Coaching students through life's transitions


By Andrea O'Neill '06

To Ebony Taylor ‘12/'13M, Bloom felt like home the first time she was on campus, especially after she bumped into a former school classmate from the boarding school she had attended. It all just felt natural to her.

She loved it so much that she stayed for a decade.

“Bloom has been and always will be a home away from home,” said Taylor. Before it became a tagline in the brochure, BU was a great place to "be you". It was the small things. The vibe. It was a natural transition.”

Taylor went through several transitions while at Bloomsburg and those challenging moments were what shaped her career path and motivated her to give back ever since. She recalls navigating through several successive identity crises: From military service to student, from student to grad student, and again from grad student to staff member when she was hired at Bloomsburg just before graduating with her M.S. in College Student Affairs.

“Moving from student to grad student and then to a professional was challenging,” recalled Taylor. “Fellow classmates became my students. Professors become colleagues. Colleagues become friends. You get to learn the university from a different lens in each role.”

As a grad student, Taylor was assigned support roles, but once she became part of the BU staff she was able to advise those same student organizations as a professional. She volunteered to be on committees, served on the Act 101 alumni board, and has continually maintained connections with students and the Bloomsburg University alumni board. She has volunteered for alumni panels and as a career coach for students, as well as a guest lecturer for multicultural courses in student affairs. Taylor says that hearing the stories of so many students as she supported them during their transitions has been the biggest draw to remaining involved.

“I’ve met so many students with different stories,” said Taylor. “So many different “Why”s. When you’re watching students make these transitions providing assistance and guidance can go a long way.”

After five years as a student affairs practitioner, Taylor made yet another transition – this time to the tech industry. Not only does she work in the Information Security field but she does so while severing as an adjunct professor, and she’s now taken it upon herself to mentor students during their transitions to the professional world and help them make the connections they need to break into the technology sector. Her efforts have led to at least one student landing their first full-time position with a major tech company. For Taylor, volunteering is as natural a fit for her as the Bloomsburg campus was nearly 15 years ago.

“Volunteering is in my DNA,” explained Taylor. “I’m passionate about paying it forward. Any small thing you do for someone can easily have a huge and positive impact on their journey, as well as the journey of others they may encounter.  I met some amazing people, [and] I’ll always be connected to the university. It’s inevitable.”

If you are interested in volunteering to help fellow Huskies on their next climb, let us know!