Building on her decades of diverse expertise in education as well as the visual and performing arts, Dr. Mary Ann Cashman-McGuire maintains a private practice in educational consulting while continuing to teach art, history and opera at Anne Arundel Community College, where she has been a member of faculty since 2000. A talented pianist and painter whose skills were encouraged by her childhood boarding school education, she graduated from Loyola University in 1958 with a Bachelor of Arts in speech and drama. She pursued postgraduate study in drama, finding it to be a perfect middle point between her interests in music and visual arts, earning a Master of Arts in drama in 1962 at the Catholic University of America. Dr. Cashman-McGuire cites her role in a college musical production of “Anastasia” as a career highlight and a formative experience that reinforced her passion for the arts.
During the early 1980s, Dr. Cashman-McGuire worked as a legal secretary for Washington-based firm Arnold & Porter while pursuing a career as the co-founder and artistic director for Takoma Park’s Opera bel Canto, a position she held between 1983 and 1985. From 1988 until 1990, she excelled as the director of marketing for both Alpha Gallery and Applied Business Technology, successfully managing the marketing and branding needs of both a fine art gallery and a growing business and technology consultancy. Realizing her love for teaching, Dr. Cashman-McGuire returned to the Catholic University of America in the late 1980s, completing her Doctor of Education in 1990, and turned her focus toward the classroom.
Dr. Cashman-McGuire began her independent educational consulting practice with EDUCOM. After becoming adjunct faculty in the speech and theater department at P.G. Community College in 1980, she taught speech and drama and continuing education classes. She also spent two years with the speech department at the University of Maryland in the early 1990s and accepted a position as director of education for the Tall Oaks Early Learning Center in Bowie, Maryland, in 1991. Dr. Cashman-McGuire thrives off the dialogues and exchanges she has with her students, considering the classroom environment both unique and energizing. She is noted for her open and friendly classroom demeanor and remembered by students and faculty as an easygoing and accessible source of information.
An active member of the Takoma Park community for many years, Dr. Cashman-McGuire is the co-founder and past president of the Takoma Park House and Garden Committee, and past chair of the Takoma Park Community Improvement Board, Antiques Seminar Group, and Community Improvement Board. She has been presented with several certificates of appreciation from the Takoma Park mayor in recognition of her work. She continues her legacy of community activism by serving as the historian for the Annapolis chapter of the Ladies of the Ancient Order of the Hibernians and organizing Ranger Rosaries at St. Mary’s Church.
Dr. Cashman-McGuire has been extensively published in industry journals and her doctoral dissertation, “The Mead School: A Historic and Ethnographic Analysis of its Founding, Development, and Survival” has been widely cited, and she is the former president of the local NCGR chapter. She is the author of several plays for children as well and the founder of a youth drama group. In addition to her work in academia and the community, Dr. Cashman-McGuire remains a proud alumna of Kappa Gamma Pi and enjoys painting and composing haiku. Her current writing projects include “Voice and Diction Today” and “Stage Movements for Singers.”