Archive for the ‘Dan’ Category

Taylor Maguire

May, 2013

By Paul Martell


“Promote yourself.” That’s what Taylor Maguire says; and the confidence with which she endorses her abilities led the perfect job to her, not the other way around. 


Taylor now works as a Communication & Photo Specialist for MiRealSource

Taylor Maguire has two degrees, in two of her passions. She holds a bachelor’s degree in public relations from Eastern Michigan University, as well as a degree in photographic technology from Washtenaw Community College. Taylor is also working hard in a fantastic job which utilizes both her specialties, and seems to have come to her. How does she do it?

Too often, students find themselves attempting to match what they like to do with an incompatible, profitable career choice. However, Taylor shows us the key to success is to make your career choice compatible with what is most enjoyable.

Taylor came to Eastern Michigan University in 2011. She was filled with ambition, but was unsure about which path to take. “I was in a limbo state, I honestly considered marketing, public relations, and occupational therapy,” she said. At the same time, she came to EMU a junior, and felt, “I never got the typical freshman experience.” However, things were going to come together very nicely for Taylor. A conversation with a friend led her to try an introductory class in what would become her profession. “I was telling my friend I see myself working events, writing, and dealing with the press,” said Taylor. Hearing this, Taylor’s friend encouraged her to take JRNL 312: Intro to PR with Professor Regina “Gina” Luttrell. That was all Taylor needed.

Taylor quickly declared public relations as her major, took a full load of classes, joined the Public Relations Student Society of America (PRSSA), and finally ran and was elected Vice President of Special Events and Coordination within the student organization.  Taylor had become close with Professor Gina, and joined PRSSA based on both her and good friend Marietta Ford’s (’11 grad) recommendation to do so.

“I made a lot of friends in PRSSA, and bonded with Gina more because of it. She was a good mentor to me… I loved how blunt she was. She would push me to want to be better.”

Taylor was getting better. With each new challenge she took on, she became a more experienced public relations specialist. Taylor had her classes mapped out, a respectable role in a student-professional organization, and now all she needed was an internship.

Taylor had a few interviews with PR internships in surrounding communities, and was considering them all when she received an email promoting a possible internship opportunity in EMU’s Office for Alumni Relations. Interim Executive Director of Alumni Relations Daniel Mathis was looking for a PR Intern to help promote alumni chapters, and help with events. Taylor sent in her resume, and shortly after interviewed and was hired.

“Dan and I really hit it off. After meeting Dan I was really motivated to get this internship because of how professional and friendly he was,” said Taylor.


Taylor, third from left (snuggling Santa) with the Alumni Office Staff

By Taylor’s senior semester, life became overwhelming. Taylor says, “I was working as VP of Events, I was interning, I was in JRNL 408 (the capstone for the PR program), going to job interviews, working on my portfolio, and trying to find a place to live by December. I thought: if I can do this, I can do anything.”

Then Taylor received an email which seemed “too good to be true.” The CEO of MiRealSource was looking to hire someone very specific. MiRealSource is “Michigan’s largest real estate multi-list source and provider of real estate resources, tools, and training for real estate professionals,” and the organization was in need of a person skilled in both public relations and photography. He had contacted local PRSSA chapters and thus, discovered Taylor. He offered her a position, and Taylor spoke it over with Gina. She accepted.

Today, Taylor works for MiRealSource as a Communication and Photo specialist. She uses her extensive training and experience in Public Relations work to run social media, internal and external communication. She also uses her photography skills in teaching “Photos with Taylor”, a class in which she instructs real estate agents on how to properly shoot home/landscape pictures for listings.

She also runs her very own photography business: Taylor Leigh Photography!

Taylor looks back on her time at EMU with pride. “I really learned how to juggle a lot of different projects. I recommend that you get as involved as you can… Put yourself out there; make sure your personality shines through. Promote yourself the best you can.” Taylor came to EMU as one student who was willing to try new things. Because of this mentality, she was able to accrue a set of experiences which she may have never gotten otherwise.

Taylor says, “What I do now is what I like to do.” With hard work and an open mind, the success Taylor has is attainable for all graduates.

All of us in the Office for Alumni Relations are extremely proud of what Taylor has accomplished, and look forward to seeing what her future successes look like!

