This page is dedicated to the memory of former Agora adviser Dan Shaw.
Former students, colleagues and friends who would like to submit stories and memories of experiences with Dan Shaw, please email your submission to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Donations can be made to the Dan Shaw Memorial Journalism Fund at https://www.monroeccc.edu/foundation/danshaw.
An adviser and a friend
Dan was more than an adviser and professor, he was an inspiration and role model.
But most of all, he was a friend.
I came to know Dan during the summer of 2018. I inquired about careers in communications and was directed to him.
I entered the meeting with a booked Fall Semester planned and some general ideas. I left with a whole new schedule and an invitation to join the Agora, our campus newspaper and media outlet.
If Dan hadn’t been a journalist, I bet he would have made a great car salesman.
I never knew what the Agora was and yet after just one short meeting I had found myself a part of it.
Over the next two semesters, I found out quickly what journalism really was and thanks to his mentorship and guidance, I learned how to be good at it.
Without Dan, I would have taken classes aimlessly, had no resume and fewer friends.
We always talked about sports, mostly basketball and college basketball.
My favorite memory is during the Agora trip to NYC when Dan and I stopped at a sports pub in Brooklyn to watch the Michigan State Spartans take on University of Michigan. We jabbed each other jokingly over who would win, him a Michigan fan while I prefer MSU.
When the Spartans won, I made sure to give him my sarcastic comment and smirk before heading back to the hotel.
We talked fantasy baseball on the way back and even took some advice on who to draft.
I will never know how the last two years of my life would have gone if I never had that meeting.
Honestly, I don’t care what they could have been. I would have never met Dan and would have missed out on knowing one of the best people to enter my life.
Dan, thank you for everything.
— Todd Salisbury, Agora Editor (2019-2020)
A kind, generous leader
To say that Dan Shaw played an important role in my college career would be an understatement.
My first year of college was stressful and intimidating, but when I walked into Dan’s Mass Media classroom, I was met with kindness and sincerity.
His gentle style of teaching and obvious love of the subject made his lectures unlike any other I’ve ever been in.
He gave his students the opportunity to learn outside of the classroom as well.
We had the chance to create a commercial at the local TV studio, one of the most memorable and enjoyable assignments during my time at MCCC.
I also had the privilege to go on the 2017 Study Abroad trip to Greece and Italy under Dan’s leadership.
Even though I didn’t take his class on the trip, I learned so much from him. He was also so generous.
One day while in Florence, he led a small group of us to a garden he had read about online. He told us there would be a discount for students but when we arrived it turned out the discount was no longer available.
Dan paid for all of our tickets with his own money so we wouldn’t have to. He also bought us all lemonade afterwards.
When I dropped my camera into the Grand Canal in Venice, losing my all photos, Dan made a disk for me after retuning home with photos he had taken so I wouldn’t be without pictures.
But my favorite memory involving Dan, perhaps even one of my favorite memories thus far in my life, happened about a week into the Italy trip.
It was our first night in Rome and I went with Dan and three others to an outdoor pizza restaurant.
After a long day of hectic crowds and traveling it felt so good to finally sit down, and the weather was perfect.
Dan looked at us and said, “Do you ever just look around you at a particular moment and think, can life get any better than this?”
That comment really made me think, because the moment before I had been feeling exhausted, drained, a little homesick and a bit overwhelmed.
His comment made me realize how special moments like that can be.
Even when life may seem crazy, it’s so important to take notice of the beauty of the here and now.
Dan reminded me of that idea that evening, and I’ve kept it close to me ever since.
In a world as crazy and toxic as this one, it doesn’t seem right to lose one of those rare people who it seemed truly made it a better place.
While I know my own experience with Professor Shaw is unique in some ways, his genuine care and for his students and fellow colleague members is something that I know many others will remember for the rest of their lives.
I know I’ll never forget.