Archive for July, 2010

When it comes to EMU alumna Shetina Jones and her decision to come to EMU  the  phrase “mother knows best” comes into play. Jones’ mother was an EMU alumna and wanted her daughter to continue the EMU legacy. “I came kicking and screaming, but it was the BEST decision I could have ever made,” said Jones, “I met life friends and built a foundation for my academic and career success.”

Jones received her Bachelor’s of Science in Elementary Education/Structures of Discipline in 2008, Masters of Arts in Higher Education Student Affairs in 2009 and her Graduate Certificate in Community College Leadership in 2010, all from EMU.  She even plans to come back in Fall 2011 to start the Non-Profit Management Graduate Certificate program.

Shetina Jones (BS08, MA09)

Jones credits EMU with saving her life. Five years ago in the midst of her college journey Jones’ mother passed away. “I was an all around wreck.  I had no direction and wanted to give up on life.”  It was during this extremely difficult time that Jones recalls two people who reached out to her and made sure she was ok and on track. Those two people were Peggy Harless, the current Assistant Director of Diversity and Community Involvement, and Professor Judy Sturgis-Hill.  “I struggled throughout undergrad just trying to make it, but I always felt like I had to succeed so I would not let myself down,” said Jones. During her graduate studies another EMU professor strongly impacted Jones’ life, her graduate school advisor Dr. Eboni Zamani-Gallaher. “She is more than just a professor but my role-model, life coach and a dynamic woman” Jones said, “I always looked up to her because she never told me what I wanted to hear, but what I had to hear.  I love her as if she was my own family member.  I credit my graduate school success to her for her endless support.”

During her time at EMU Jones was involved in many different extra-curricular activities.

“Student organizations are a great way to be creative and express yourself positively with like minded people,” said Jones. She was involved with Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc Xi Chapter, National Pan- Hellenic Council, Student Government, EMU Ambassadors, Students of Color Leadership Summit, Commuter Student Association, NAACP, Black Student Organization Alliance, BSU, Minority Achievement Retention Success Program, Kappa Delta Pi. “The many student organizations that I was a part of definitely shaped the person that I am today,” Jones said, “I loved being involved and I wanted to continue doing what I loved, hence me pursing a graduate degree in Higher Education and Student Affairs.”

Being involved in such a variety of organizations exposed Jones to a lot of opportunities, but the most memorable moment in her EMU timeline was winning the 2010 Martin Luther King Jr. Humanitarian Award. “I never thought that I would even win it, because I never give myself enough credit.”  Jones said, “So many people gave me a standing ovation after my acceptance speech and it touched my heart on more than one level.”

Jones recently started working for Michigan State University as a Resident Director.  Her position calls for her to manage the operations of a residence hall. “It is my job to make sure students are enjoying the college experience through programs, organizations, and relationship building.  That is definitely a short summary but not all that I do” she said.  To get to where she is today was a lot of hard work “I rely heavily on my faith, that is where I get my strength from” she said.  “I did not always know what I wanted to do, besides help people.” Jones started off on the path to teacher education and then switched to the Leadership & Counseling program. “I applied to the program and was on the fence about going back to graduate school.  Then I woke up one morning and told myself that student affairs is where my heart lies,” she said, “I landed a graduate assistantship in the EMU Housing department and everything just fell into place for me.”

It looks to me that Jones made the right decision. Her hard work and dedication is definitely proving successful for her.  Though she came in with a fight she came out with a smile.  Jones is very passionate about encouraging EMU students “I would tell EMU students to never stop dreaming.  Realize that at EMU the opportunities are endless.  Find yourself a good mentor and allow them to help with your transition to success.  Remember you have to want to be successful,” she said. To recent alumni, Jones said, “Take advantage of relationships that you build and remember the art of kindness.  It will take you a long way.” Jones plans to stay connected with her alma mater in the future. “My goal is to participate in several alumni events and share my experience with future Eagles.  I love this place and I want other people to see its value and glory,” she said, “I also would like to start an endowed scholarship in my mother’s name in the near future.”    Those are awesome ways to give back to EMU and if you also want to become involved alumni like Shetina Jones  make sure you visit http://www.emich.edu/alumni/.

-Written by: Jessica the Intern-


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We are in dire need of some music on this Thursday… Time for another post in the series known as VOLD. This time we re-visit the year 2001… What did you listen to in your car on the way to campus? What did you listen to in your residence hall? Perhaps these videos trigger some good memories…

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Hey Alumni. I decided to make a video  about whats been going on at the Office for Alumni Relations and what I have been up to. I did it on a whim so you kinda caught me on a day when I’m not looking my best but, hey, I’m a college student – it happens. I’m still cute  🙂 and  I have my awesome EMU 0%  t-shirt on (can’t really see it though).  Check it out the video and leave me comments.

Also, visit this website: http://www.emich.edu/video/video_subset.php?m=76_0_50

It features a promotional video series about EMU’s 0% tuition, room and board increase.  Yours truly is featured in the one titled “Stories of Zero: Part 3”  So check me out there.

For more info on the 0% increase visit: http://www.emich.edu/zero/

For more info and updates with EMU Student Government check out the brand new website: http://emustudentgov.celect.org/home

Thanks everyone,

Jessica the Intern

Jessica the Intern

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My name is Darmesha Walker. I am a high school graduate of West Side Academy. While attending West Side, I graduated six months prior to graduation. I was able to do this because I took online classes. Online classes really helped me experience the feel of college; just by always being on a computer. I am a participant in Eastern Michigan University’s Summer Incentive Program (SIP). The Summer Incentive Program provides at-risk high-school graduates an opportunity for academic success. To be admitted to SIP, students must be nominated by the Office of Admissions at Eastern Michigan University. SIP allows me to attend Eastern in the fall, and to also get a head start on the college life. I work for Daniel Mathis (Alumni Relations). Since working with Mr. Mathis I have learned many things about professionalism and how to demonstrate leadership. I strongly feel that his methods and my methods combined will allow me to achieve my goals as far as attaining my bachelor’s degree in Assurance Information. During this program I will like to experience a broader insight on life it’s self. I will be on the GOLD blog writing articles as a guest. Some of my sample topics will include how has the campus life been thus far and how alumni relate to freshmen. Until then you can catch me on the GOLD blog reading articles.

