Graduate Assistants Learn on the Job at Otterbein

Posted Feb 11, 2022

Offices and departments across campus rely on graduate assistants to fill part-time roles that benefit both Otterbein and the graduate students. From connecting with professors and professionals to getting real-world experiences they can discuss in their classes, these graduate assistants tell us what they like most about their jobs.

Jordan Stoll Headshot

Jordan Stoll
Westerville, OH
MAT (Master of Arts in Teaching) ’23 – Middle Childhood 4-9, specializations in Social Studies and English Language Arts
Courtright Memorial Library Circulation Graduate Assistant

My role at the library aligns quite well with my work as a future teacher. Working at the library has given me numerous opportunities to work directly with students, helping them with research, assisting them when finding appropriate books for their classes and interests. I get to stay up to date with popular books, which is very helpful when I start to develop my classroom library. I have also become familiar with multiple online research resources that will be great to share with my future students to assist them in class. Additionally, I have the pleasure of working with many amazing individuals who model great kindness, compassion, and wisdom. Their hard work is something that I greatly admire and hope to one day model to my future students.”

Kelsey Brown
Milford, Ohio
MBA ’22
MBA Program Graduate Assistant

In my role I manage the MBA Program’s social media pages and handle internal communication with the students in the program. Working in an administrative role that’s primarily community-facing is perfect experience for the field I want to go into — non-profit arts administration. Additionally, since I spend a lot of time in Roush, it’s easy for me to visit professors during office hours or pop in to ask a question when I have one, and they all know me before I walk into any class, so it helps to build that professor-student relationship!

Sarah Hunter
Columbus, Ohio
MAT (Master of Art in Teaching) – Middle Childhood Math and Science ’23
Otterbein Department of Education Graduate Assistant

I assist with student-teacher correspondences, including sending out official documents to student-teachers, supervisors, and cooperating teachers. I help with department events, social media pages, website changes, and many other administrative tasks. I get to know the education professors, students, and the programs very well. This opportunity may help me form connections with hiring representatives or teachers of school districts that I communicate with via email. My job requires skills that make me marketable as a future employee!

James Akers Photo

James Akers
Columbus, Ohio
MBA ’23
Office of Events and Conferences Graduate Assistant

I am responsible for the start to finish process of event planning to event execution and follow-up. I am also responsible for overseeing the undergraduate student workers in our office. In events, it is important to know how all of your decisions affect the business side of things. Getting real-world knowledge and application gives further credibility to the coursework that I am receiving here at Otterbein. Leading a team of student workers, and being a crucial part of the events team, shows you how different people can use differences and experiences to collaborate and make something better. I work with an amazing team that is collaborative, innovative, and dedicated.

Sammer Hamed
Hilliard, Ohio
MSAH: Healthcare Administration ’22
Athletic Training Graduate Assistant

I serve as the athletic trainer for several sports teams on campus, including football, wrestling, and women’s lacrosse. My current role allows me to make connections between the subject matter I learn in class and my day-to-day operations at work. This program and position will help me in the future by allowing me to work on my craft as an allied health professional and make relationships to help advance myself in my field.

Bronwyn Headshot

Bronwyn Buys du Plessis
Oyster Bay, South Africa
MBA ’22
The Point Maker Space Graduate Assistant

I support operational needs of The Point, including records, online financial, and project management. In my position I have learned how to communicate effectively to staff and customers, negotiate on pricings for projects, and complete certain projects. I have become more

effective in managing schedules, projects, and meetings. This has helped me learn skills that I can apply in my MBA Program. I don’t know where the future might take me, but this degree will surely help. I am hoping in the future that I will be able to open up my own veterinary practice and run the company as a business and as a clinic to help my community and to help animals in all shapes and sizes.

Josie Andres
Sunman, Indiana
MBA ’22
Volleyball Graduate Assistant

As the graduate assistant for the volleyball program here at Otterbein, I am honored to serve in quite a few roles. I have been given coaching opportunities, helped manage summer tournaments/camps, attended recruiting showcases, and run practice/lifts — all are chances to enrich my experience for the future. As an assistant I am constantly incorporating the skills of management, decision making, data/stats, and much more into my current role. I have been able to use my position as a viewpoint/perspective in many class discussions and assignments relating to business administration. Every day has been an opportunity/chance to help the volleyball program, and myself, grow and develop. There is no doubt that working under the leadership of Coach Wright has set me up for a very promising future in coaching. The people I have met, worked with, and learned from want nothing but the best for you here at Otterbein. It has been an honor being a part of the MBA program and the GA for the volleyball program.”

Mack Conlon
Hillsboro, Ohio
MBA ’22
Track and Field and Cross-Country Graduate Assistant

I work on coaching, recruiting, connecting with prospective students, and few administrative roles. Being a graduate assistant while getting my MBA has been most helpful within the classroom. Coaching and recruiting are not typically quiet activities, and because the MBA program here fosters a lot of peer-to-peer engagement and communication, I believe that has helped me grow more confident in the classroom. I was never one to talk much or engage verbally that often in class as an undergraduate, but through the life skills of having to coach others, it makes engaging in class discussion much easier. I also think it provides a built-in support system.

Priscilla Severance
Columbus, Ohio
MSAH: Healthcare Administration ’23
Otterbein Women’s Soccer Team Graduate Assistant

My undergrad degree is in exercise science, so I apply what I have learned through my degree. My current role as the graduate assistant helps me become more of a leader in whatever role I take on. Having leadership experience is a big part of being a health administrator. The fact that I get to learn leadership skills through my graduate assistant position is crucial for me. This role and program will help me become a strong leader and be a stronger teammate through collaboration, leadership opportunities, and true hands-on work. Being able to work with others is an essential part of any job, especially in the healthcare world. I am excited for what the future holds, and I am so thankful that Otterbein has been a huge part of that.