December 24, 2019 at 1:59 pm

Alumni | Funcheon Enjoys Working at Crossroads of Technology and Higher Education

A smiling Maria Funcheon

Maria Funcheon

Maria Funcheon ’18M moved back to New York City after graduating from Ohio University with her M.A. in Sociology from the College of Arts and Sciences. New York has been her home since 2008. She rejoined the company she had worked for before grad school, Oxbridge Academic Programs, an organization which runs study abroad programs in Europe and the United States. Her role was as a part-time educational consultant while she looked for a full-time role that would more closely fit her career goals and allow her to utilize the knowledge she gained while achieving her master’s degree.

While at Oxbridge, Funcheon served as director of a brand new professional development program for teachers based at Trinity College, Dublin and worked on aggregating and assessing data in order to plan for future student programs. While working part-time, she also had a number of articles posted in a social justice newspaper, Streetvibes, as well as a an encyclopedia article that she co-authored with Dr. Thomas Vander Ven, who served as her grad school advisor.

She left consulting to join 2U, Inc., a company that powers the online programs for a number of universities, in a full time role as a placement specialist. In this role, she works with master of social work graduate programs with different universities to assist in finding their students field internships corresponding to their degree requirements.

Funcheon also assists with career development and guidance, as well as providing training and mentoring for new staff. As head of the community steering committee, she focuses on educational volunteering and fundraising.

“My master’s policy project focused on the role that technology played in our ability to be effective bystanders,” she says, “and how technology is an even-increasing presence on college campuses, so I feel very lucky to have found a company that values passion for working at the crossroads of higher education and technology.”

She recently relocated back to her hometown of Cincinnati after living away for over ten years, continuing to work with 2U remotely. The flexibility of working remotely allows her to focus more of her time on writing, something she rediscovered her love for during her time at OU. With the upcoming election, she feels she has plenty of material and plans to write on candidates’ plans for free public college, as well as increasing automation and the effect on American jobs.

“I feel very lucky to have been encouraged to pursue seeking publication of my writing by my former professor, Dr. Nicole Kaufman,” Funcheon says, “It was in her class I learned how to hone my skills in writing clearly and concisely for a news publication.”

Outside of work and writing, she spends most of her time with her new rescue dog, Louie (a seven-year-old King Charles Cavalier) or having fun at her part time job at Rhinegeist Brewery in downtown Cincinnati.

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