Mount St. Joseph University

Dr. Edwards Spotlight

Academics, Business, Mission Integration, Business Administration, School of Business, Department of Business Administration

By: William Nodo

Mary Ann Edwards, D.B.A.

“Professor Spotlight” aims to familiarize students with their professors by exploring their life story and some of their personal experiences.

Dr. Edwards is a senior faculty member in the School of Business at Mount St. Joseph teaching here since 1985, as an associate professor in the Department of Business Administration. She earned her D.B.A from the University of Sarasota, an M.B.A. and M.A. in Industrial and Labor Relations from the University of Cincinnati, and a B.S. in Communication Arts from Xavier University in Cincinnati.

Dr. Edwards brings the Mount’s mission to life in her classrooms and around campus. We asked her to share a little more about herself.

You have a mixture of degrees; what motivated you to pursue your extensive education?

I love learning and I love new challenges.  When I was a high school student I thrived on asking questions and writing columns for the Gleanings, my Mother of Mercy High School paper.  My bachelor’s degree in Communication Arts focused on journalism. That inquisitive trait has persisted throughout my life. 

Describe your work history.

My first full-time position was at Avco Broadcasting, WLW (700) radio and WLWT (Channel 5) television.  I worked at Avco while completing night classes at Xavier University for seven years.  I used everything I learned from my bachelor’s degree when I worked in the promotions department at Avco.

After graduating from Xavier University and leaving Avco, I spent a wonderful three months backpacking in Europe.  I had saved money for seven years to be able to afford the trip.  Every day was a wonderful adventure and built my confidence.  When I came back to Cincinnati I worked at General Electric Aircraft Engine Group.  I realized at GE that I needed a degree in business to understand the business terminology I used in employee communications.  I also realized that I needed to understand how labor unions and management need to work together for the benefit of the organization.  I began my studies for a MBA degree at the University of Cincinnati.

I was offered a more challenging position at Mead Containers in managing employee communication for 23 plants throughout the U. S.  Twenty-two plants were unionized.  Only one plant had such great relationships between managers and the employees that no union was needed.  After five years at Mead Containers, I decided to pursue my MBA full-time and to earn the M.A. in Industrial and Labor Relations at the University of Cincinnati.  This time as a full-time student was challenging and lead me to grow academically and professionally.

Upon graduation with the masters’ degrees, I worked for Mellon Bank in Pittsburgh for two years.  I then returned to Cincinnati to marry my best friend and to teach at the college level.  I realized that I needed a doctoral degree to further develop my professional competence, and so I gained my Doctor of Business Administration while teaching at Mount St. Joseph University.

What inspires you to teach?

The students in my classes at MSJ make my life complete.  They are interesting people who are developing their skills; and my joy is encouraging and challenging them as they choose their own paths.  My work at MSJ in the supportive environment created by the Sisters of Charity has given me an intellectually stimulating life with a foundation based on caring for others.

Outside of your studies and work, what do you enjoy to do in your spare time?

I love to travel and have spent recent spring breaks in Germany, Holland, Ireland, and Switzerland.  I want to travel much more in the U.S. and in so many other countries.  Each week I am part of a walking group that trains for half-marathons and marathons.  I plan to do many more half-marathons and maybe another marathon or two and more hiking.  I hiked across England during the summer of 2016 and want to try this in more countries.  I have taken a weekly tennis lesson for seven years but never seem to improve from beginner status, but I will keep practicing in singles and doubles play.  Activities that I do whenever time allows are practicing piano, needlework, and reading fiction and nonfiction books.  I am devoted to a weekly Bible study that has provided spiritual support and depth for over 20 years.  The friends that I have made in these activities are the mainstay of my life in addition to my husband and two adult children.