Troy A. Blevins and Stephanie Cosby (Photo: Sarah Lewis / MJ)
Webmaster Troy A. Blevins and Staff Writer Stephanie Cosby are both graduating in December 2012 from UM-Dearborn. (Photo: Sarah Lewis / MJ)

By TROY A. BLEVINS, Webmaster

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I’m not exactly sure where to begin, but maybe a quick introduction of who I am before we get down to business.

My name is Troy A. Blevins and I am the Webmaster, Web Editor, Web Designer, Social Media Correspondent… “Web Guru” of the Michigan Journal.

Almost anything you read on MichiganJournal.org or saw on our Facebook, Twitter, or Tumblr feeds was most likely posted by me for the publication.

I wrote a few things for the paper that mostly revolved around technology, the university or entertainment news. But my real and true passion was discovering how to share every writer’s stories in new and creative ways with Twitter and Facebook integration, galleries, embedding videos, and even newspaper columns.


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How it began

Before getting involved with the paper, I was one of those students who would come to school, eat and study whenever I could find a table at the University Center and go home.

That all changed in November 2011 during my studies at the University of Michigan-Dearborn. Former Editor-in-Chief Samantha Elliott and former Managing Editor Ben Dixon were seeking a Web Editor at the time for the Michigan Journal. I explained to them my past experience in creating websites (since 1999 by the way) and my internship over the past summer.

The course I was taking with them was Business and Automotive Reporting, taught by Professor Tim Kiska. To think that if I had never enrolled in that class, I may have never been a part of this paper.

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Working on the website

The Michigan Journal’s website was relatively new at the time, just launching on a new domain using WordPress. The previous website domain for the Michigan Journal (located at themichiganjournal.com) had expired. Thus, almost everything had to start from scratch.

Blake Billmaier, our former Webmaster, and I both shared similar ideas and concepts, which helped to further merge together ideas only possible when you combine science and the liberal arts.

One of the concepts I brought to the table this year was creating a brand new logo for the publication.  We had gone through a few different designs before ultimately coming up with the logo we have today.

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Thank you, UM-Dearborn

But there’s more than meets the eye. There are so many people that helped bring the website to where it is today. The editors, writers and readers have helped increase readership not only on our campus, but throughout the world.

I want to thank the past and current editorial staff of the Michigan Journal, who have welcomed me into their family. I wish the best of luck to the returning editorial staff in the winter, including Tommy Alexander, who will oversee operations of the website and social media platforms. I also believe the ever incredible duo, Sarah Lewis and Elizabeth Bastian, will definitely bring even more ideas to the website.

Finally, I am proud to become a graduate of the University of Michigan-Dearborn and am glad to have witnessed the difference I have made on this campus.

I end this piece with one of my favorite quotes:

“Stay hungry, stay foolish.” – Steve Jobs

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