Alexandra Traylor

2013 An Inspiring Educator


If you’re a freshman at University of Michigan-Dearborn, you’ve likely come across Alexandra Traylor.

Perhaps it was encouragement from Alexandra to get involved on campus. Or maybe Alexandra helped you with admissions counseling.

Either way, the UM-Dearborn senior has had an impact on hundreds of students. And that impact has had a profound effect on Alexandra.

“I have had so many defining moments and incredible experiences at the university,” she said. “UM-Dearborn is the place where I entered adulthood. I grew up in the time that I spent here.”

That maturation helped earn Alexandra a spot on this year’s list of “Difference Makers.”

She certainly has impacted freshmen through admissions counseling, but she’s also had an opportunity to pursue her passion for teaching through the Early Childhood Education Center (ECEC).

“As I have gone through this program, I have been able to guide my colleagues who aspire to become teachers, as well,” she said. “I have encouraged them and challenged them to push themselves to be the best teachers they possibly can. I have done the same for the students at the ECEC. I have been able to give them the quality education that they deserve in hopes that they will have a better and brighter future.”

Her passion for teaching started at an early age. She has aspired to be an educator since the age of 10.

Alexandra will graduate in April and hopes to land a job at an early childhood center or in a public school. After a few years in the classroom, Alexandra plans to return to UM-Dearborn to obtain an English as a Second Language endorsement, as well as a master’s degree in early childhood education.

Amy Szymaszek has worked with Alexandra for a couple years at the ECEC and recognizes her passion for teaching.

“On many occasions, (Alexandra) has risen above and beyond the prescribed duties of a staff member to ensure the program runs efficiently and effectively,” said Szymaszek, a lead teacher at the ECEC. “(Alexandra) has been a role model and strong example of what our future teachers should be – compassionate, dedicated, enthusiastic, joyful, loving, reliable and smart.”