Archive for the ‘Student Guest Blogs’ Category

May, 2013

By Laura Schulz

 The New Alumni Happy Hour is hosted by EMU’s Young Alumni Council (YAC) and brings new graduates and recent Alumni together to celebrate mutual accomplishments


Some crazy kids from the Young Alumni Council enjoying themselves at the New Alumni Happy Hour

On Friday, April 26, 2013 the EMU Young Alumni Council hosted their annual April “New Alumni Happy Hour” formerly known as the “Graduation Celebration”. The event was held at the Tap Room from 7:00-9:00 pm. The happy hour hosted over 60 attendees including recent graduates, young alumni and their family and friends. Members of Young Alumni Council and Alumni Association board were in attendance as well.

There was a delicious buffet which included pizza, a nacho bar, and homemade potato chips, and of course, drinks specials!

Many of the guests won door prizes. The top winners walked away with a gift basket of all Michigan brewed beers and a basket of Michigan made snacks!Image

Everyone had a great time talking and eating and we are looking forward to the next “New Alumni Happy Hour” in December.

The Young Alumni Council’s next event is at the Lansing Lugnuts game on August, 24, 2013 with a pre-tailgate party. Stay tuned for event details.

–        Young Alumni Council Facebook

–        Twitter

Laura Schulz,

Young Alumni Council President



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April, 2013

By Paul Martell

Kaitlyn Dugas is a political science major who is showcasing her Eagle pride all over the world


Kaitlyn takes advantage of many of the opportunities EMU has for students

Much of the experience we take away from our work, or our schooling, is entirely up to us. Many people choose to commit to the minimum. The ideology here is to expel the least  effort necessary to meet required goals. Kaitlyn Dugas finds herself on the other side of the Bell curve. She understands there is a greater return on investment in getting involved than in staying unattached. It is for this reason she chose to attend EMU.

“What kept me here was the opportunity to do all sorts of practical research and join teams” said Dugas. She very quickly found her niche in the University during a Political Science lecture. In class, Dr. Barry Pyle mentioned the Mock Trial Club, and encouraged students to get involved. “My grandma always said I should be a lawyer because I like to argue, so I decided to try out,” said Kaitlyn. It was not long before she realized Mock Trial was going to be something she loved. Simply put, mock trial is exactly what it sounds like. Teams from multiple colleges and Universities compete in a synthesized court trial. Kaitlyn excels in the attorney role. In 2012, she took the first place attorney award, and this year, she was the youngest team captain EMU has had.


Kaitlyn is showing International Eagle Pride, sporting her EMU Tee in front of a structure local Romans call “The Wedding Cake.”

Mock Trial was not the only extracurricular which Dr. Pyle would introduce to Kaitlyn. “Again, I was in Dr. Pyle’s 215 class. He came in and told us he needed a research fellow for the Undergraduate Symposium.” She met with him, and they have been research partners for the last two Symposiums. This year, she presented her research titled: Israel & the Politics of Divorce: an Exploratory Analysis.

As if Kaitlyn was not already busy enough, she recently returned from studying abroad in Italy. She went with Professor Delph and a group of 16 students to Florence, Rome and other key locations. “Rome was just beautiful, and it didn’t hurt the experience that we never had a bad meal,” said Dugas. “I can’t imagine doing what we did everyday: we’d go to lecture, get pizza, and eat in St. Peter’s Square.” Kaitlyn, and the other students, learned much about the Medici and other cultural topics. Many of the lectures took place at historically famous locations such as the Sistine Chapel, museums and more.  “The classes didn’t feel much like classes at all as we were standing in front of Raphael’s paintings at the Vatican Palace.”

Kaitlyn says there was not a huge amount of free time on the trip as there were many planned activities. However, when the group did have a few hours, they would regularly head to the town market to practice their bargaining skills with local vendors. A group of textile and clothing students were on the trip, they seemed to relish bartering and debating over the quality and price of leather goods being sold in the market.

Kaitlyn has a 10 week trip planned to study in Oxford, England. She leaves April 16, and will be studying either international politics or economics. She is very excited, and hopes to live in dorms with local students. After Oxford, she is off to Washington D.C. with Dr. Bernstein.

To Kaitlyn, EMU is, “The opportunity to do everything I wanted coming out of high school. It has also allowed me a lot of opportunities I didn’t think I would stumble upon, but I did.” Whether cross-examining a witness, studying historic culture, or singing “We are the Champions” by Queen in a karaoke bar in Italy; Kaitlyn is making the most of her Education.  Currently, Kaitlyn is deciding between going to law school or grad school to work toward her PhD. She hopes to one day work in the legal department for a multinational organization, or conduct research for a University.

