The Mottos of RMU Guide a Graduate to Success

Mike Lafayette, Staff Writer

Robert Morris uses several
motivational mottos, such as “Means Business”, “Seasoned for Success” and
“Changing Lives”.

Lisa Klugh, a Robert
Morris University (RMU) graduate and middle school teacher, is a representative
of these mottos and lives with them every day.

Unlike most students,
Klugh had a plan for what she wanted to do after graduating from high
school.  She wanted to teach business,
but she wasn’t sure where. After doing some research, she found that RMU not
only “Means Business”, they also mean business in their education.

“There were a few schools
that offered business education degrees, but none of them had the reputation of
Robert Morris,” Klugh said.

Another RMU motto is,
“Seasoned for Success “. She finished her undergraduate work in three and a
half years and completed her student teaching immediately after. In an
incredibly tough job market, she attained a position teaching business in the
Shaler School District her first year out of college. She explained that RMU’s
“reputation as a business school definitely helped.”

“As potential future
teachers, we often hear how hard it is to get a job in our field,” said
Stephanie Seretti, a post graduate Instructional Leadership student. “Getting a
teaching job is tough…getting a teaching job right out of school is a miracle.”

Klugh continued to enhance
her education by taking masters classes at RMU while working full time at
Shaler. She transitioned into her new role as student, road warrior, and full
time teacher.

Klugh’s daily commute went
from Murrysville– an eastern suburb of Pittsburgh– to Shaler– a northern
suburb of Pittsburgh– to RMU and back home again. The commute was 79 miles
round trip. She would start teaching at 7:25 a.m. and end her day after her RMU
class at roughly 10 o’ clock p.m.

She graduated with a
master’s degree in a year taking classes whenever she could, even during the
summer. However, she did not complain. She rated her experience at RMU a “10
out of 10”.

Klugh attributes her
academic success to guidance from RMU professor and Coordinator of Business,
Computer & IT Certification, Donna Cellante.

“Dr. Cellante was great,”
Klugh said. “She was always willing to help.”

Cellante said RMU business
education students have an edge over candidates from other schools.

“We put the students
through extensive training,” she explained. “They attend a methods class where
they meet every day for three and half weeks from 8:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. right
before they student teach. The lessons that they create in the Methods class
can be taken right from RMU and performed in a school setting.”

Klugh has been a teacher
at Shaler Area Middle School since 2005. Currently, her primary focus is
teaching Keyboarding and Career Development. However, she often finds that she
teaches more.  Klugh credits her RMU
education to help her influence the lives of hundreds of students on a weekly

Part of Cellante’s method
class is also dedicated to “Changing Lives” of the students that the future
teachers will educate. While content is the driving force behind a teacher,
there are other aspects of students that educators need to develop as well.

“Part of my job is to help
future teachers realize the impact they will have on their students,”         Cellante said. “I teach them that you
don’t know the background of your students. You don’t know what happened to
them before they got to school today. You have to have a little patience, be
supportive and take the time to show them the right way to do things.”

Klugh utilizes these
skills every day.  She had a student in
one of her business classes named Jeremy. Jeremy was in a class filled with
children with behavioral issues and he could have been considered an “at risk”
student himself.

“He started down that
path.” Klugh said. “He had gotten into serious trouble two or three times.”  Klugh used her training at Robert Morris to
step in.

“Each student is an
individual,” said Klugh. “I think I was able [to] adapt my teaching to make the
material a little more relevant to him.”

“Instead of lumping a
student like Jeremy in with all of the other students and expecting him to
perform, I was able [to] change my teaching style to help him,” she said. “He
ended up doing really well in the class.”

Jeremy came back to visit
Klugh on a recent return trip to Shaler. He had joined the Army and was looking
to thank her for her guidance.

“He came to visit because
I showed that I cared,” she said.

Klugh’s RMU education
helped her to “Change Lives” beyond helping students pass keyboarding and
career development classes. It helped her create a better life for someone at
risk of failing.

Lisa Klugh is a living,
breathing example of Robert Morris’s mottos in action.  Klugh’s professional preparation at RMU has
paved the way for her success. Klugh has helped students create their personal
success. She has used her RMU business education and training to change lives
and help future generations create a better life for themselves.