent the Spring '12 semester studying abroad in Germany.
In addition to traveling throughout Germany and Europe, DeBaldo was able to attend some traditional German festivals. Of those experiences, she says, "I felt like I stepped into a scene from my high school German book. It was awesome."
DeBaldo feels her time at Muskingum prepared her well for her travel abroad because "it’s actually because Muskingum is so small and personal that I became really comfortable being more assertive. Over the past three years I’ve learned a lot about professional and social settings; talking to professors, talking to other students, taking care of my responsibilities. Even though German culture is very different from here, I developed a great sense of responsibility here and I think Muskingum’s environment fostered that and prepared me for life outside of Ohio. My German classes here also prepared me very well for the level of speaking, reading, and writing I needed to achieve in Germany."
Comparing her expectations of Muskingum with her actual experiences on campus, DeBaldo says, "When visiting and applying I knew that Muskingum was the type of school where I would fit in well and succeed in my classes; I just had no idea exactly how involved I would get, how helpful the professors would be, and how much I would really love it here."
Kaitlyn Shomaker, '13
Kaitlyn Shomaker is a Journalism and English major from Utica, Ohio. As editor of the Black & Magenta, MU’s weekly newspaper, Shomaker appreciates the hands-on experience she has gained in her career field during her four years as a Muskie. She has served the B&M as a staff writer, photographer, and Managing and News Editor prior to her role as Editor-in-Chief. Shomaker says, "I don’t think I would have gotten three years' worth of experience in my career field had I attended a larger school."
Aaron Clark, '13
Senior Aaron Clark from Caldwell, Ohio, came to Muskingum University intending to teach history and eventually become a school administrator. Although his passion for shaping education has not changed, his direction may have because of his experiences at Muskingum.
Aaron works on campus as Head Resident Assistant in Kelley/Patton Halls. He is also the President of Centerboard, the organization that plans on-campus entertainment for the student body. Aaron says, "I credit the RA position to opening up doors because since becoming an RA I’ve done so much more here at Muskingum." He also credits the position with helping him to gain confidence, build relationships, and learn to appreciate diversity.
Because of his on-campus experiences and his interest in education, Aaron is now considering a career in higher education – possibly working in Student Affairs with a focus on activities or first-year advising. He is in the process of applying to graduate schools.
Courtney Yeager, '14 and Isaiah Shakespeare, '14
Congratulations to Homecoming Queen Courtney Yeager, a political science major from St. Clairsville High School, and King Isaiah Shakespeare, a business and sociology major from Cleveland Central Catholic High School.
Courtney Yeager is the daughter of Lisa and Jack Hirschbach. Active on campus, her highlights include being the Alpha Sigma Alpha treasurer, a member of Sigma Alpha Iota, Wind Ensemble, and the marching band.
Isaiah Shakespeare is the son of Dell and Charlynn Shakespeare. Isaiah is a member of the Muskingum basketball team in addition to being involved in the business club and the Black Student Union. His brother, Landel, was last year’s homecoming king.
Robin Swails, '13
Robin Swails, a senior from West Lafayette, Ohio, came to Muskingum with marching band in her blood. After participating for six years at her high school, she chose to stay involved when she entered Muskingum because "I just love marching and getting the crowd pumped up!"
A music minor, Robin is involved in six instrumental and vocal ensembles on campus! She loves marching band because it "is like a big family. We have so many inside jokes and traditions; it's just a blast in general. Other than meeting all the new freshmen each year during band camp, my favorite part is just seeing the crowd get excited when they enjoy our performance."
Robin is assistant to Dr. David Turrill, director of the Marching Muskies. She leads practice on the occasion when he is unable to attend, and makes it her goal to keep the band members motivated.