Alumni Spotlight – Meet Melissa Trahyn!

Degree: Bachelor, Music Education
Graduation Year: 1998
Current Occupation: Educational Technology Specialist

 

  1. – What brought you to The Ohio State University?

I went to Ohio State to be in the Marching Band.  In my junior year of high school in Kentucky, we visited the Stadium Bandroom, spoke with then director, Dr. Woods, and saw a performance of the OSUMB.  I knew, from that point on, that I wanted to go to Ohio State to be in the Marching Band.

 

  1. – How did your experiences at Ohio State shape your career path?

I came into my current career after 20 years on another path.  While at Ohio State, I got the international bug and traveled outside of the US a lot through my involvement with Cru (then Campus Crusade for Christ).  That led to me spending a year after graduation teaching English in Central Asia.  Upon my return, I taught for 2 years in public and private schools in Indianapolis, but still wanted to be in more of an international environment.  In 2001 took a job at Butler University which started my 20-year stint in International Education at the university level.  I have held positions in English as a Second Language programs, International Student Services Offices and Study Abroad organizations.

During the pandemic of 2020, international education took a big hit and I found myself out of work for the first time in over 16 years.  I took a career pivot in July 2020 and accepted a position as an Educational Technology Specialist, something I had been learning, using, and informally training for in my previous position through experiences and opportunities that were afforded to me.  Now I work with faculty at the Christian Theological Seminary in Indianapolis, to design online courses that are not only pedagogically sound, but engaging to the students through a virtual environment.

 

  1. – What advice do you have for OSU alumni and students interested in pursuing a career in your field?

Every job you take, every position you are in, you are learning.  Never stop learning as the path you think you want may not be the path you end up on 20 years later.  I’m an educator at heart and have found myself in a variety of fields in education, from teaching K-8 music, to teaching ESL, to working with international students and study abroad students, and now working with faculty.  Find what you love; find what brings you joy and pursue that.  My current field of EdTech is really taking off since the pandemic.  I find I’m energized by helping others find connections and engagement and have found that my current field of EdTech is a catalyst for engagement in the classroom.

 

  1. – What is your greatest professional accomplishment?

I think my greatest professional accomplishment is that I have never stopped learning.  I have recently been accepted into a doctoral program at Indiana University in Instructional Systems Technology which will commence in Fall 2021.  I never thought I’d get to this point of pursuing a doctoral degree and am very proud of where I am now.

 

  1. – What inspires you in your profession?

An idea or concept that “clicks” for someone is so inspiring.  I love that “lightbulb” moment where people finally get it!  I want to jump up and down when that happens.  Whether it’s a musical piece that finally came together, someone communicating for the first time in English, or a faculty member making a meaningful connection with a student virtually – those moments inspire me and keep me going.

 

  1. – In what ways have you stayed connected with OSU after your graduation?

It’s taken me some time to get to where I am today.  Upon graduation, I immediately moved overseas.  When I came home, my parents were living in a city and state I had never lived in, and I was without work.  After getting married and having kids, time just flew right by…but in the summer of 2020, I felt the urge to reconnect when I saw an announcement for a TBDBITL Alumni Club Board of Governors (BOG) At Large Position.  I reached out, put my name in the hat, and was voted in during the September 2020 BOG meeting!

Since then, I’ve been passionate about helping others who may not live in Columbus, reconnect.  I have done this by spearheading the social media for the TBDBITL Alumni Club.  I revived the Club’s Facebook page and created a LinkedIn page in December 2020.  Since then, our Facebook page has increased its followers by 20% and our LinkedIn page has gained 241 new followers since its inception.  Our 2021 goal for these two platforms is to see 1000 followers on Facebook and 500 on LinkedIn by year’s end.  Since March 2021, I have also revived the Instagram and Twitter feeds for the Club and have seen our interactions and followership grow with each post.  We currently have an alumni campaign highlighting “The Best Damn Alumni” each month.  This social media campaign runs on Facebook, LinkedIn, and Instagram and has been a great collaboration between the Awards Committee and Communications of the TBDBITL Alumni Club.  I’m so excited to be serving in this way and it’s very rewarding to see the conversations going on between alumni on these platforms.

You can find us and help us meet our follower goals at:

Career Management Staff Receives Diversity, Equity, Inclusion Certification

Often in the Office of Alumni Career Management, we talk to clients about the importance of continuing professional development, and a commitment to consistent personal growth. We are also committed to doing this in our personal lives as well.

In that spirit, we are excited to amount that both Marilyn and Kioshana have recently completed the Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion in the Workplace certificate program offered through the University of South Florida’s Muma College of Business! The seven-week program, created in partnership with the Tampa Bay Lightning and Jabil, focused on ways for organizations to create diverse workplaces, address equity issues, and foster inclusivity.  In order to obtain this certificate, we completed seven two-hour modules related to important topics in the DE&I workplace, including emotional intelligence, stereotypes and biases, community outreach, and crafting a sustainable business model. We were also tested on each of the cornerstone topics and earned 1.4 continuing education credits as part of this program.

In this office, and at the university at large, we pride ourselves on our ongoing commitment toward making the workplace a more equitable and healthy place for professionals to thrive, and this training will help support that mission going forward.  For more information on this certification, visit the website here.