“Eastern shapes my life, at least that,” said Dugas. Taking advantage of all opportunities available has set Kaitlyn up for success, as well as actualize her as a person much more than “just getting by” ever could. We will see what other adventures Kaitlyn has when she returns from the United Kingdom late June, 2013.

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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: Caitlin Burns (Undergraduate Alumni Scholarship recipient)

When I was going through freshman orientation at Eastern I received a list of things you should do before you graduate. Well I decided it was time for there to an updated list from the perspective of a student at EMU.

10.) Play sand volleyball during the summer on campus. This was on the original list and I checked it off within the first week of school. It is a great way to get some exercise and meet new people.

9.) Take a walk around campus. Explore campus and the many buildings that are on it. This helps you become familiar with the area and helps you to find your classes once the semester starts. Plus campus is beautiful at any time of year and it is nice to get some fresh air and enjoy not having to run to class.

8.) Go to karaoke at Tower Inn. Now this isn’t a campus specific event but I believe that in order to be ready to graduate you have to have had at least one experience singing off key with your friends. I crossed this off this past year and it created great memories with the people I am closest to.

7.) Attend a sporting event at Eastern. As EMU students we get into all of the sporting events for free so why not take advantage of it?! We can cheer our fellow students on to victory and have fun with friends while doing so!

6.) Attend an Eastern Excursion. The Eastern Excursions have something for everyone and are very affordable. They usually include an event and some type of meal and are a great way to explore Michigan and try out new experiences. This past year I went on one that included the DIA and the Charles Wainwright Museum in Detroit. It was a great experience and one that I will never forget.

5.) Attend a concert or play. The students at EMU are extremely talented and work hard to put on performances. There are many different events planned throughout the year and help not only the morale of the students performing but can count for extra credit in some classes. With those benefits what other reasons do you need to go?!

4.) Go to Homecoming. This should be mandatory for graduation. I have been to every Homecoming since I was freshman and have enjoyed each one of them. Also, if you are looking for a place to go on Homecoming stop by the Alumni Association Tailgate tent for great food and great entertainment!

3.) Help out around EMU. Whether it is helping out with a fundraiser or participating in rallying for higher education helping out EMU is a great cause. We are all connected to this great university and we should give back as thanks for the great memories and the education it has given us.

2.) Meet with Professors. I know many students are afraid of meeting with professors to talk about issues in class but that is what they are there for. I believe it is important to talk with professors about issues you may have in order to get the full value of your education.

1.) Join an organization. At EMU there are plenty of different organizations that offer a wide range of activities tailored to fit a specific interest. I believe it is important to be involved on campus and joining an organization is not only an important way of keeping involved but making lifelong friends.

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Written by: Caitlin Burns (Undergraduate Alumni Scholarship recipient)

Nowadays a lot of people believe that my generation doesn’t care about anything. It’s hard to blame them when you look at the voter turnout for the last election, but in the past month students at EMU have proved them wrong. Twice in the past month students from EMU have gone to the Capitol Building in Lansing to fight for their rights as students.

On Tuesday March  15th students gathered together with alumni and staff to take on Lansing. This day is known as “EMU Day” and is used as a day of advocacy for issues that are important to EMU. The students, faculty and alumni met with States Representatives and State Senators to talk about issues concerning the recent proposed budget cut from Governor Rick Snyder. This issue is something that will affect everyone involved with EMU from higher tuition for students to budget cuts throughout the University. Another talking point was getting funding to renovate Strong Hall. The new Mark Jefferson building was paid for by EMU and it is a truly beautiful and state of the art building. Unfortunately, it has Strong Hall attached to it which is by no means state of the art. EMU hopes to renovate this building in order to continue offering state of the art buildings such as Mark Jefferson and the currently being remodeled Pray Harold. The last talking point was a new bill that would allow community colleges to be four year colleges. This would hurt EMU by creating a bigger pool of competition for students. Also, it would hurt EMU by breaking the agreements they have with community colleges that allow transfer students to transfer 84-92 credits to EMU for their bachelor’s degree. These were all important issues that the group was lobbying for. It was great to see so many people fighting for EMU. I believe it was a great day and I will participate for as long as I can.

On Thursday March 28th students from EMU gathered together with college students from other universities to rally for higher education on the steps of the Michigan Capitol Building. Over 200 students showed up to show the legislators how important funding is to them. There were also guest speakers including the Mayor of Lansing Virg Bernero and student government participants from other universities. Everyone was bound together by a common goal and this was democracy at its finest. After the rally the 200+ students went into the Capitol Building to rally. Chants of “Whose House? OUR HOUSE” could be heard echoing throughout the Capitol Building. It was nice although this led to students not being let in the House Chamber where the Representatives were meeting but I believe we made a big impact nonetheless.

