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Archive for September, 2010

“It’s a place where you feel at home and welcomed and that you can truly be yourself and explore all that you want to.” –Laura Schulz

Fresh out the pack, Laura Schulz received a Bachelor of Science in psychology and minored in communications.  She has high hopes in continuing her education and earning a master’s degree in youth development.

While an EMU student, Laura made her face known around campus.  During her undergraduate studies she was and still is a proud member of the women’s fraternity Alpha Gamma Delta where she served as the vice president of scholarship, vice president of campus relations and Head Gamma Rho Chi for fall recruitment 2009.  She continues her commitment as an active alumna by being the adviser for open recruitment and a sweetheart for the men’s fraternity Tau Kappa Epsilon.

“Being a part of Greek life allowed me to focus my life on what was important; scholarship, community, spirituality, friendships, contributing to the world’s work and volunteering,” Laura said.  “This is still my focus today and I have not only my family to thank but Greek Life as well.”

Like most would say, the outside of the classroom activities and student organizations on campus have contributed to Laura’s success at EMU.

“I learned more about myself, my university, my community and the world through those organizations than I learned in a classroom,” said Laura.

Her success at EMU landed her, her first job after graduation and the first she applied to.  Laura works for the Detroit Midtown Academy High School as the Afterschool Program Coordinator.  In this position, she oversees the afterschool program that is funded by a grant and coordinates field trips and extra-curricular activities.  The programs include yearbook club, young leader’s club, art club, chess club, fitness, cheerleading and tutoring.

Her background consists of four years of afterschool programming.  Laura believes her experience and involvement in campus organizations is what stood her out from other candidates and got her the job.

Laura encourages current EMU students to be involved with on campus activities, internships and network with students and professionals.  For students and recent graduates, she advises to be yourself during interviews and give answers that you believe in and not one they want to hear.  “By not giving a cliché answer it will make you look genuine and invested,” she said.

Her pride for the university is shown through her contributions and support for fellow students.  As an alumnus, she will never forget where she came from and how much EMU has played an active role in her stepping stones.

“I know it seems silly but it really is not what you know it is who you know and being a part of those things are going to build you those connections,” Laura said.  “You cannot wait for something to fall in your lap; you’ll be waiting a long time.”

Written by: Katrell Elina the Newbie

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Did you participate in the marching band while you were at EMU?

Check out Homecoming opportunities for alumni of the marching band: Alumni Band Letter 2010

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The Graduates of the Last Decade Tailgate was a great success. Alumni and friends joined us on the front lawn of Rynearson stadium. Though the game results weren’t favorable, the connections we made were. Thanks to all who came and made the EMU vs CMU experience fun.

Check out EMU Foundation student employee Tori’s view of the tailgate in the following video:

Matt Mortier and Laura Schulz (GOLD Alumni on the balcony of the press box)

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411 on the GOLD Council…

Check out our new Public Relations Intern, Katrell, describing the newly formed GOLD Council. Applications are due 9/30/10.

Any questions? E-mail Dan (GOLD guy in Alumni Relations) – dmathis@emich.edu

Applications available at: emich.edu/alumni/gold

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Introducing Global GOLD:

Jon Maravelias (BS10) in Namibia

I’m excited to announce a new blog series we have dubbed “Global GOLD.” In this series, GOLD alumni (and a few current students – future GOLD alumni) will blog and share their experiences in an effort to show the impact of our alumni around the world.

What are Global GOLD stories? Raw, adventurous, and timely. They are related to the ways our alumni make an impact related to global social, cultural, political and environmental causes and concerns. The views presented are representative of the author only and not the Office for Alumni Relations.

Catch up with Jon Maravelias (BS10) as he embarks on his journey to Namibia to work with a non-profit working to create a sustainable Namibian society. His journey begins in the aiport – on his way to the country. -Dan

Jon’s First Entry – Traveling to Namibia and Exploring Culture Shock

Written by: Jon Maravelias (BS10)

Well, it only seems proper to be here now — at the airport, waiting for a flight to Namibia from Munich, then joining with a non-profit in the middle of the Namib Desert. There’s really nothing left for me to do in America after graduating unless I decide to get the final seventh surgery on my femur after my car accident from three years ago, but who the heck would choose that after spending six months in a hospital bed at their parents’ house? I spent my 21st birthday in a wheelchair…Nope, this is perfect. I am going to abandon myself to the shackles of an internship and spend money now in the hopes of making money later…

Of course, there is always the dreadful option of forsaking your final year as an undergraduate by filling out all of those ridiculous forms, begging for letters of support, and writing a personal statement about an amateur who’s just beginning to figure out how to play the game. I’m fully convinced that this route leads to a shallow education and a lack of life-experience. I mean, this point in your life is marked by good looks, low weight, and an Icarus-like wonderment to fly so high that the sun melts your wings and you fall with a giant grin on your face. To continue on with the academic game so early is to commit intellectual suicide and a loss of self-fulfilling experience.

