In 2010, Pam Miller ’10 and Emily Anderson ’11 founded Button Up, a company that creates custom-made buttons and magnets. Miller and Anderson attended Ideas Inc. through Millikin’s Center for Entrepreneurship. After placing in the Elevator Pitch Competition and becoming tenants in MU's business incubator, Hub, the pair competed in the 2011 Business Creation Competition, winning Best Business Plan in the College of Arts and Sciences. They also received funding through the Larry and Ann Haab Seed Fund.
The company has created buttons for major events, including International Foursquare Day and National Homeless Advocacy Day, as well as local events such as weddings and student programs. The owners also visit grade schools to talk about small businesses and work with children and older adults to help them create their own hand-drawn buttons.
As a student, Miller was a member of Alpha Chi Omega sorority and Alpha Psi Omega national theatre honor society. A resident assistant, she also served as the Americorps VISTA Service Learning Coordinator and implemented the first annual Box City event to spread awareness of homelessness.
While at Millikin, Anderson was a resident assistant, a member of Alpha Chi Omega sorority, president of EQALL and member of the Human Service Connection, which organizes alternative spring breaks for students to learn about underserved populations. She also played in the Percussion Ensemble and in the Millikin-Decatur Symphony Orchestra.
Miller and Anderson are both scheduled to graduate in May from the University of Maryland, Baltimore, with master’s degrees in social work.
Button Up products are available at The Blue Connection and the Cancer Care Center of Decatur. For more information, visit their Facebook page.
Want to be spotlighted as the "Young Alum of the Month?" We are seeking recommendations and self-nominations for outstanding young alumni who have demonstrated innovative and responsible professional leadership and have the potential for future success. Email Jaclyn Weisenborn '09, associate director of alumni engagement, with a short write-up of why you or your nominee should be considered for this profile. Please include a list of successes and achievements in your nomination, and attach a portrait or headshot (if available). One alum will be featured each month in MY Times.
In this competitive and ever-changing job market, it is important to take ownership of your career and find ways to build your brand. This may mean looking into new opportunities or finding ways to better express and be known for your positive attributes.
I recently discovered a quote from Ralph Waldo Emerson in an early edition of “The Successful Toastmaster” by Herbert V. Prochnow and Herbert V. Prochnow Jr. that illustrates this point:
“If a man has good corn, or wood, or boards, or pigs to sell, or can make better chairs or knives, crucibles, or church organs than anybody else, you will find a broad hard-beaten road to his house, though it be in the woods.”
To me, this says when a person is skilled at something, whatever it may be, people will seek that person out. In other words, when you are able to express your unique promise of value and be recognized for it, you will be on the path to professional success. This is the foundation of personal branding – being able to identify, develop, utilize and market your skills and strengths and in turn be recognized for your unique professional gifts, thus building your brand.
Learn more about personal branding at Dan Schawbel’s Personal Branding Blog and by checking out these great resources regarding building a positive online identity.
By Kristin Nisbet-White, assistant director of the Millikin Career Center
View the athletics schedule for track and field meets, baseball games, softball games and golf meets.
Check out the concerts and shows at Millikin this month. Your Alumni Association membership card can get you a 10 percent discount on select MU fine arts events.
- Thodos Dance Chicago, April 6 at Kirkland Fine Arts Center
- Spring Awakening, April 17-21 at Albert Taylor Theatre
- MDSO with Laurie Glencross, April 20 at Kirkland Fine Arts Center
- Millikin University Bands, April 21 at Kirkland Fine Arts Center
- Masterworks, April 27 at Kirkland Fine Arts Center
View the Millikin calendar for more upcoming events.
- T.W. Samuels Lecture with Allan Sloan, senior editor-at-large at Fortune Magazine, April 9 at Kirkland Fine Arts Center
- 50 years of Millikin Jazz celebration, April 13 at Westminster Presbyterian Church next to campus
Speed Networking - April 22
Join us Monday, April 22, from 7-8 p.m. in the Alumni and Development Center for Speed Networking. Co-sponsored by MilliSTAT (Millikin Students Today, Alumni Tomorrow) and Millikin’s Career Center, this free event is modeled after speed dating. Millikin students rotate among alumni for a series of short networking opportunities, moving on each time the bell rings. Participating alumni are encouraged to bring business cards. Refreshments served. RSVP by April 19 to Jaclyn Weisenborn ’09, associate director of alumni engagement, at email@example.com or 217-424-6383.