It was a great month for student rights and hopefully the fight for student rights will continue on. Students can make an impact by contacting their State Legislators and telling them about the issues that are important to them. I believe this truly showed how important funding is to students and showed we really do care about what happens to us and the future of higher education.

EMU students in Lansing - advocating for higher education

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Written by: Derek Spinei, Alumni Association Graduate Scholarship winner

Few areas of academic study rely on and benefit from field trips as much as historic preservation. If you are going to learn how to document and preserve places, you’ve got to see how it’s done up close. In the two years I’ve been an EMU student, I think I’ve gone on more field trips than during my previous 19 years of schooling combined.

Field trips are either arranged by a professor for a specific class or by Preservation Eastern, the student organization for the historic preservation graduate program. Sometimes events turn into unexpected field trips like our networking mixers and other socials which are held at historic Ypsilanti venues such as the Hutchinson House (HighScope Foundation headquarters), the Ladies Literary Club, and the Mack & Mack building (SPARK East). We’ve even gone bowling in Detroit with the excuse that the Garden Bowl is the second oldest bowling alley in the country and is on the National Register of Historic Places.

Windsor, ON from the top floor of One Woodward.

Often in class there is only so much information that can be gleaned from a slide show, so instructors naturally take us on field trips. From the Sugar Hill Historic District in Detroit, to the Rentschler Farm Museum in Saline, to Grand Traverse Commons in Traverse City, to the IHM Motherhouse in Monroe, to Knollwood Motel in Acme, to the Cobbs & Mitchell Building in Cadillac, historic sites are more than willing to let us visit and explore their properties.

In the past year, Preservation Eastern received a “behind the scenes” tour by a curator of the collections center at the Henry Ford in Dearborn. We also visited Concordia University in Ann Arbor to see Earhart Manor and the Chapel of the HolyTrinity, Frank Lloyd Wright’s Affleck House in Bloomfield Hills, and One Woodward, a Detroit skyscraper designed by Minoru Yamasaki. Published Washtenaw County Heritage Driving Tours have proven popular too, as we went on the Historic Barns and German Heritage tours in the fall.

This semester we toured Frank Lloyd Wright’s Palmer House in Ann Arbor and there are plans to go on another driving tour and visit the Ypsilanti Water Tower, GM Tech Center in Warren, and McMath-Hulbert Solar Observatory in Lake Angelus.

I know that after I graduate I will lose my “key” to many normally inaccessible historic resources but at least my educational experience has been greatly enhanced by my current ability to visit just about anywhere – permission slip not necessary.

The Alumni Association Graduate Scholarship deadline is April 15, 2011. For more information, visit: http://www.emich.edu/alumni/students/scholarships.php

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Written by: Derek Spinei, Alumni Association Graduate Scholarship winner

While most graduate assistants work on campus teaching, tutoring, and doing research, I work at the Ypsilanti Historical Society. This all-volunteer organization relies on myself and one other GA from the Historic Preservation masters program to run the day-to-day operations of the society’s museum and research archives.

My focus is in the Fletcher-White Archives where I help catalog and organize the collections and assist patrons with their research, whether they visit in person or phone from across the country. The two most popular areas of research are family genealogy and property history. People like to discover who their ancestors were and what the history of their home is. I also help many EMU students who are taking history classes or historic preservation classes.

It’s always fun when people visit who say they’ve lived in Ypsilanti for decades but it’s their first time coming to the Historical

Ypsilanti Historical Society, 220 N Huron St.

Society. Their reaction is always “I can’t believe you have all this information and I never knew it was here!” Archival collections include churches, cemeteries, schools, postcards, calendars, tax rolls, obituaries, EMU, letters, businesses, war veterans, maps, and Willow Run.

Fletcher-White Archives

Since starting at the Historical Society in 2009, I have worked on projects like digitizing family photo albums (over 4,000 images), digitizing the postcard collection, helping start a Facebook page, and organizing thousands of newspaper clippings about Ypsilanti which were donated by the Ann Arbor News when it went out of business in 2009.

If you are interested in any aspect of Ypsilanti history come visit me! The Historical Society has free admission, is open 2:00-5:00pm Tuesday through Sunday, and is located in an 1860 Italianate house at 220 N Huron St.

For more information, visit: http://ypsilantihistoricalsociety.org/

The Alumni Association Graduate Scholarship deadline is April 15, 2011. For more information, visit: http://www.emich.edu/alumni/students/scholarships.php

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