Sitting out a nine hour layover in Germany, I realize that these ramblings have been like apparitions floating in and out of my mind as I try to recover from a lazy summer. Now, I have time to think about how far I’ve come and where I want to go. I just feel sorry for you, reader, who has chosen to be the victim of my chaotic bumblings by staying with me here. So, after ruminating over my options for several hours in Munich, the only thing that I’m certain of by now is that nothing is worse than American consumerism run amok…except when other countries try to imitate it. Those corny, simple pop songs; those stupid phrases like “So Cool!” being spit out as if we were twelve-year-olds; these damn tourist shirts being sold for €25! It makes me want to puke — not just because the facade seems so desperate and forced, but because the dramatization of our lazy, selfish pleasures brings shame to my culture.

I blame it all on Obama… If it weren’t for his firm, intelligent, and wonderful rhetoric marked by a respectable demeanor, other countries wouldn’t be so eager to imitate us. The truth is, this one man, whether it’s been earned through his political decisions or not, has completely changed the opinion most countries have of America. And to me, that’s a successful president! Because in truth, there are so many back-room deals and fancy diplomatic nonsense going on behind our backs that the president pretty much only serves as a poster-child for the current state of affairs.

And from here, I suppose you deserve an explanation — Before I left the country, I made an agreement with Dan Mathis, Assistant Director of Constituent Relations, to write a blog about my experiences in Namibia. My ego says “I can do that for you all,” but I know from experience that traveling abroad sparks a feverish, ambiguous, and chaotic sense of mind and Self. So, that is what you should come to expect from me. I’m not going to tell you love stories or even coherent stories for that matter, but I am going to serve you my mind on culture shock in the hopes that some of you will make the leap for yourselves.

Check back for more additions to the Global GOLD series, specifically Jon’s posts, as he shares his thoughts throughout his internship experience!

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Friendraising at its best…

Written by: Dan Mathis (GOLD guy in Alumni Relations)

It has been a fast and furious week in Alumni Relations. And, I’ve thoroughly enjoyed it.  I have really experienced the concept of “friend-raising” first hand, both with current students and alumni.

Alumni Association Scholarship Pizza Social

On Wednesday, I went to dinner with five students who are recipients of the Alumni Association Scholarship. This award goes to select students who are children or grandchildren of EMU alumni. It honors the legacy of our alumni. These students provided a window back into the first few days of coming to EMU. Remember that time – the nerves, excitement and adventure? It’s amazing how vibrant that is in these students.

See the current recipients: http://www.emich.edu/alumni/awards/scholar.html

Jason Mraz Concert

…It was great. Last night, I thoroughly enjoyed both the show and my company – four GOLD alumni. At one point, I was I asked about how to thank our office for the tickets – and the great part was that I could say to volunteer, mentor a student, spread the great word about EMU, and not simply “write a check.”

GOLD Tailgate

Saturday is the big day. EMU vs CMU. I’m looking forward to seeing more recent graduates. Come and check out both the GOLD Tailgate and the Alumni Hospitality Tent on the front lawn of Rynearson Stadium from 2-4 p.m.

Friendraising = amazing.

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“Being at Eastern not only gave me the tools to go out and be successful, but it taught me that I had to work hard too.”

Since receiving his Bachelor of Science in political science and journalism in 2002, Joseph Novak would describe his journey as a bumpy ride.  It was his senior year of high school when he discovered Eastern Michigan University was the only place for him.  During his senior year of high school, he took a tour at EMU for a school project.  It was his interest in journalism and the Eastern Echo opportunity that won him over.

“In the five minutes I was at Goodison Hall {now Marshall}, I spoke with an editor, got invited to a summer workshop and was told that if I was interested I could definitely find a spot as a reporter in the fall,” said Novak. 

“The opportunities at Eastern were by far the best for an incoming freshman.”

Little did Novak know it was only the beginning stage of his college experience.  During his undergraduate program an ample amount of doors opened up through the Eastern Echo.  He started off as a sports writer and eventually built his way up to editor in chief.  He was so eager to learn and experience as much as possible at EMU.  He was the men’s soccer beat writer freshman year and also laid out pages, took photos and spent a semester selling ads.

“Because there’s such a sense of community, it’s very easy to network with other students and alumni,” Novak said.  “That alone has helped me tremendously as I’ve progressed in my career.”

His most memorable moment at Eastern was on 9/11 when the World Trade Center was attacked.  He spent a great deal putting a story together, talking to students, professors and local authorities.  

Two months after the attack, eight workers of the Echo drove to New York City to see the aftermath up close.  It was the help of a grant from the Military Order of the Purple Heart that made this possible. It was with honor, Novak and his team was awarded the Pacemaker Award for overall excellence from their September issue.

Novak now spends most of his time traveling for work to different newspapers in the U.S. and Canada.  He works for a software company in Ann Arbor as an installer/trainer for MediaSpan. 

“We create software for newspapers — advertising, circulation, editorial and online services,” he said.  “I specifically work with the journalists in the newsroom, helping themuse the software to write and edit stories, process photos and designpages. I specifically install the IQue system, which includes NewsEdit and either InDesign or QuarkXPress, depending on what the customer
chooses to use.”

Novak’s best advice to students and recent graduates is to get as much experience as possible while still in school.  The experience is definitely a plus and employers will look at your pre-professional experience. 

“There are good and bad places out there, and you shouldn’t waste your time at a job that forces you to compromise your integrity,” he said. 

Novak still shares personal friendships with his colleagues from the Eastern Echo.

Written by: Katrell Elina the newbie

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