be_ixf;ym_202404 d_18; ct_50

EU Alumni Perspective: Daniel Moffatt

Name: Daniel Moffatt

Graduation Year: 2007

Major: International Multicultural Studies

Current Position: Stewardship and Education Specialist, Thunder Bay National Marine Sanctuary

City and State: Alpena, Michigan

 

Tell us about your career and what you do now.

The second summer after graduation from Evangel I went to work for an adventure camp in the mountains of North Carolina. It was there that I discovered an excitement for leading youth in outdoor recreation experiences and exploring new places. Backpacking, canoeing, spelunking, and biking; for a job? I was hooked. I stayed on for the fall programs that included school field trips and nature hikes. After two years of service with AmeriCorps and more years in each corner of the country, I longed for a more rooted existence and moved close to home on the shores of Lake Huron in northeast Michigan.

Now leading the education team at Thunder Bay National Marine Sanctuary, I support educators and engage students in meaningful environmental experiences focused on Great Lakes stewardship and maritime heritage. With over 100 known shipwrecks in the sanctuary boundaries, I tell the stories of their passengers and cargo to inspire students to protect and preserve these treasured places within their community. We snorkel shipwrecks, study invasive species, clean up the beaches, and build underwater robots to create a sense of pride in their place and to build a lifelong conservation ethic.

When I’m not in the field or on the water, much of my office work is answering emails, coordinating events, evaluating programs and grant writing. Things like schedules, busing, funding, release forms, and safety plans are important for successful field trips.

My current position was certainly a divine appointment. They sought me out, I didn’t even have to apply! The job offer came as a result of proven work ethic, character, leadership, and ability to work on a team. Though my degree was international multicultural studies and not education, it did prepare me to be a people person. Communication and coordination are skills that prove useful in any position. My love for teaching and enjoyment of exploring make my current position a true dream job.

 

What is your favorite memory from Evangel?

I have so many memories from my time in Scott Hall on S3S. The late-night haircuts, Nintendo tournaments, and playing music with the guys. I enjoyed the week-long bus tour as a percussionist with the concert orchestra. In fact, I recently found a single piece of paper from that trip that was full of personal compliments from each person in the orchestra. It must have been something we all did for each other as a team building exercise. How nice it was to rediscover it many years later! By far, the best thing about Evangel is the lasting friendships that were made.

 

How did Evangel help you identify/develop your calling?

During my senior year, I participated in the Uganda Studies Program which offered students a chance to study abroad for a full semester and still earn credits towards their major. As an International Studies major, Uganda Christian University was a perfect fit and was an experience I’ll never forget. At that time, I didn’t exactly know what I wanted to do for a career but thought maybe something in international relief aid or diplomacy. Yet, during the four months in Uganda I met so many brilliant, capable, and amazing African students my age who were much better positioned and prepared to bring relief to global issues affecting their cities and country. My feelings began to change, and I also missed home. Just as these Ugandan students were improving their own communities, I knew I would be much better suited to focus on my home and serve my community in some way.

 

How did your experience at Evangel prepare you for life after graduation?

A university is an interesting place. To be honest, I don’t recall much of the content from my classes, but I do remember the Christ-centered values and my christian mentors and peers. It was an example of being in the world and not of’ the world. Evangel also taught me how to learn. I learned how to complete an assignment and turn it in on time and how to communicate with peers and professors. I learned how to serve.

 

What advice would you give a current student preparing for the workforce?

You will become who you are becoming. Employers look for the unteachable attributes nowadays. Nearly anyone can be trained in the skills necessary to perform well in whatever field you choose. But it is character, humility, teamwork, and effort that will set you apart. Know thyself. What are your God-given talents and traits? Highlight them and develop them as strengths. What are your weaknesses? Surrender them and work hard towards positive growth. In all your ways acknowledge God and He will direct your

path. Seek out experiences within your field of study. Develop diverse relationships and build your character into one that is humble, kind, and with a servant’s heart.

 

What would you look for if you were in a position to hire new graduates from Evangel?

If I were hiring a new graduate to be a part of my team, I would look for someone who is honest, self-aware, motivated, and communicative. In my line of work, it is very important to work hard, be adaptable and to identify a need and fill it. No one is perfect. And it is often through challenges and mistakes that we learn the best lessons.