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Mom Celebrates With New Degree

Date: June 9, 2000
By: Michele Howard
Photo by: Colleen Kelley
Archive: General News

"Get all the education you can possibly get. Never stop. Learn everything you can." This is the advice of Beverly Mohat, and words she lives by. At the age of 47, Mohat, a member of UC's Class of 2000, will be receiving her master's in English. Already she has obtained two bachelor's degrees: one in comprehensive bible from Cedarville College with a minor in music and another in English from UC.

image of Bev Mohat

"I went to Cedarville in the late 70's right out of high school," said Mohat. Later, she wanted to continue her education. "My family knew I was interested in books and stuff. They thought going back to school would get it out of my system-but it's only made it worse."

Her initial decision to return to school was not well received. "I got some flack," she admits. Her family worried it would cut into their time with her. "My pastor thought I would lose my faith-but it got stronger." Mohat is happy to say everyone is proud of her now."I hadn't planned on getting a master's," explained Mohat, "it just worked out that way. I've done well. I didn't want to stop."

Will she stop now?

HARDLY. Next, Mohat plans to apply for an interdisciplinary PhD in English and drama at CCM. She is interested in dramaturgy. "Basically, a dramaturg is a person who advises a play director and helps the director get the interpretation of a play that he wants... while keeping with the text."

A dramaturg also offers an objective viewpoint. "Directors are often too close to the play. I can offer suggestions such as, 'This person needs to be in this light.' I'm like the second pair of eyes."

So what else does Mohat do? "Everything! I raise and breed cockatiels. We hand tame them and then sell to breeders and individuals."

Quite an accomplishment considering she is also the proud owner of five cats. "I've only lost one cockatiel to my cats because she got loose. My cats know they are in big trouble if they even look at the bird cage." And if they forget, Mohat keeps a water bottle handy.

image of Mohat

Mohat also enjoys growing and drying a variety of kitchen herbs, such as sage. In addition, "I make my own jam and jelly in the summer... and I bottle honey and sell it to friends and family. We also sell the honey at Miller's fruit and vegetable market on Galbraith. My husband, Bob, is a silk screen printer by trade, and a licensed beekeeper."

The Mohats have five hives in their backyard. "They have really good honey, we just have to convince the bees to give it to us. Bob collects (the honeycombs), then he brings them into the house and we start extracting."

Mohat also plays the trumpet to accompany hymns at Madeira Baptist. In addition, she and her daughter, Mandy, sing in ensembles, duets and solos at church. "I can sing high soprano, high tenor, alto, bass up and octave and second soprano. I love to sing. It's awesome."

Mandy will be a junior at Landmark Christian next fall. "She was inducted into the National Honor Society this year which tickles me to death! The Lord has blessed!"

Mohat's son, Phil, is a part-time sophomore at UC. "He started in DAAP, but now he's in English. They occasionally bump into each other. "It's kind of weird. Sometimes I hear the professors talking in the hall and they'll mention his name. He is doing well in his classes... and he better."

In addition, Mohat handles two part-time jobs. "I work at the credit center for Federated Department stores" and at LaRosa's in Kenwood on weekends.

This year, Mohat had the opportunity to teach freshman composition. "I really enjoyed it. I probably learned more from my students than they learned from me. They offered fresh insight on things I was very familiar with."

With all these jobs, activities, hobbies and a family, when does Mohat find time to study?

"I study until 2:00 or 2:30 in the morning. I knew I had to get it done, and well, I just did it."

She did do it. In the process, Mohat has accrued many fond memories. In particular, three teachers stand out: her main advisor, Jon Kamholtz, Amy Elder and her CCM advisor, Michael Burnham. "Kamholtz is the best teacher I've ever met in all my college experience. He tells me what I need to hear, even when I don't want to hear it." (Elder) and I have become friends-she also has a teenage daughter. She's very wise." Burnham helped get her on dramatic productions. "For the first, I was an apprentice, then for the rest, I was a dramaturg."

"Their classes have always been mentally challenging. They made me think and work hard. It was an absolute joy being in their classes and adding to my store of knowledge."

"The Lord has blessed. I said that before. He gave me talents and abilities to do what I do. It's been hard, but it's been good. I've cried a lot, but it's been good."

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