Meet Morgan Stinson
Erin: I'm grateful that we can continue to find ways to stay connected with the support of APS Cares. I'm here with Morgan Stinson to learn more about her work at APS. Morgan can you share with our members what your job title and what you do at APS?
Morgan at the American Philatelic Center.
Morgan: I am the Shows and Membership Assistant. I work alongside Nora, who is also a membership assistant, and Ken Martin who is my supervisor. I took over the shows duties for Kathleen Edwards back in January and right now I am handling a lot of the entries for the Great American Stamp Show for exhibitors, dealers, and societies as well as meetings and seminars.
I also handle a lot of the mailing list orders; a lot of our members ask for these if they want to send out a mailing to a certain zip code or collecting interest, and I can create those for them. I also maintain those parts of the website and updating membership information in the databases such as email addresses, addresses, etc. If people want to become a member or cancel their membership, I assist with that as well.
I help with some newsletters too. Right after this interview I'll work on the dealer newsletter that will be sent out by the end of the day.
What do you think is the best part of your job?
I think the best part of my job is just learning more about the hobby through members who are so passionate about it. I've had some really awesome phone calls with members that start out as a ramble but then end up as a really cool learning experience for me because I started out collecting postcards as a kid. My grandparents on my mom’s side had an RV, and they would travel around with me and my brother on little summer road trips across the country, and anywhere we stopped I would get a postcard.
I found out more recently that thrift stores often have boxes of vintage postcards, which I think are really cool and have such interesting histories.
I love postcards too, I have a few but unfortunately not any vintage ones. It’s really interesting to me all the ways that you can find yourself connected to philately.
So if there was one resource on the website that you’d like to share with our members that is connected to your job what would it be?
I would say looking at some of the different awards that the different societies offer for shows, which you can find on our website here. There are plenty of resources for individuals who are trying to exhibit or win awards or even societies that want to win awards. I think it’s important to understand what the options are and what’s available to you if you’re going to exhibit competitively. Again, I am learning a lot about what goes into exhibiting and what the judges are looking for criteria-wise and I find it really interesting that there are so many options out there for a really cool exhibit.
I'm glad you shared the endless opportunities of awards when it comes to exhibiting at shows on our website, I don’t think that I knew that there was such an extent to resources regarding awards when it comes to exhibiting.
We have all been working on ways to transition working from home and I’m curious: what has that looked like for you?
It is somewhat difficult for me, because I’m the kind of person that likes to separate my personal and professional time. As a student as well, I have my laptop station set up from 8:30-5 pm for my work with APS and then I’ll swap out for my personal laptop to do schoolwork, so I’m trying to find ways to physically separate myself for the different parts of my day. It was a lot easier to do some tasks at the office with all the resources there, such as mailing things to members and using the filing cabinets nearby but now working from home has been a transition to saving things to be organized again when I get back to my desk. I think most people are in a similar position where they have to pick a spot in their house to work for the day.
I completely agree with what you're saying, it has been quite a transition in a physical way, like where in my apartment will I focus on work? As well as finding new ways to finish tasks that might be done differently in the office.
Meet Morgan, who's working at home with her puppy, Blue.
I would like to learn a little bit more about you, so what is a fun fact that you can share with our members?
The fun fact - at least in our office - is that everyone knows me as the resident roller derby girl. I play with State College Area Roller Derby, which is based in State College. I have been playing roller derby collectively over about 5 years and more seriously for about 2 years now. I started with San Diego Roller Derby which is where I’m from and I prefer to play as a blocker but I have been a jammer a few times. For people who don’t know what those things are, I would recommend going on Youtube, which has a lot of really great videos about the game and strategies. Roller derby is just a really fun thing to do, great exercise . . . I just love being on roller skates, period. I go to the skate park sometimes and also go trail skating. It’s a great community and it’s everywhere: I was lucky to be able to move out here for school and find a really cool league.
Meet "Flame Dame," credit to Tina Letter Photography.
Flame Dame plays as jammer. Credit to Maine Squeeze Photography.
Our team also does philanthropy as well: we have volunteered at events at Penn State and we are gearing up for Centre Gives, a big online fundraising event in May. Everything we do we want to bring to the community, so we don’t just expect skating attendance for the team, we also require service attendance - community service that is put on by the league but done in the community.
Stamp collecting really matters to people and it’s not a superficial thing.
I do remember you talking about roller derby in the office and I hope to attend a game in the future. I didn’t actually know about the philanthropy work you do which is really great to hear. I might bump into you at some point since I am a Kiwanis member and find myself doing service projects in the community too.
You touched on this a little earlier, but the burning question I have is are you a stamp collector, and if not what would you collect?
Morgan has participated in art shows in San Diego and Los Angeles. Her work can be viewed at www.oozyschmoozy.com.
So I am not a collector, but I do love that there are so many individuals in the society, coworkers, and volunteers who have all been trying their darnedest to get me to be a stamp collector. But it’s just one of those things where . . . I have so many passions and hobbies, to add another one would just be crazy. Even with all the free time we have with this quarantine, it’s not realistic for me.
But I have had the opportunity to see a lot of really cool stamps since starting at APS and I really like the stamps that show different parts of space, astronomy, and artsy/graphic designs that look really neat. As an artist, I enjoy the more colorful and vibrant stamps.
I have seen a lot of the space stamps, and I do really enjoy the colors and the imagery on them as well. Can you tell me what you enjoy about our members or a fond memory?
The one that comes to mind is when I was talking to a member about renewing his membership and he started talking about how he got started collecting stamps through his mother’s collection. The passion he had for it and this exuberance for the hobby was really neat. Because again, I'm coming into it as a younger person and realizing stamp collecting is still a thing . . . with a powerful fan base of hobbyists, so it’s not just a monetary thing. Most of these people just enjoy the stamps and the act of collecting and learning. It didn’t really click with me until that moment . . . also, I work with Ken Martin who is so knowledgeable about the hobby and passionate as well. It’s just neat to see that stamp collecting really matters to people and it’s not a superficial thing.
I couldn’t agree with you more, I don’t think I really knew the depth of stamp collecting before and I’m always blown out of the water about all the things that I learn every day from our members. I want to once again thank you for your time and for sharing about your job as well as yourself with our members.
When we announced the closure of the American Philatelic Center, members reached out with words of encouragement for the staff in appreciation for all they do. One member wrote, “Please tell them the APS Cares!” APS Cares is something that was born out of one member sharing their hope that staff is supported during this time. We thank them along with many others who have reached out and contributed with their kindness.
What is APS Cares? With our closure, certain services have been suspended, and with that, revenue for the Society. We cannot fully operate programs, like Expertizing, Circuit Sales, StampStore, or the library, but we are doing all we can until the doors open again. When the time comes, we want to be fully prepared to get you back to enjoying every service the APS has to offer as quickly as possible. APS Cares is a fund to allow us to keep our staff working and serving you, from the safety of their homes. APS Cares will go directly to support APS staff salaries or, if we’re able, to reward them at the end of the year for their hard work.
With this hope and support from APS Cares, our staff will be able to continue to bring joy and a place to unwind within in the world of philately. From your extended family at the American Philatelic Society, we offer our appreciation to you for staying connected with us.
If you would like to support APS Cares, you can send a check to:
American Philatelic Society
100 Match Factory Place
Bellefonte, PA 16823
c/o APS Cares
Or Support the APS Staff Online:
Please select APS Cares in the Gift Designation.