A long-time Mason resident, Martha Spaniolo comes from an MSU family, and she followed in her siblings’ footsteps to the university. A favorite place to bring out-of-town visitors is the MSU Gardens, where she took creative senior photos for her two daughters. She especially loves the horticulture gardens.
“The whole campus is so pretty,” she said, remembering walks she took through the garden as a student. “You’d turn a corner and be blasted with color; the whole area was massively loaded with flowers. It always took my breath away.”
In addition to being Spartan green, Spaniolo is also very environmentally conscious and puts great importance on recycling. She loads up her car to the brim with cardboard, plastic, even oil from cooking, for trips to the recycling center. As a Girl Scout leader, she once took her troop to a local center to help out, earn a badge and raise awareness.
“It’s important to be conscious in reducing, creative in reusing, and environmentally aware of how to recycle so it doesn’t go in the ground,” she explained.
Spaniolo is very involved in her daughters’ lives. Growing up, they had fun visiting Lansing area landmarks including the River Trail, museums, Potter Park Zoo and feeding the ducks by MSU’s Wells Hall. Now, she welcomes them back for visits from MSU for home-cooked meals.
Though Spaniolo loves Mason’s beautiful surroundings and sprawling space, she doesn’t forget her Detroit roots. She comes from a large, close-knit family, with four siblings and lots of cousins. She remembers a lot of laughing, fun and food from her childhood.
“That’s what I wanted for my girls, the same rich, loving experience,” she said.
Currently, Spaniolo’s time is split between several occupations. She recently started a position in sales with AT&T, and has also worked for five years with TEAM MonaVie, a leadership development organization. A long-time substitute teacher, Spaniolo fondly remembers her experiences teaching at Mason Cooperative Preschool for eight years.
Creativity is incorporated in all her work and hobbies, and Spaniolo has found baking to be a particularly enjoyable outlet. She whips up sweet delights for friends and family — most famously, expertly decorated cakes. A family favorite was her brother’s “Monopoly board” 40th birthday cake. Each side was meticulously decorated to represent ten years of his life.
In her spare time, Spaniolo enjoys studying personalities, spirituality and relationships. She’s learned that you have to start with yourself to make a change and build from there.