Spring on the York College campus

Hands On: Mary Meisenhelter, PhD

Mary Meisenhelter poses for a group photo with coworkers as they wear construction vests and hardhats

It only takes one person to make a lasting impression. At York College, one such faculty member commonly named by students and alumni is Professor of Management Mary Meisenhelter, PhD. 

Meisenhelter found herself in higher education after attending York College as a student herself. She majored in Psychology and worked in a few local area human resource jobs following graduation. After teaching at York College as an adjunct, she was hired as a full-time instructor. 

“With the support of the College, I was teaching here full-time and going to school at George Washington University,” said Meisenhelter. In order to make that lasting impression, Meisenhelter approaches her teaching style and the way she interacts with students in a way that not only challenges them, but also enables them to experience things for themselves. “I design a course with the intent of how I can get the students to experience HR,” said Meisenhelter, who doesn’t want students to “just learn theory or content.” 

Often her classroom has desks arranged in a circle. A major component of the curriculum is to place students out in the field to experience and see for themselves what it’s like. Through one assignment, Meisenhelter has her students interview an HR professional. “Many times students would get internships as a result of those interviews,” Meisenhelter states with pride. 

As a mentor, Meisenhelter had served as a faculty advisor for Students In Free Enterprise “SIFE” (now ENACTUS), a service club that helps the community while allowing students to learn and build their knowledge of business. Many alumni who were part of SIFE will remember their slogan, “SIFE for life.”