Posts Tagged ‘YAC’

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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The largest class in EMU history graduated Sunday, April 28, 2013

Just three days ago, two and a half thousand men and women joined the Young Alumni ranks. It’s a staggering number; one which has made EMU history as the largest graduating class ever. EMU now boasts over 148,000 alumni. I had the privilege of being a part of that class.

The ceremony ran smoothly. Keynote speaker, Scott Reynolds, executive story editor for “Dexter“, was outstanding, and the feeling of commencing the rest of my life was surreal. However, what is still with me days later is the message Student Government President, Matthew Norfleet delivered to the soon-to-be alumni.

Matthew himself was graduating, and reminded us of the people in our lives who have made our successes possible. For Matthew, it was his mother. For you, that person or persons could be anyone. I am fortunate to have an entire network of support in my friends, professors, loved ones, and especially my parents.

Sincerest congratulations to the 2,376 former students who graduated last Sunday, you are the pride of Eastern Michigan University. We now have a chance to stay connected, and become the support of future graduates by getting involved.

So please keep in touch, and let us know where life takes you.

To keep up with EMU news, events and all things Alumni relevant check out:

–        Alumni Facebook

–        Young Alumni Facebook

–        Follow us on Twitter

Be sure to get your free Alumni Association Membership Packet!

Best Wishes in all your endeavors, and again congratulations!

–        Paul Martell


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Jack Cassedy is a young alum with a wonderful career that seems to have little connection with his degree; after close inspection, however, it is obvious that Jack’s journey and destination are codependent

by Paul Martell


Jack Cassedy is a 2011 grad with an exciting future!

It is common for students to struggle with which major to select. It has become the norm to try to mold our dreams into something that reflects our existing skillset. Jack Cassedy knew what he wanted out of life, but he was not afraid to extend himself to new possibilities, and is now well on his way to living his dream. Jack Cassedy plans to, one day, better the world in a tangible way.

“I’ve always felt like I really wanted to make a difference in the world and help people in some way, so I thought that being a doctor would be the best way to do that, which led me to major in Biology,” said Jack. He would not end up a doctor, not yet anyway, but he would graduate from EMU with a Bachelor of Science, majoring in biology and minoring in political science.  Today, Jack is the Director of Internet Marketing at Prudential Snyder & Company, Realtors. From athletics, to a fraternity, to Student Organizations, to internships; Jack’s journey is what has put him on track toward his dream.

Jack Cassedy loves wrestling, in fact he says, “Wrestling pretty much defines me as a person.” Jack wrestled throughout high school and did very well for himself. He remained totally undefeated until his final match, as a senior, in which he was significantly outweighed by the opponent and lost 9 to 4. Jack said, somewhat jokingly, “I remember that match like it was yesterday…It haunts me.”

It was actually wrestling that brought Jack to Eastern Michigan University. He enrolled because he knew the assistant coach of the wrestling team quite well; they had met at several national tournaments Jack was in when he wrestled for Team Michigan. Jack intended to start his collegiate wrestling career at EMU.

“Young and naive, I thought a little 112 pounder like myself could make it at 125 pounds wrestling in college…Long story short, I started as a sophomore, but didn’t do very well. I was undersized and couldn’t keep my weight up. Which is the opposite of what most wrestlers deal with – cutting weight to be the biggest guy in your weight class.” Jack was also busying himself with getting involved in student life.

Jack loved the transition from high school to college life. He lived in Putnam Hall and said, “It was like being in a city of people my own age…Everything was new and exciting; it was like being a kid again, but with hormones and responsibilities.” Eventually Jack would retire from wrestling and joined the fraternity Kappa Phi Alpha. Jack says that the Fraternity House was in a “bad place” then, and he set himself to help make it better.  After some obstacles and opposition, Jack reports that being a part of the Kappa Phi Alpha brotherhood, “taught me valuable leadership skills and organizational skills that have translated to my professional life more.”