Want to keep up with Taylor, or check out her work?

–        MiRealSource Facebook

–        MiRealSource Twitter

–        Taylor’s Photography!

–        LinkedIn

Paul Martell

the intern Taylor chose as her replacement.


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Alumni Relations Intern, Taylor Maguire discusses the loyalty EMU graduates have for their mascot.

In my time here at the Office for Alumni Relations, I have learned a lot about my field and have gained some wonderful “real life” experiences. But one thing I cannot ignore before leaving my internship is the loyalty of alumni to their mascot. Of course before I started at the Office for Alumni Relations, I knew our past mascot was the Huron, but I never realized how important that mascot is to our alums. On the weekends my co-workers and I work the EMU tailgates. At these tailgates I have witnessed the devotion to the Eagle mascot and the Huron mascot. I graduate in December and all I can say when I leave I am an Eagle, but more than that I am the TRUEMU. I respect and appreciate the Huron mascot, but why so much segregation and hostility? I think we should embrace the history of our university be proud of the mascot that you had of your time here at EMU, but respect the past and the present. We have gone from the Normallite, Huron, Emu, and now to the Eagle. With all of these different mascots, I think it is safe to say we are all proud Eastern Michigan University graduates and it is all incorporated within the Block E.


~Taylor Maguire

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Written by: Daniel Mathis (GOLD Guy in the Office for Alumni Relations)

Greetings alumni and friends! We are in a bit of lull in blogging and story-sharing in this month of July. We have been busy planning for fall, searching for a new Executive Director and finishing our official duties related to end of the fiscal year. We are gearing up – with the help of Chris, our fantastic web/new media student assistant – to do even more with social media. It is our hope that we can enhance its ability to connect alumni, create dialogue and add value to our alumni initiatives.

Chris is leading our charge on Facebook and we encourage you to connect on both pages,  Eastern Michigan University Alumni and EMU Graduates of the Last Decade. He needs your help with an upcoming video project and it’s as simple  as sharing your favorite memories. On our discussion boards on Facebook, we want to hear your advice for current students – What are the key things EMU students must do before graduation?

As always, thanks for your help! If you would like to share your story or serve as a “social media volunteer,” shoot me an e-mail – dmathis@emich.edu – to learn more.


Dan Mathis

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Written by: Daniel Mathis (GOLD Guy in the Office for Alumni Relations)

In the fall of 2010, I became the EMU chapter of Tau Kappa Epsilon’s faculty/staff advisor.  It was an important decision – one I did not take lightly. This organization is at a critical point in its development and now more than ever, it needs substantive, constructive alumni involvement to support its continued progress. With that said, I offer a few thoughts and observations about alumni involvement in TKE (but, it can be generalized to other Greek organizations):

We have to break the mental models that have guided fraternity/sorority alumni involvement. Being involved is not about reliving the past, it is about fostering the development of the men in the chapter – we do these young men a disservice by returning to cause risk management issues and imposing our “wisdom.” Alumni are agents of change by asking questions, offering feedback, and mentoring individual members.

Collectively, this current group of men has succeeded academically. But, we must continue to raise the bar, not by enforcing a new GPA requirement, but by creating opportunities that enhance EMU’s academic experience. Alumni can share career knowledge, introduce members to cultural activities, or tutor in a specific course. Imagine if instead of leading a charge to the local bar, alumni organized a field trip to the Detroit Institute of Arts – that is living Tau Kappa Epsilon’s values and enriching the student experience.

We must ask critical questions. What do our chapter members need most? Is it finding cheap housing in a fraternity house? No. It’s finding financial aid/scholarships to pay for school. This generation, especially at EMU, struggles to pay tuition and fees that come each semester.  Supporting the chapter financially is about finding the urgent, persistent need… not simply ascribing to the perceived glory of having a fraternity house.

These are just a few thoughts about alumni involvement and ways we can shape a value-based experience for the members of the Delta Pi chapter of Tau Kappa Epsilon. If you have any questions or would like to offer suggestions, feel free to contact me at dmathis@emich.edu.