Goldenly Yours,

Darmesha Walker

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Kelly Basden (BS06)

What EMU grad fell in love with EMU on a road trip? Kelly Basden[and maybe you too ].  Badsen’s EMU journey began after a co-worker of her mother’s mentioned that her daughter, who attended EMU, loved it. Next thing you know the Toledo, OH native is at Fast Track falling in love with EMU. Basden walked away from Eastern with a degree in Psychology and Women’s Studies in 2006. From there she went on to receive her MS in Counseling and Student Development in 2008 from Kansas State University. She still has a soft spot for the school that spearheaded her journey to success, “I owe so much to Eastern Michigan University. I truly loved my experience and would recommend it to anyone!”

During her time at EMU, Basden was very involved. Residence Hall Association president, University Ambassador and Sigma Kappa Sorority are just a few noted experiences from her very large pool of student involvement activities. “It was during my variety of student leadership experiences where the staff at EMU not only recognized my potential, but also my ability,” said Basden. “They challenged me appropriately and supported me in all of my endeavors.”

Some of Basden’s experiences at EMU included meeting her favorite teacher, who brought her to tears. “My favorite professor was Margaret Crouch. She taught my introduction to Philosophy class. I remember leaving that day and crying…and all we did was review the syllabus.” Basden said.  She soon over came her fear of philosophy and ended up enjoying the class & finding her favorite professor. As far as classes go, the favorite that sticks out in Basden’s head is Introduction to Women’s Studies with Professor Rachel Brett Harley. “She was passionate about the subject matter and obviously cared deeply about each and every one of her students,” said Basden.

Kelly and Her Fiance in St. Clair Shores MI

Leadership experience and classes that made her cry weren’t the only ways EMU impacted Basden’s life. “My best friend to this day is my college roommate, Leah Petrovich Storm (EMU Alumnae 2006). We met each other my first year while living in Wise Hall,” she said. Basden also mentioned EMU staff like Becky Figura, Glenna Frank Miller, Noah Borton, Eric Ward, and Jesus Hernandez as people who influenced her. “They were each invested in me as an individual, both personally and professionally.” Basden said, “In their own way they each impacted me greatly.” It was her interaction with EMU staff that made her consider pursuing a career in student affairs. “In my opinion the staff members at Eastern Michigan University are second to none. They are invested in developing the students they work with into loyal and ethical global citizens of today’s world,” she said.

Basden is now working as a Residence Hall Director at Ball State University in Muncie, IN.  She was able to succeed with the help of her strong support system. “As I have grown and developed throughout life I always remember my mom saying,  ‘Take care of business, Kelly’ – to me that means do whatever needs to be done,” Basden said “I’m not above any type of work, and I’ll always do what is in the best interest of the people I’m working for and with.” With that type of work ethic I only expect to hear more success stories from this great EMU alumni.   In fact I hope to hear more success stories from EMU alumni. If you would like to be featured on the blog please comment on the blog. We all would love to know where your EMU journey took you.

-Written By: Jessica the Intern-

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Check out the latest video created by Jessica the Intern – showing the many ways Swoop gives back to EMU:

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Brian Calloway graduated from EMU in 2005 with a BS in journalism and a minor in communication. As a Coloma, Mich., native, Calloway came to Eastern Michigan decided for the opportunities it presented to him and also because his parents both attended the school.

Brian Calloway (BSO5)

Attending EMU, Calloway had an opportunity to fine tune his skills as a journalist from the first day he stepped on campus as a sports writer at the

Eastern Echo. Four years at the school paper – in which Calloway held positions as the assistant sports editor as a sophomore and the sports editor as a junior and senior – have resulted in a professional writing career for him.

Calloway currently is the sports editor at The Daily Telegram in Adrian, Mich. He has held the position since 2007 after beginning his professional career as the assistant sports editor at the Telegram. In Adrian, Calloway has covered high school, college sports and auto-racing among other things. He has won Associated Press and Michigan Press Association awards for his work. This year he received a first-place AP award for his coverage on Adrian College’s football coaching change as well as a second-place award for his initial story on the firing of football coach Jim Lyall.

Calloway believes his time at the Echo helped prepare him for his professional career.

“The opportunity to get experience at the school paper was priceless for me. Being able to write on a consistent basis and deliver the sports news to the campus community laid the foundation for me as a journalist,” Calloway said.

Several teachers in the journalism / public relations department helped Calloway reach his potential. A sports reporting class taught by then Detroit News sports copy editor Art Brooks helped Calloway pursue his dream of becoming a sports writer. He also benefited from classes taught by Carol Schlagheck and public relations instructor Lolita Cummings-Carson.

In addition to his time spent writing at EMU, Calloway was also involved in several other activities. He worked in the Admissions Visits Program as a campus tour guide, was a part of the First-Year Mentor Program and also was a member of O.T.E.A.M. (Orientation Team of Eastern’s Advisors and Mentors) – a group that helps oversee the new student orientation program.

These experiences and opportunities EMU provided to Calloway have also been beneficial to him.

“Being involved in many things around campus at EMU allowed me to discover myself and helped to bring out and expand my leadership and communication skills,” Calloway said.

Follow Calloway’s work at http://bcallowaystories.wordpress.com/

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