Rosamaria McMahon makes the most of her IU experience

Rosamaria at an IU basketball game

From creating lessons for students at Rogers Elementary to traveling with the basketball team as a member of the Big Red Basketball Band, Rosamaria McMahon stays busy and dedicated to her work at IU.

McMahon, who is from Shipshewana, Indiana, is majoring in Elementary Education with a concentration in the Arts and a Minor in Child and Adolescent Mental Health. She chose to study education after receiving amazing support from her teachers while in school. 

“My teachers were there for me to encourage me, and they were there for me when I was at my lows. Yes, I want to be able to teach our future generations to be highly educated individuals, but I want to be that support for those kids like they were for me, especially those who might not have that type of support at home,” she said. “I guess the best way to put it is the one teacher that students look back on and go, ‘Yeah, they were my favorite teacher.’”

At Rogers Elementary School in Bloomington, McMahon works as the Site Supervisor for Extended Day, a before- and after-school program. She creates fun lessons and activities for students that relate to what they are learning in class and is constantly interacting with students both before and after school and communicating with parents about how to better support students in the program.

Rosamaria with her students at Rogers Elementary
Rosamaria with her students at Rogers Elementary

The experience has given McMahon a wonderful opportunity to connect with elementary students - and for them to connect to her. Recently, McMahon was helping the students clean up as part of their morning routine, and everyone shared what they were doing for the weekend: “When they were done sharing, I told them that I was going to be celebrating my birthday during the weekend,to which they all ran up to me, gave me a group hug, and screamed, ‘Happy birthday, Miss Rosa!’ It was probably the most adorable thing I have experienced working with kids so far.”

As an alto saxophone player in the Marching Hundred and Big Red Basketball Band, McMahon gets to be a part of IU’s football and basketball seasons in a major way. When she was a sophomore in high school, McMahon wanted to be part of the marching band, and came to IU partly because of the Marching Hundred. It’s a labor of love to belong to the bands, one she works hard to balance with her work at Rogers.

“In both Football and Basketball seasons, I make sure to have good communication with my bosses at Monroe County Community School Corporation about what days I am traveling, when games are, and when I have rehearsal,” she explained. “During football season my schedule is more packed because of rehearsal times, but during basketball season the games are after my work schedule. As soon as the last kiddo leaves, I am able to hop in my car and drive over to the stadium just in time to play.”

A favorite memory when she was traveling with the women’s basketball team this year involved a personal connection for McMahon: as part of a game trip, the band got to go  to the Mall of America and eat at the Rainforest Cafe, a special moment for her as her parents stopped at the Mall of America and ate at the Rainforest Cafe during their honeymoon. 

She’s also involved with Kappa Kappa Psi Honorary Band Fraternity, a group that works to serve collegiate bands here at IU and at other campuses. Through this group, she has had the chance to meet up with other bandsmen at different colleges, help clean up the stadium after football games, and provide any services and support any of the bands on campus need, adding, “It’s a great way for me to give back to how much music has helped me.”