Professional Violinist Re-tools for a Lost Love – Baseball

Carol clapping while wearing a cap and t-shirt

Carol Laube
Master’s in Athletic Coaching Education

A career violinist, Carol Laube never planned to put down the bow. But when 35 years of playing professionally led to a debilitating nerve injury in her right arm and shoulder, Laube underwent months of physical therapy and had to reconsider her future as a musician.

“I knew that I loved teaching and ‘coaching’ my violin students, and I wanted to do something I loved as much as music—and that was baseball,” says Laube, who today is an assistant baseball coach at Galena High School in Reno, Nevada.

Hoping to coach the sport she loved, she began looking for an athletic coaching education program and chose Ball State University’s because other schools did not require an internship. Laube needed real experience.

Given a new base of knowledge

“Not having an athletic background where my degrees are concerned, it has given me a wonderful base of knowledge to draw from on a variety of subjects from motor function to marketing,” says Laube, who earned violin performance degrees from Rice University, DePaul University, and the University of Nevada, Reno.

Her musical résumé includes a three-year tour of the U.S. and Asia with the Mantovani Orchestra and six years with the Lawrence Welk Show in Branson, Missouri.

Laube added a master’s degree in athletic coaching education to her violin performance degrees in the summer of 2018. Because she has continued to work as associate concertmaster in the Reno Philharmonic and principal second in the Reno Chamber Orchestra, the program’s online format was ideal for her schedule.

Because she also conducts two youth orchestras and teaches students in her own private studio, she appreciated the fact that assignments, exams, and professors were accessible at all hours.

Class projects were “useful”

Laube says she benefited from uncompromising course work that encompassed aspects of coaching on and off the field, including marketing and administration.

“I enjoyed the rigor of the classes—and I liked the discipline that online study brings,” she says.

Assigned projects, such as writing an annual plan for baseball, drafting a personal coaching philosophy, and designing a baseball strength and conditioning program “have been incredibly useful,” says Laube.

In her current position, she coaches Galena High School’s outfielders. “I particularly enjoy creating great defenders that back one another up and manage themselves mentally during the game,” she says. “Coaching allows me to immerse myself in the details, the ‘little things’ that change good players into great players and good teams into great teams.”

Inspired by Coach Dad

Laube calls her dad her first “coach.” In 1950, Don Laube hitchhiked 45 miles away, to and from a major league tryout, three days in a row. As a 17-year-old, he was signed to a minor league contract with the St. Louis Browns.

All the same, his daughter is a lifetime Chicago Cubs fan, having grown up just outside of Chicago. “Though I left baseball behind as a kid, it was never far from my heart – ever,” she claims.

Laube hopes to eventually coach at a community college. “My long-term goal is to coach at a Division II university—and beyond.”

Wrigley Field, maybe?

Drummond pursues passion for putting students on a career path

As a workplace specialist teacher and program director for a certified nurse’s aide (C.N.A.) program, Tiffanney Drummond found her passion in helping high schoolers identify pathways to their chosen careers. So working toward a director of career and technical education (CTE) license, and doing it online, was a natural next step for Drummond to gain the skills and knowledge needed to work with all members—families, faculty, and students—involved in the search process.

“Drummond was recently recognized by Fort Wayne Business Weekly as Administrator of the Year.”

Q: Please talk about your work as the director of career and technical education.

A: I often tell my students I am not a native to education. I’m a former nurse who was inspired to pursue teaching because of the passion of my husband, a former principal. I saw the love he had for his students and his school, and I was drawn to administration because of the difference he made in the lives of his students, his staff, and his community every day. We [Huntington County Community School Corporation and the Learning Center] see ourselves as a one-stop shop for students of all ages. We offer high school vocational programs, adult college courses, adult basic education, and are home to WorkOne in Huntington County.

Q: How has your licensure from Ball State been a factor in your success?

A: Without my degree in career and technical education, I would not have had the opportunity to serve in this leadership position. I get to work with both high school and adult students in my community. My degree and certification have opened doors for me to be a thought leader, a connector, and an advocate for our students to have the best experiences possible so they can be successful in the workforce. I have used the information learned in my master’s program directly in following the requirements for CTE programming in the state of Indiana. I am able to better lead my teachers because I know what is required of us, and just as importantly, I learned how to stay abreast of current events relevant to our field.

Q: In October 2017, you were recognized by Fort Wayne Business Weekly as Administrator of the Year. How has your education at Ball State University contributed to you receiving this award?

A: My master’s degree program at Ball State very much prepared me to take on my current role in administration. My degree is in career and technical education, with a director’s license. This unique program blends CTE curriculum with other valuable administration courses.

Q: What do you enjoy most about your job?

A: What I love about my job is seeing students of all ages find their passion. We are a hands-on, immersive learning environment where students can find the relevance in education. Our students can leave with college credit or dual credit, industry certifications, their high school equivalency, and hopefully, an idea of what they want to do next in life.

For example, education allows students in our machining program to travel to national competitions and visit cities they have never been to. Hard work and education allowed 100 percent of our CNA students to pass their state licensing exam last spring and immediately join the workforce. And education provides our automotive students the opportunity to learn not just how to fix a car, but how to fix a car for the charity Wheels to Prosper and give that car to a deserving member of our community.

Q: What would you tell someone considering an online CTE degree from Ball State? 

A: This degree has a very well rounded curriculum that prepares you for a future in CTE education! Additionally, I met individuals online from all over the state and the country that added to the experience. I was able to learn best practices by others currently in the field in a variety of CTE pathways. This has helped me as an administrator to have a broader knowledge base of CTE pathways outside my own wheelhouse. The biggest challenge I faced as an online student was working on my online course work while also working full time, but the online program was so flexible that honestly it made it very manageable.

Learn more about our Master’s in Career and Technical education.

Alumna Bethany Singer is Math Ready

Kindergarten teacher Bethany Singer says the education she received from Ball State gave her a foundation to teach math to students of all ages. Her master of arts in foundational mathematics teaching in the community college helped her shift her career in the direction she wanted.

“The classes were filled with teaching techniques that I could take back and use in my class immediately.”

Budget cuts facilitate change

After eight satisfying years of teaching middle school math at Byron Center Public Schools in southwestern Michigan, state budget cuts eliminated team teaching arrangements, resulting in longer school days, larger class rosters, and burnout for Bethany Singer.

Certified in early childhood education, she was asked to fill a teaching position in the kindergarten. Because she missed interacting with older students, Singer also found the opportunity to teach college algebra in the evenings at a local university. But after serving as an adjunct for two years, she needed a master’s degree to continue teaching at the college level.

“That was a major piece of my decision to pursue a master’s degree in math education,” says Singer.

Affordability was a factor

Affordability played a consideration in her degree search. “Ball State was very reasonably priced compared to other online programs I found,” she says.

Another factor was the feasibility of pursuing a degree with the other demands in her world.

“Working full time and being a wife and mother to two boys in elementary school required quite a bit of juggling,” says Singer, who considered only online programs before enrolling in Ball State.

Professor helped with publication

Singer says her professors were great mentors.

“The classes that Dr. Ann Leitze taught were filled with teaching techniques that I could take back and use in my class immediately,” says Singer.

After a course in which Singer and her classmates created problem-solving opportunities to use in their respective classrooms, Leitze worked with her grad students to get their project published in a national publication for math teachers.

“When a college student, middle school student, second grader, or kindergartener is in my classroom, they become a part of me,” she says. “The education I received at Ball State University has provided me with an incredible foundation to reach students at any age.”

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