Alumna provides hope and healing through music
Friday, October 31, 2014
Beth Stockdell already had a successful career in risk management when she decided it was time to earn her bachelor’s degree. “I had college credit from five colleges, but had never finished my degree,” Stockdell said.
She searched for a program that would work with her busy life and allow her to use some of the professional development and certifications that she earned during her insurance career. “As a working professional, there was no way that I could have done a traditional degree,” Stockdell said. “The JBU evening classes worked perfectly for me. I spent so much time and energy earning professional certifications; JBU gave me credit for that.”
After earning her degree in Organizational Management in 2002 through JBU’s Degree Completion Program, Stockdell was ready for her next challenge: learning to play the harp. “I knew I needed music in my life,” Stockdell said. So, at 36 years of age, she bought her first harp. “I often joke that the harp was my midlife crisis,” she said. “But I immediately fell in love with it.”
A lifelong commitment to philanthropy and a passion for music led Stockdell to a clinical musician program, where she learned how to play for medical settings. “I knew I wanted to play for hospice patients,” she said.
For the past six years, Stockdell has volunteered at Circle of Life Hospice in Springdale, where she uses her clinical training to provide healing music to patients, their families and the staff.
“Her music helps you settle down if you’re anxious or stressed,” Mary McKinney, CEO of Circle of Life, said. “What we do can be very taxing. Her music fills us back up.”
Through her harp, Stockdell shares the healing power of music with patients who are in their last stages of life. The music can literally help patients breathe easier and can alleviate stress for caregivers, too. “I’ve had some amazing interactions with people. It’s an honor to be there to foster a comforting environment for families who are experiencing such a great loss.”
Stockdell recently released her first CD, A Priceless Meadow. A portion of the proceeds from CD sales benefit Circle of Life.
Although her career has followed a different trajectory than many who’ve earned a degree in business, Stockdell says that her time at JBU was well worth the investment. “Some may think that I’m not using my degree, but I use it every day. I do accounting. I do marketing. I manage an organization. Earning my degree in Organizational Management at JBU helped me find my passion.”
“Beth is doing exactly what we want our alumni to do,” Susan DeWoody, Associate Vice President for Academic Operations and Dean of Degree Completion, said. “She’s fulfilling the mission of JBU by honoring God and serving others intellectually, spiritually and professionally.”