Alumni Spotlight: Taylor Livingston
June 2, 2021
SHSU Media Contact: Wes Hamilton
Story by Karen Leonhart
Taylor Livingston graduated with her Master of Science in Sport Management in 2021 and prior to that her Bachelor of Science in Kinesiology in 2019. She accomplished this while overcoming the obstacles that were thrust in her path, including becoming a mother, almost losing her father, and a global pandemic.
Livingston came to Sam Houston State University in 2018 as a transfer student into the Kinesiology program. During her Sport Management courses, she worked with faculty to secure an internship as a marketing intern at Harris County Sports Authority, who works closely with the program. Her hard work paid off when a week before her Spring 2021 graduation, she was offered a position as a Harris County Sports Authority Marketing Coordinator.
With her new position, Livingston is working on a project that she is committed to on both a professional and highly personal level in the World Transplant Games 5K AnyWay event, which raises awareness on organ donation and transplantation.
As she begins her journey in the world of sports marketing, Livingston reflects on her pathway to get there and how we can all get involved in this alumni spotlight Q&A.
What challenges did you face to complete your college degree?
TL: I came to SHSU in the Fall 2018 semester pregnant and had my daughter September 24th, 2018. I spent my first semester raising a newborn while taking online classes and for the following semester (Spring 2019) my dad was days away from taking his last breath as he was losing his 20+ year-long battle with pulmonary alveolar proteinosis (PAP) and was put on the organ transplant waitlist. He did receive a life-saving double lung transplant in May 2019. Then in my last undergrad semester (Fall 2019), a week before finals, my daughter ended up getting RSV and spent a night in the hospital because her oxygen levels were dangerously low.
What do you think about the College of Health Sciences’ involvement in support of the World Transplant Games?
TL: I think it’s amazing. I am so grateful for being able to have the support of my alma mater who is willing to push out this message for me.
Why are you personally passionate about this event?
TL: I am personally passionate about the World Transplant Games because in May 2019 my dad received a double lung transplant when he was literally days away from taking his last breath. My dad has always been my hero, role model, and biggest supporter, so when he was that close to being gone, but then received a new pair of lungs from someone who was an organ donor, it really opened up my eyes. Being an organ donor is so much more than giving someone your organs. It’s giving someone their dad or sister back. It’s giving someone a chance to watch their kids graduate college. This event specifically helps raise money for transplanted children get active and be part of the Fit For Life! Program.
What impact do events such as this have on those involved?
TL: This event brings awareness to organ donation and transplantation. Watching organ donors and recipients compete in physical activity brings hope and inspiration to people who are waiting for a transplant or recovering from one. It also inspires others to see someone who was on death’s doorstep now competing in physical activity that majority of the general population wouldn’t even be able to do.
Why is it important that SHSU and others support it?
TL: It is important that SHSU and others support this because SHSU has the attention of the younger generations. Making them aware of the cause and getting them involved will help shape the following generation and so on.
How can people get involved, now or year-round?
TL: Register! Go to wtg2021.com and either sign up for the 5K AnyWay or make a donation to the cause. To get involved year-round, become an organ donor, get your friends/family to become an organ donor, and take care of your body!
What is your favorite SHSU memory as an SHSU student?
TL: My favorite memory is when my class created/executed The First Annual Spirit Color Run in Dr. Estes’ Administration of Kinesiology and Sport class and we raised over $12,000 for Texas Children’s Hospital in the Woodlands.
What are you going to miss most about SHSU?
TL: My professors and friends from the Sport Management program. They’re like family and I trust them with my life.
What do you enjoy about your current position/profession?
TL: The freedom to be creative and not having to do things a specific way. With social media and creating content, it’s always changing, and new trends are always coming out.
What are your future career goals?
TL: My end goal is to be the first woman President of an MLB team. Regardless of where I end up, the overall goal is to shatter the glass ceiling for women in sports.
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