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By: Dan Mathis (GOLD Guy in the Office for Alumni Relations)

Meta. blogging. It’s rarely done here, I am perfectly aware. I have been adept at developing relationships with an assortment of incredibly talented individuals to tell the stories of Graduates of the Last Decade. Through EMU Love Stories, GOLD Professional Profiles, and a variety of other carefully crafted solicitations, alumni have offered their post-EMU experiences. Here, in this post, I offer my own thoughts for EMU’s alumni (for 5/27/11):

1) Diversity is absolutely, positively, without a doubt – no joke. We are the strangest group of alumni of any college or university. Why? It boils down to… difference. We are all different. Race, ethnicity, religion, experience, rich, poor, first-generation, gay, straight, bisexual, transgender, Huron, Normalite, Eagle – we are here and we are relevant.

2) We, as alumni, are available on social media… so connect with your peers, the Office for Alumni Relations, and EMU. You can do so on our Facebook page, our Twitter account, or on LinkedIn. (P.S. Follow me on Twitter at Dan_EMUAlumni).

3) It’s Homecoming on October 22, 2011… and we expect you, yes, YOU, to be in our tent on the front lawn of Rynearson Stadium cheering on the Eagles.

That’s all for now… I will try to re-visit and share a couple of thoughts.. or two… in the future.



Dan_EMUAlumni – dmathis@emich.edu

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

Tomorrow evening, we celebrate the 50th Annual Alumni Awards Dinner at EMU. It is remarkable to read through the past recipients and learn of all of the accomplishments of our winners. All told, the EMU Alumni Association has honored nearly 300 alumni and community members for their service to Eastern and distinction in their careers and communities. Collectively, the past recipients invited to this year’s event have contributed almost $1,500,000 to EMU – an incredible number – especially when you consider that these awards aren’t based on their financial contributions but on SERVICE and DISTINCTION.

I have learned so much about this year’s recipients by reading countless letters of support for these individuals. In context, with numerous applications, these six individuals rose to the top:

Bobby Murkowski – incredible student leader, now lawyer

Brandon Jessup – a social justice activist, non-profit pioneer

Dave Coverly – amazing cartoonist, humble connoisseur of humor and wit

Erik Henriksen – the smartest man on Earth, professor at the University of Arizona

Earle Higgins, Sr. – basketball star, community leader

Kathy Tinney – loyal EMU supporter, communicator extraordinaire…

Looking forward to meeting each award winner in person – and knowing two of them personally (Bobby & Brandon) – will make for an incredible night.

As we wrote in the Alumni Awards script…

“Go Green and Goodnight” — I’m trying to make that saying happen… just hope it’s not like “fetch” 🙂

Dan Mathis

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Advancing alumni relations…

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

It has been quite a while since I have stole a few minutes to write a post for the blog… we have been hosting some great content (thanks to some fantastic student volunteers, scholarship winners, and alumni)… but I have drifted from my meta-blogging and updates on alumni activities at EMU. So, here it goes, just a few thoughts for the minute.

Our alumni chapters are ripe with potential…

Since becoming the Interim Executive Director, I have been working much more closely with our alumni chapters than ever before. And, I have realized the challenges of motivating a group of alumni volunteers who share a major, a location, or an affinity. Particularly hard for these organization is identifying a key central purpose, whether it be raising funds for a scholarship or offering career development opportunities. What I have learned is… each group has to find its unique purpose. And, that simply copying from another group will lead to troubled waters.

With that in mind, I want to create a set of best practices and activities to discuss with our chapter leaders – I have been calling them “modules” to share as potential “ready-made” frameworks (not exact plans) for chapter activities. It’s one of my many ideas to help develop these communities. I turn to this online community for any thoughts or guidance!

Learn more about our alumni chapters on our website.

Calling all visionaries…

Alumni activities are at a crossroads as we try to push the envelope and play catch up to connect with all the current trends and the needs of our constituents. I would love to offer (for example) career programming that opens doors for all of our alumni, but, quite frankly, I am one person. We need networks of alumni in business, education, health care, politics – in every industry/sector/field – to create professional alumni networks that our graduates can leverage to be successful. So, if you are a big picture thinker… some one who believes in Eastern Michigan University and has an idea how we can push the Alumni Association to stay fresh, relevant and beneficial… I want to hear your ideas.

Let me know what’s on your mind,



Twitter: Dan_EMUAlumni

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