Huntington University is a Christian liberal arts college in Indiana

High standards:

PE teacher a winner among students
Maria (McCabe) Hallman on advantages of physical education degree program at Huntington University, a Christian college.

"An HU professor makes each student feel important. I carried that example into my classroom."

Huntington University gave Maria (McCabe) Hallman the tools to run a structured, disciplined classroom – traits required for successful students and athletes.

“My students know what I expect from them and aren’t afraid to take a leadership role,” she said. “They understand that I expect quite a bit from them and that I won’t let them slide by.”

Maria taught physical education and health courses at DeKalb High School after graduating in 2003 with a degree in physical education. She’s also went on to pursue her master’s degree in sports management at Ball State University. After completing an internship with the Fort Wayne Fusion, she graduated in June 2008.

While Maria feels confident about the education she received in her core area, she also sees the value of having a liberal arts background.

“Huntington provided me with a well-rounded education,” she said. “I was able to learn a variety of things and not just my field of study. I now feel comfortable helping my students in all subjects and not just physical education or health.”

Maria believes her professors made all of the difference in her undergraduate years and also her teaching methods.

“An HU professor makes each student feel important,” she said. “I carried that example into my classroom. I try not having favorites, and the students respond more when they are all on a level playing field. Asking students to do their best and then getting more out of them than they thought has allowed me to have a positive classroom environment."

Having been a student at both a private, Christian institution and now a large, state university, Maria has become more aware of the strengths of her Huntington experience.

“HU gives each student the possibility to be heard,” she said previously. “Since I am going for my master’s at BSU, I am finding the differences between the universities when it comes to the relationship between professor and student. HU professors encouraged us to call, e-mail or visit with any question we had. Their door was always open. HU professors encouraged me to think for myself.

Not only was she challenged academically, she also experienced physical challenges at Huntington. Maria played volleyball and softball as a student and carried on her athletic career as a coach through her position at DeKalb High School. She coached varsity volleyball and junior varsity basketball until she gave up those roles to spend more time with her two children.

“It’s wonderful to be a coach when you are a teacher,” she said. “However, I think it’s important to be a teacher first because you teach your students more during the day than you do your players. As a coach, I tried to put my athletes first and teach them the fundamentals of life and of the game.

At Huntington, Maria developed as a student and an athlete, but most importantly, she became a growing, thinking Christian.

“I loved being challenged to think about my faith,” she said. “I loved the classes that made me examine my beliefs and values – the classes that made me think about who I am and what kind of Christian I want to be. I am now leading that Christian life and displaying it for my children and family.”

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