When she came to Eastern Michigan University in 2004, Bre McKamie didn’t have many people to lean on. “In terms of a support system,” Bre said. “I really just had my mother.” Without a great sense of where she wanted to go in college, she chose to major in communication. However, after her participation in a career seminar at the end of her first year and meeting with PR advisor Lolita Cummings-Carson; Bre decided to pursue a degree in public relations instead.
Yet it was her interaction with Dr. Melissa Motschall that really changed her life. “She really pushed me out of my comfort zone,” Bre said. “She also showed me that an advisor could do so much more than just create a course schedule. It’s about being a coach and a resource.”
After graduating with a degree in PR, Bre got a job with a foster care agency where she helped youth between 16-21 years old transition into adulthood. Bre found that her role was much larger than she had originally thought, and found herself being a parental figure to the youth that she worked with.
With this experience under her belt, she decided to go back to Eastern to pursue her master’s degree in educational leadership with a concentration in higher education and student affairs. While in the master’s program, she got the opportunity to work as a graduate assistant in the advising office at the College of Technology. Upon graduating, she was able to get a part-time job working in advising for the COT and that eventually transitioned into a full-time position.
For Bre, the most rewarding aspects of her work comes from the students that she interacts with. “One of the best feelings is when you have a student come in and tell you that one of their friends suggested that they come see me for help,” Bre said. Another major source of inspiration for Bre is her advising work with the BrotherHOOD and SisterHOOD (HOOD stands for helping others obtain degrees) programs at Eastern. “It’s so great to be able to work with kids who all come from similar backgrounds as I do and help them envision and achieve their own success in school and their future careers.”
Looking ahead, Bre says that she is considering going on to get her PhD in higher education and pursuing a career in university administration. Always thinking of others, Bre is constantly looking for ways that she can help those around her. “At the end of the day,” Bre said, “I gauge my success on the success of my students.” Regardless of what path she may choose, Bre is sure to do great things and impact an even greater number of people along the way.
This blog was brought to you by the College of Technology.