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May 1

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Dr. Travis McMaken is Recognized as a “Person of Positivity” by Faculty and Staff

Dr. Travis McMaken is Recognized as a “Person of Positivity” by Faculty and Staff

By Tori Lohmann

Dr. Travis McMaken, professor of Philosophy and Religion and Assistant Dean  of the School of Humanities, has recently been recognized as a person of positivity among Lindenwood’s faculty and staff. The “Person of Positivity” initiative was started by the faculty and staff at our university about a year ago. Dr. McMaken says that the initiative is all about “how our attitudes can make a big impact on our work, our students, and our satisfaction in life” and “maintaining a positive attitude.”

It is clear Dr. McMaken values spreading positivity amongst his community, as he was nominated by sixteen individuals. Though his positive attitude is evident and contagious, Dr. McMaken states that he “doesn’t necessarily feel positive all the time, but it’s about that decision to be positive...and deciding to treat other people positively no matter how you’re feeling.” Dr. McMaken reflects on this nomination humbly and discusses how his attitude is inspired by his colleagues who have taught him that “positivity is a choice.”

Dr. McMaken’s positivity reaches far and wide at Lindenwood, as he has strong connections with colleagues and former students. He was recently asked by Lindenwood alumni to host the Dining with Alum for the School of Humanities event with successful alum Kayla Piers Stewart, who received the Young Alumni award last year, to discuss with students the skills needed to reach success in their careers, including positivity. “It’s all about empathy,” he says, “and being able to understand the human experience and what matters to people so that you can actually connect with them in a meaningful, positive, and productive way.” His avid involvement at the university is a representation  of his genuine care for our community and his desire to connect with others. 

Another way Dr. McMaken connects with those around him is through his theology book club. He thought of the idea while “looking for a way to get people in the community plugged in” with one another. The club includes Lindenwood faculty and staff, as well as current and former students, and pastors from the St. Charles and St. Louis communities and meets once a week to discuss the chosen book for the semester. Dr. McMaken says the club has “built a bridge over First Capital” and has given people the “chance to connect with folks in the community.”

Maybe it’s the amount of coffee he drinks, or maybe it’s because Dr. McMaken genuinely cares about the people who surround him, but his impact on those at Lindenwood is evident through his much-earned nomination as a person of positivity at our university.

Congrats, Dr. McMaken, and thanks for all you do to help spread positivity at Lindenwood!

The Linden Gold

The Linden Gold

The Linden Gold is a student operated organization focusing on promoting the academic success and achievements of Lindenwood. Through stories about alumni, current students, and faculty alike, The Linden Gold strives to engage with the St. Charles Community and showcase the unique greatness of Lindenwood.

The Linden Gold

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