Jack (second from right/blue T-shirt) is a proud Kappa Phi Alpha Fraternity Brother

Eventually, Jack became involved with the organization Campus Life, which turned into a marketing internship with Campus Life. This job would set the stage for Jack’s career path. “I was given the task of researching social media marketing, back before everyone was doing it. I researched hundreds of articles looking for valuable insights on how to best use social media for marketing. I turned those insights into a presentation and presented it to several different departments and eventually to the EMU Strategy Council (which was over 100 people at that time)… It was a pretty intimidating audience.” This gave Jack a unique understanding of Social Media Marketing and led him to take another job as a Brand Agent for Neebo.

Jack could see a great career possibility in web marketing and decided to “take my internet marketing chops to the next level” by earning a Master Certificate from the University of San Francisco online. He did this while still an undergrad.

Thanks to this strategic decision, Jack was now able to run valuable social media campaigns, use web analytics, search engine optimization, blogging, and all things web-marketing; all when it was starting to be in great demand.

Jack Cassedy was quickly hired by Prudential Snyder & Company, Realtors after graduating in 2011. He is the Director of Internet Marketing, “I create strategies and implement tactics that improve our overall web presence and increase web generated leads. I manage multiple social media accounts, implement search engine optimization strategies, blog, and consult the real estate agents on social marketing, how to utilize the tech tools that the company offers, as well as helping them to implement third party marketing systems.”

But how does a major in biology help someone in web marketing? Jack finds unique and meaningful ways in which his education has made him excellent at his job:

“Earning my Biology degree has been invaluable to my career path. The hours upon hours upon hours spent doing research projects for Biology related courses has helped me to turn anything I want to learn into a research project; in essence, this has shaped the process of how I learn new things… And in the business of internet marketing, there is always something new to learn. Chemistry, which is a mixture of math, puzzle solving, and applying rules to situations has helped me to understand complex virtual ecosystems in a way that allows me to leverage each piece in a way that makes the most sense for the overall strategy.”

Jack’s ambitions are not fulfilled yet. Jack says, “My future will be filled with lots of stress, sweat, coffee, and ambition put to work. I want to change the world for the better.”

Jack plans to create a free, web-based educational product that is significantly tailored for the “visual web”. This is how Jack will better the world, through education that is available to everyone. “If every single person on the planet is able to get a world class education in a manner that is easy to understand and stay engaged with; humanity will be able to move forward much more quickly.”

While Jack’s path was unconventional, he is going directly towards his dream. Jack believes his collective experience at EMU has greatly contributed to the success he has today.

Jack wants to, “change the world for the better.” He already is.

If you want to know more about what Jack has been up to, like his Living in Ann Arbor Facebook page and remember to follow the Prudential Snyder Twitter!


Jack (bottom) also loves his “Pit bull Pooch” Ollie (Top)

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Aframes Eyewear:

Winston “Wes” Stoody and Cole Sanseverino Part I of II

by Paul Martell

Wes Stoody and Cole Sanseverino are EMU Alums who have partnered on a dream, and are spreading their vision through their charitable, eyewear business


“I am forever grateful for what EMU, and those involved with EMU have given me, and I would really like to give back,” said Winston “Wes” Stoody, president and founder of Aframes Eyewear. He certainly has been giving back.


From left to right: Cole Sanseverino, partner & Winston “Wes” Stoody, President/Founder. They are also best friends.

Stoody is a 2011 graduate, and has a Bachelor’s degree in economics. One of Stoody’s passions is running. He was an extremely active member of EMU’s cross country and track and field teams. Stoody was also one of the few students to receive the honored Presidential Scholarship from 2007 to 2011. His plan was to graduate, go to grad school and become an economics professor. It was Stoody’s junior year at EMU when he took an Economic Development class that would open his eyes to a cause that would later change him.

“The class was about growing the economy of developing nations” said Stoody. He “loved” economics so this class seemed a logical choice for him. On no day in particular, Doctor Steve Hayworth showed a PBS documentary about Vitamin A deficiency in various nations around the world. Vitamin A Deficiency is a widespread problem that most commonly causes blindness, but also leads to failure of the immune system, and often death. It was through this documentary that Stoody learned one third, or 190 million, preschool aged children and over 19 million pregnant women suffer from Vitamin A Deficiency (VAD). He also learned, approximately, half of the children that lose their sight to VAD will die within 12 months. These staggering truths left an impression in Stoody’s mind, he said, “I couldn’t believe most Americans just didn’t know about it.”

