Staff Spotlight: Barbara Bohlman, EMBA Program

Staff Spotlight: Barbara Bohlman, EMBA Program

Posted 10.17.05

Barbara recently received the Executive Education Staff Recognition Award. In presenting the award, Jennifer Lahman, Director of the Executive MBA program said “Barbara works tirelessly to assist our EMBA participants, faculty and alumni. She is constantly juggling multiple priorities and does it with a smile. She is frequently mentioned in our exit surveys as the main reason the program runs efficiently. Barbara is the epitome of staff excellence.”  (Picture caption:  Jennifer Lahman, Barbara Bohlman, and Dean Myron Roomkin)

What is your role and how long have you been at Weatherhead?
I’ve been with Weatherhead for just over 4 years and am the manager of the Executive MBA (EMBA) program. My job is about supporting our students by basically taking the “noise” out of the process so they can concentrate on their studies, such as registering them for classes, getting books, even bringing Access Services to them to get their I.D's.

How about some personal information?
I have two grown children, and I am going to be a grandma in January. I live in Cleveland Heights and have a 14.5 year old dog Penny that shares my home with me.

I’m from Allentown, Pennsylvania and went to school in Maryland, but I’ve lived here longer than anywhere else.

How did you end up at Weatherhead?
My undergraduate degree is in Fine Arts. I then raised my two children and did a lot of volunteer work at the Cleveland Orchestra and the the Cleveland Museum of Art.  When I was ready to return the work force, I spent several years doing various jobs at the the Cleveland Botanical Garden. During that time, I decided to pursue a Nonprofit Management Degree from the Case Mandel School.  Within my first year of taking classes, the Executive MBA program manager position opened up.  I decided to apply, got the job, and have been here ever since.

But you graduated in 2005 with an MBA? 
Yes, after working at Weatherhead and becoming more familiar with the opportunities available, I decided to switch to the MBA degree in the part-time evening program with concentrations in nonprofit management and accounting.  It took me 5 years...but it was well worth it!

Some would think that I would take a break from school...but, I’m currently seeking a Master of Accountancy via distance learning from the University of Maryland.   Part of my reason for doing this was to experience being on the student-side of a distance learning program, just like our Executive MBA students.  It has allowed me to better serve them.

Best job or job experience?
I thoroughly enjoy graduation when I get to watch students with whom I have worked so closely walk across the stage at commencement with their families. Two favorite moments -- one was when a graduate from the first class walked across the stage with his 7 children.  Another was in 2004 when one of the graduates walked with his wife...and their newborn triplets!

Most memorable Weatherhead moment?
One of my favorite moments was when I was able to facilitate a unique learning experience for a first year Operations class.  A study group needed to present a case study about a California company, Everdream.  To enhance their presentation, I worked with them to coordinate a video conference with the CEO of the company. To the great surprise of their classmates, after the group gave their presentation, the CEO was a virtual guest appearing on a screen in front of the classroom, ready to provide feedback to the study group and answer questions from the class.  It was a moment that neither the students nor I have ever forgotten! 

To me, it was a great example of how important Executive MBA study groups are, and how thinking creativily can have a tremendous impact on learning.

Mentor or person who inspires/inspired you?
Well, my role model is my mother. She is 92 and still working and mowing her own lawn. She has taught me the value of being an adult learner and to aspire to always do new and different things.

I have also been inpired by Julia Grant, a Weatherhead Accounting professor who is also a yoga instructor.  She has participated in several Executive Education staff meetings and retreats to talk to us about ways to incorporate yoga into our work lives.  Her holistic approach to life is very inspirational.  She's also a terrific person to work with.

Some people collect art and antiques; I collect Accounting books!  You should see my book shelf in my study.  I also enjoy gardening.

What do you do to relieve stress?
I’ve been playing classical piano since I was five years old. Playing Beethoven is my favorite stress buster.   I also love walking around the Shaker lakes, weather permitting, of course!

Last good book you’ve read or are reading now?
I am reading a book that was recommended by Case President Edward Hundert in a all-Case email communication.  It's called Mountains Beyond Mountains and is an amazing story about a doctor who came from a very poor family and dedicated his career to helping people in third world countries.

Interested in learning more about Weatherhead programs? Request more information or apply now, or register for one of over 70 open enrollment courses through Executive Education.

Weatherhead School of Management at Case Western Reserve University cultivates creativity, innovation, and purpose-driven leadership to design a better world.

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