Volunteer Profile: Margeaux McReynolds (STEINHARDT ’07)
December 15, 2021
“Though my closest NYU pals are hundreds of miles away, my alumni club offers me more opportunities to make new NYU friends and network in a different way,” says Margeaux McReynolds (STEINHARDT ’07) [she/her], a leader of the NYU Alumni Club in Chicago. The club, which is one of dozens of NYU alumni clubs around the world, aims to connect the 5,000 alumni in the region through speaker events, happy hours, and networking events.
Margeaux, who has degrees from Illinois State University (B.Ed), NYU (M.A.), University of Illinois at Chicago (M.Ed), and soon DePaul University (PhD), and currently works in Chicago Public Schools, knows the value of an enduring relationship with one’s alma mater. “Getting involved can also extend past the local club, with opportunities to join auxiliaries and support other NYU efforts,” she says.
How did you first become involved as an NYU alumni volunteer?
In 2013, I attended my first alumni event and soon after moved away for a year. Upon returning in late 2015, I was informed that the NYU Alumni Club in Chicago was in need of new volunteers. I attended an event for those interested in being club leads and I’ve been a leader since.
Why do you stay involved with NYU? Why would you encourage other alumni to get involved?
I not only valued my time and experiences at NYU but also the lifelong connections I made while in school. I have met so many amazing individuals from various NYU colleges and class years and to hear their experiences in school and within their careers is one of the things I love most about being a club leader. Getting involved can also extend past the local club, with opportunities to join auxiliaries and support other NYU efforts.
What’s your proudest (or most fun) moment as an alumni volunteer?
One of the best opportunities I had as a volunteer was to join a group of incoming freshmen from Chicago for a Welcome event. The new Violets were so excited, and hearing their “why” NYU stories was inspiring. I loved talking to those who would soon walk the Square and form memories like I had.
Did you have any NYU classes or instructors who inspired or impacted you?
One instructor I had that I recall often is Professor Cynthia McCallister. Beyond her insight as a literacy professional, her humanistic side and compassion helped me during one of the most difficult times in my life. When my grandmother passed away one week into the winter session, my focus and engagement changed. Due to the short length of the course and tons of assignments that needed to be completed, she was very supportive and helped me get through everything even as I needed to travel home for the services. Her kindness, accommodations and genuine care as an instructor was appreciated then and still to this day.
What is a surprising way you’ve used your NYU education since graduating?
Though I never became a literacy specialist, I actually used my literacy knowledge to develop curriculum for a Cook County initiative, Project Rainbow. The portion of the project I assisted with focused on helping learning loss with our youngest learners. I helped co-write 19 early learning episodes for children 3–5 years of age with a primary focus on literacy.
What is your favorite NYU memory?
Taking hip hop dance with my roommate for three of the eight sessions we paid for. Saturday mornings were rough!
What is your favorite:
- Food? Thai food
- Book? I have a few but Bell Hooks’ All about Love has been reread a few times lately
- TV Show and/or Movie? Chicago Fire and Chicago PD
- Podcast? “Black Girl Podcast”
- Song and/or Musical Artist? Silk sonic
- Place on NYU’s campus? Washington Square Park
- Social distancing activity? Zoom game nights with my NYU gal pals