The Man Behind the PR Mask

By Amanda Lavergne

Many people find fulfillment from their job in various ways. Some people get it from seeing a light bulb going off in their students head or others may have a more typical reason, such as getting a bigger paycheck, but for Timmian (Tim) Massie, 51, it comes from simply getting to know his students.

Massie is the chief public affairs officer here at Marist for 15 years and has woven in his presence with this school.

Tim Massie, Chief Public Affairs Officer Image courtesy of marist.edu

Tim Massie, Chief Public Affairs Officer Image courtesy of marist.edu

“I have had so many memories here at Marist and I truly do love my job and enjoy it each day,” Massie said.

Massie began his career as a radio news reporter here in Poughkeepsie for WEOK/WPDH. He then had other various jobs until he found his PR niche at Marist in 1994.

“I actually left Marist for a period of about 5 months in 2002 for a job offering at Pace University,” Massie said, “but I hated it and ended up coming back here to Marist.”

Massie says that he works 7 days a week and the typical work-day for him is about 16 hours each day.

“I am constantly reading 25-30 websites each day,” Massie said. “And I am a part of a lot of social networking sites like Twitter and Facebook.”

Amanda Huggins, a public relations major, feels that Massie is a great asset to the school.

“I feel that he is always available to go to for information,” Huggins said, ”no matter how hectic his schedule is.”

Massie also teaches an Organizational Writing class that incorporates PR, journalism, and business writing. In addition to that, he teaches a religious studies class that focuses on an insider’s view of Rome and the Vatican.

“It’s a unique class and we do take the students to Rome during either spring break or as an attachment at the end of a semester,” Massie said.

Through his 15 years here, Massie has had many fond memories from his many experiences.

“One of my favorite memories was in 1999 when I went with the Marist Singers and 150 other Marist kids to Rome,” Massie said. “We went because Marcellin Champagnat was going to become a Saint, and it was a great honor because the Marist Singers actually got to be the choir at the mass in front of the Pope.”

Massie’s other memories range from when Marist housing was featured on Good Morning America and even when Marist is mentioned in the Poughkeepsie Journal.

Outside of his busy career, Massie truly cherishes a quiet evening at home.

“Since I don’t have a lot of spare time with my busy schedule, a quiet night or day at home is a real treat for me,” he said.

Massie also enjoys traveling, theater, music and cooking. He is also greatly involved with the community.

“I volunteer for more than 40 community organizations, including serving two terms as a member and president of the City of Poughkeepsie Board of Education, president of Dutchess Outreach, president of the Dutchess County Chapter of Literacy Volunteers of America, chairman of the Dutchess County Arts Council, and vice president of Taconic Resources for Independence,” Massie said.

He is currently a director of the Dyson Foundation and serves on the boards of Saint Francis Hospital, the Saint Simeon Foundation, and the Miles of Hope Breast Cancer Foundation, which are all located in Poughkeepsie.

However, at the end of the day, what Massie appreciates the most, are his students.

“I feel that they become a part of my family and it is wonderful to watch them grow in both their careers and personal lives,” Massie said.

He has been to countless weddings and christenings that past students have invited him to.

“I even had a student come back and talk to one of my classes once, and it was great for him to say how he feels as if he is a part of my family as well and doesn’t just think of me as a previous professor,” Massie said.

He mentioned that he watched one student grow to become the Vice President of Miss Universe and another is now an Account Supervisor for an advertising agency.

“Nothing ever becomes run of the mill for me here, I truly enjoy each day,” Massie said.

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