Volunteer Story, Michael Skocay, A08

Michael Skocay, A08, fondly remembers the buzz of the Tufts Observer office

Current occupation: Faculty assistant in the Negotiation, Organizations, and Markets (NOM) Unit at Harvard Business School

Volunteer experience at Tufts: Tufts Journalism Society (2008 - present), Tufts Alumni Council (2009 - present; Career Services Committee, chair, 2010 - 2011), Tufts Alumni Admissions Program (TAAP) (2009 - present), CASE Boston (2011 - present)

Most memorable volunteer experience: Volunteering for the TAAP program has been a rewarding way to give back. Interviewing high school seniors each winter, listening to their hopes and dreams for college, and introducing them to the university is a great opportunity to hear directly from the next class of potential Jumbos and to remain in touch with Tufts.

Why volunteer? I volunteer for Tufts because the university made me who I am today. Tufts provided the challenging, yet supportive environment that allowed me to excel as a student and to grow as a person, and I will always be grateful for the opportunities I had as an undergraduate. Giving back to keep the university strong for each incoming class feels like the least I can do, and it’s a responsibility I‘m happy to take on.

Favorite spot on campus: The Media Advocacy Board (MAB) lab, a room in Curtis Hall that sits below the WFMO studios, above the Tufts Daily, and beside Brown & Brew. Now, the MAB lab isn’t a particularly memorable space. In fact, it’s quite ugly—defined in my memory by its harsh fluorescent lights, stark white walls, creaky doors, and beat up couches. When it’s empty it looks lonely and downright unforgiving.

But I don’t remember the MAB actually ever being empty; I remember the room when it was filled with dozens of writers and editors feverishly working to meet deadlines for the next issue of the Tufts Observer copies flying this way and that, voices shouting one over another, printers spitting out page after page, and a chorus of fingers clacking on keyboards. I remember it filled with a staff that was always pressing into the early hours of the morning, all of us too over-caffeinated and stuffed with too much cheap takeout to bother with sleep. And beyond the work, I remember the friends I made there—our conversations, inside jokes, mistakes, and arguments. Now three years out of Tufts, I can think of no place I’d rather spend a day (and a night).

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