Millikin Founder's Day Celebration - April 30
Help celebrate Millikin’s 112th birthday at this year’s Founder’s Day Celebration, sponsored by MilliSTAT. Join us for a picnic on Miller Quad (Wornick Dining Room in case of rain) from 5-7 p.m. The ceremony will begin at 5:30 p.m., and entertainment includes performances by the Millikin Men and others. Decatur Mayor Mike McElroy will also share his thoughts on what Millikin means to Decatur. Cost of the meal is $8, payable at the door. RSVP for the meal by April 25 to Jaclyn Weisenborn ’09, associate director of alumni engagement, at firstname.lastname@example.org or 217-424-6383. Above: An aerial view of campus from 1908.
Millikin Men Tour - April 12-13
Don't miss your chance to catch a Chicago-area performance by the Millikin Men. Friday, April 12, 7:30 p.m. at Our Saviour's Lutheran Church, 815 S. Washington St., Naperville, Ill., and Saturday, April 13, 7 p.m. at The Church of the Atonement, 5749 N. Kenmore Ave., Chicago. Free admission. No RSVP required.
OneVoice - May 1
Enjoy the smooth jazz of MU’s OneVoice vocal ensemble (pictured above) and share the company of alumni and friends as this award-winning Millikin group performs for a local Expressions music series. Wednesday, May 1, 7 p.m. at Lewis and Clark Community College, Benjamin Godfrey Chapel, 5800 Godfrey Road, Godfrey, Ill. Free admission. Reception follows. RSVP by April 26 to the Alumni and Development Office at 1-877-JMU-ALUM (568-2586) or by email at email@example.com.
Chicago Networking Event - May 2
Join Chicago-area alumni and friends for a free career workshop/networking event on Thursday, May 2, beginning at 5 p.m. in the Deloitte Conference Center, 111 S. Wacker Drive. Want to network only? Arrive at 5:30 p.m. RSVP by April 29 to the Alumni and Development Office at 1-877-JMU-ALUM (568-2586) or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
In honor of Millikin's snow day March 25, we recently asked our alumni Facebook audience if they remember having any snow days during their time at Millikin. Here are a few responses:
Sharon Peters Bloch: I remember the one 1982-ish. Went sledding behind Aston Hall then back to my room where my roommate and I cranked the heat up all the way and danced to the Beach Boys.
Betony Johnston O'Connor: Blizzard of '99 during rehearsals for choir tour. It took me an hour to get from The Woods to Kirkland just walking in the snow. I had to take breaks because the snow was higher than I could pick up my feet!
Melody Hamrick Kneezel: I remember that February 13th on 06-07 because Doc made us come to OneVoice rehearsal anyway. We had to climb through 3-foot tall snow drifts to get to PMC.
Ken Miller: Early 2007 - I believe there were several snow days for an ice storm that, among other things, caused the huge tree between Aston & Mills to fall...
Here's a glimpse of student and alumni events this past month. Have a photo or video to share? Email Jaclyn Weisenborn, and your images could be shared with other young alumni!
Video: Millikin's Department of Theatre and Dance presented "Machinal" by Sophie Treadwell earlier this spring. Check out the promo video here.
1-2: Millikin's campus was covered with 14" of snow during the Central Illinois snowstorm of March 24!
3: Broadway star Sierra Boggess '04 conducted master classes with Millikin students on campus March 22-24. Boggess recently completed runs in London and New York of "Phantom of the Opera," where she played the lead-female role of Christine. She also premiered the role of Ariel in the Broadway musical, "The Little Mermaid."
4: Kirkland was filled with laughs March 26, thanks to the 2013 Goodheart Event with Seth Meyers (left). Meyers joined Peggy Madden (center) and her husband Dick Phillips (right) during a special meet and greet after the performance. Special thanks to Peggy and the late G. William Madden, who created the Goodheart Event through a gift in memory of Mrs. Madden’s father, the late William R. Goodheart Jr.
Homecoming 2013 is Oct. 4-6!
Nominations are sought for the 2013 Young Alumnus of the Year award. This award, presented at homecoming, honors an alumna or alumnus under age 35 who has made notable achievements in a chosen field and has given faithful service to the university. To submit a nomination, complete the online nomination form.