The Ohio State University at Mansfield was supposed to be a stepping stone to his future. Instead, Scott Schag found himself “falling in love” with campus and, in turn, found it to be a launching ground for a remarkable college career.
“I had known of it and the great value that it presented,” he explains, “But had intended on using it to gain transfer credits and then leave after a year since I was undecided.”
That first year, however, would bring something to Scott’s attention. “All of my friends who had gone away to school had bad experiences. They were in classes where the professor was never there and were being taught by a Teaching Assistant, or they were paying out the wazoo for tuition and becoming bogged down in loans.” His experience was markedly different. “I looked around and loved all of my classes, was maintaining an amazing GPA, knew my professors by name, had not accrued any debt, and really loved the community of the campus. I was hooked.”
It was not just his success that he enjoyed, it was the people who helped along the way. “Professors really take the time to make sure that you are doing well,” notes Scott, “The fact that you can approach them about issues is great! The small classes lend themselves to that amazingly well.”
Scott enjoyed his classes, and has no shortage of them to prove it. “I think I liked the campus so much that I hopped around majors in order to stay longer,” he jokes, “I changed four times from Zoology to Theatre to History to Education.” It would prove to be a combination of two of those stops that would prove to be his final destination.
Scott first got involved in theater when he was asked to help backstage during Ohio State Mansfield’s collaboration with Mansfield Youth Theater’s production of Beauty and the Beast, Jr. Scott enjoyed working with young actors and that experience caused him to enroll in a class in which he was immersed in a local classroom. He was not disappointed. Working on stage and in the classroom were so enjoyable that it would finally settle a long time question of “What should my major be?” for good.
Scott settled on an early childhood education major with a minor in theater. While the choice took time, the Shelby native could not be more sure of it. “It means the difference between a practice and a profession,” says Scott, “It affords me the opportunity to be an informed academic making a difference in every classroom and every child.”
In his 7 years on campus, Scott has been involved in a variety of things on campus and in the community. His stay has seen him as a Writing Consultant in the Campus Writing Center, a Welcome Leader for student orientations, a member of the English Club, Theatre Club, Club Ed, volunteering at local non-profits, and on stage. Scott’s most recent show, 9 to 5 The Musical, marks his 30th production. He has gone from backstage to filling roles such as the Cat in the Hat in Seussical the Musical, playing Seymour in Little Shop of Horrors, The UPS man in Legally Blonde, and Victor Frankenstein in Playing with Fire: After Frankenstein.
When asked to name one facet of his experience in particular, he does not hesitate. “I really love working with [Theater Director and Professor] Joe Fahey. He makes everything so much fun when you’re an actor and he really cares about the experience that you have.” Scott also notes that Dr. Fahey is not afraid to act as a stand in when props are unavailable. “During one of my first shows, he was kind enough to act as a human roadblock for me to fall over repeatedly. It was frightening and hilarious at the same time.”
When he is handed his M.Ed in Education, he knows exactly where he wants to go next. “I want to teach in the New York City public school system and get involved in theatre along the way, whether performing myself or being involved in Children’s theatre.”
As he enters the world stage, Scott is preparing to become an educator just like the ones he met at Ohio State Mansfield. “I never felt that a professor didn’t want to be there. They want you to succeed!” And as a result, those professors have watched Scott do just that.