Meet Taylor Maupin
Taylor Maupin, a senior from Johnson City, is pursuing a bachelor of business administration degree with a concentration in fashion merchandising. She is slated to graduate in December 2021 and plans to stay at ETSU to earn her master’s degree in digital marketing before entering a career in fashion publishing. Maupin, who enjoys writing and research and is currently president of the Undergraduate Research and Scholars Association, enjoyed combining her interest in beauty and makeup with her love of history to participate in the 2019 Southern Conference Undergraduate Research Forum, where she presented on “Ancient Egyptian Beautification Practices: Production, Application, and Importance.” Maupin also serves her fellow students as a member of the Library Ambassadors and president of the Collegiate Merchandising Association, and helps new students from other countries to become acclimated to ETSU and the region as a member of the International Buccaneer Buddies.
Tell us a bit about your early life and how that led to your choice of major.
As a kid – I’m not gonna lie – fashion and Disney were the things that I loved the most, and I still love those today. When I was younger, I remember when I first discovered the Style Network, I proceeded to go through everyone’s laundry and closet throughout my house and tell them what was stylish and what was not! That’s the most iconic memory of my childhood. In high school, I started doing theater and I competed on our forensics team, primarily in debate and speech. I enjoy acting and worked as a makeup artist on four of the plays, and I’ve done sound and worked backstage. I also took cosmetology and did a few events working as a makeup artist.
I’ve pretty much known since I was in middle school that I wanted to go into the fashion and beauty business. I knew it would be a business major, because pretty much anyone will tell you that when it comes to working in a creative field, a business degree will be the backbone.
You’re very active in undergraduate research. Tell us about some of the things you are interested in and what you love most about research.
So here’s the fun fact about me – I’d say next to fashion and beauty, the career that I seriously considered was history or a similar field, like archaeology or anthropology, because I have loved history since I was a kid. I was in the History Honor Society in high school and took all the AP history classes, and in high school is when I did a really deep dive into makeup and history. I did a 15-page paper on ancient Egyptian cosmetics at that time, and later, my Library Ambassadors director suggested that I submit that to a conference, so that’s how I got to participate in the SoCon Undergraduate Research Forum.
Besides the learning aspect, the thing that always drives me is that I’m a writer, first and foremost. I’ve been a writer pretty much all my life. I work for the school newspaper (the East Tennessean). I’ve run my own blog for years. I like writing non-fiction. I did creative writing, including a lot of poetry and stage scripts. I find the writing interesting within research because it’s not like the typical fiction writing. I love the writing style because it’s different to me. But also, I love the teaching aspect. Throughout my entire life, everyone has told me, “You’re going to be a teacher one day,” and I don’t disagree with them, because I love to teach the things that I’m interested in. At the conference, our vice president was presenting at the same time I was, and he told me, “Every time I looked over, you always had someone at your poster.” People had multiple questions to ask me, and I loved to talk about it – it’s like I had an entire script prepared, and it’s a fun subject to learn about.
You’re active with the Library Ambassadors. The Sherrod Library often feels like a proverbial “home away from home” for a lot of students. What makes you love the Sherrod Library, and what does being a Library Ambassador involve?
The role of the Library Ambassador is basically just as a research literacy assistant to most students from undergraduate to graduate and Ph.D. levels. Sometimes I have professors who ask me where resources are that would be helpful to their students. Ambassadors receive a year of research literacy training alongside other people, and I’ve been deployed since the beginning of last year. Basically, I just help students if they have any research-related questions, like, “Which database do I use?” “How do I verify this source?” “I need peer-reviewed sources, but I don’t know what peer-reviewed means.” Things like that. And I’ve also helped teach a few classes. I love to teach and just be at the library. It’s a calming place, although my extroverted mindset does conflict with the “love the quiet” all the time. But if I need to get things done, it’s a pretty easy place to go to get it done.