Andy Timm ’88 and Michele Samarya-Timm ’88, ’01 MA, hold a special place in their hearts for Montclair State University, not only for the education they received, but for being the place where they met and fell in love.
“Our interests in broadcasting brought us together,” recalls Michele. “We first met at the student center radio station and our relationship blossomed while spinning LPs for The Beatles, Soft Cell and Polkacide on WMSC 101.5 FM. We were married on the 10th anniversary of that first date.”
Both Andy and Michele graduated in 1988, Andy with a television broadcasting degree and Michele with a BS in health education. Andy went on to a successful career as a television editor for NBCUniversal, Inc. He has worked as a senior editor on shows such as Crazy Talk and The Trisha Show. For the past 10 years, he’s been senior editor on The Maury Show.
Originally a computer science major, Andy says he joined the college radio station and quickly decided broadcasting was something he was passionate about. He switched majors and under the tutelage of professors such as Christopher “Doc” Stasheff and Howard J. Travis, forged a new career path. After editing a senior project, a parody of Star Trek, he found his niche. Eventually, Andy returned to Montclair State to teach an editing course himself.
“I’m thankful that I was in the program,” says Andy. “It was more than the technical stuff that they taught us. They taught us that you’ll never stop learning and you have to work hard in this business. You have to be in this business because you love it.”
Michele continued her education at Montclair State, earning a master’s degree in health education and began working toward a master’s in homeland security from the Naval Postgraduate School. Her goals have been educating and protecting the public on environmental health issues and health education through volunteerism and in official capacities in government. Since 2008, Michele has been a health educator and registered environmental health specialist at the Somerset County Department of Health.
“Montclair State continued to support my achievements even after I took my diplomas home,” says Michele. “Graduation was not the end of my linkage with the University, but just the beginning. Montclair State promoted my national handwashing efforts in Carpe Diem, for instance, and I had the privilege of working with the Department of Health and Nutrition in developing an epidemiology program for youth.”
Andy and Michele have been very generous over the years in giving back to Montclair State and the programs that taught them the skills they use to this day in their professional lives.
“We’ve given back in general to the University because we feel the school has given us the tools to be successful in our careers and now we’d like to pay it forward to current students,” says Andy.
The couple’s latest gift toward the John Diglio Equipment Cage naming put the Timms in the President’s Club and honors the former director of the DuMont Television Center. Andy fondly recalls John Diglio being a passionate and diligent engineer who generously lent equipment out to students with one stipulation: it had to be returned in the same condition. Michele says it would be a disservice not to memorialize John’s efforts on behalf of so many students he inspired.
“While so many professors have a great influence on student development, they are supplemented by a prodigious support staff – he led by example, and complemented, supported and augmented the traditional classroom experience,” says Michele.