While the seed was planted, it was not yet time for Stoody to start his dream; he had other things to focus on. Stoody’s time was spent running for the team, and then going home to Downing Hall to study. He lived with team member and roommate Cole Sanseverino; Cole would later become a major part in the story of Aframes Eyewear. Stoody would say, to this point, his education was focused on course related classes, and not on general education.

Another defining moment for Stoody came in the form of a creative writing class during his sophomore year. To this point, Stoody’s classes were mostly mathematical, and less artistic. Stoody says, “It completely opened my mind and made me a better thinker, I didn’t take more (writing) classes after, but it helped me open my mind out of just Math, led me into poetry and changed my thought.”

During the summer of 2010, Stoody took an internship with the American Action Forum in Washington D.C. It was here that the final realizations would occur that would change Stoody’s life direction. He quickly found that “desk work” was not for him, “I wanted to do something that would matter, something that would count.”

Stoody rode the metro to work. It was here, reading the book Uncharitable, a book about the realism of the way Western culture values charity, that Stoody decided he was going to start his own business. It did not take long for Stoody to remember the documentary from the economics class he took. Stoody said, “I knew it had to be tied to Vitamin A, I couldn’t believe people didn’t know about it.” Then came the conception of Aframes Eyewear, a high quality, high fashion eyewear company that would give 5% of all its profit to, “spread the word about the problem, and help fund the solution.”


the Cameroon Caramel is just one of the many stylish offers from Aframes Eyewear

Stoody was finally going to do something that “would matter, something that would count”, but he was not going to be alone. Stoody knew what he was going to do, but it would still be a long road to get there. All that was left was to start.

Wes Stoody is very much loyal to Eastern Michigan University, and appreciates the contributions the University has made. “I am so grateful for the great education that I believe in…I think about it a lot,” says Stoody, “The kids that go to Eastern have a far greater chance at doing something special than other Universities because of EMU’s diverse nature.” Wes attributes his success and education to more than just his classes; he believes his growth has come from his team, his university, and his city.

It is great to hear about the cool, interesting things our Alums are doing. This is only part of the story. If you would like to learn the rest about Wes, Aframes Eyewear, VAD and the illustrious Cole Sanseverino you should check back for part 2.

Don’t forget to check out Aframes Eyewear and support the cause (and look better than all your friends doing it).


Check out their Facebook and Twitter to join the conversation!

– Paul Martell

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Hello Young, Eastern Alumni!

As the new Alumni Relations intern here at EMU’s Alumni Association, I wanted to take some time to get to know each other. I suppose we can start with me.

My name is Paul Martell, and I am a senior majoring in Public Relations and minoring in Management, and a current member of PRSSA. I have been at this wonderful University of ours for 2 years, and hope to walk in April’s graduation commencement. I am sincerely excited to be a part of the Alumni Association team, and I am looking forward to communicating with all of you, and getting to know you a little better. After all, if everything goes according to my plan, I will be one of you (an Alumnus) by this summer. I keep pretty busy with classwork, but when I do get free time, I am all about soccer, running, and just about anything that gets me outside.

When I came to EMU, I was unsure about my major, and intimidated by my first University experience. However, after two years filled with wonderful professors, many hours of class in Pray-Harrold, and genuine friendships I think I get it. EMU is a place to figure out who you are, and how to use that knowledge to find your career. So when I really think about it, I am excited about EMU for the same reasons I am excited about my future in Public Relations. They both rely on 2 foundational principles: integrity and relationships.

This semester is going to be an exciting one, and we have some great events coming up. Do not forget to like the Young Alumni Facebook Page and follow the Alumni Twitter for updates on events and to join the conversation. I will keep you guys updated here on the blog weekly, and I am already working on some cool stories I know you will enjoy.

So what about you? Is there anything this new intern needs to hear from the Young Alumni? Are there any topics you would like to read more about, or are interested in? Please feel free to share.

Well, that is all for now. I look forward to meeting you in person this semester at our events, until then, we can always talk here.

–          Paul Martell


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