Get To Know The Faces Behind the ‘CMU Vloggers’

Story by Karli Saffron

At a time where technology is at an all-time high, people, and even institutions, are continuously finding new ways to share information and express themselves. This time, Central Michigan University was no different.

In 2016, CMU communications launched a different tactic of staying connected with future, present, and past members of the university community.

Enter Amani Johnson, and Lauren “Ren” Crudele, the CMU vloggers.

When Johnson, a senior from Southfield, saw an advertisement posted by University Communications on CMU’s homepage back in fall 2016, he immediately applied.

“This was a great opportunity to show prospective students what it’s like to be a Chippewa by showcasing events or even just helpful advice,” Johnson said.

Chicago sophomore Crudele knew she wanted to be a CMU vlogger when she first saw their channel.

“Being that I was working on my own videos, I knew I was aspiring to something, I didn’t know what,” she said. “When I heard that the next vlogger could be me, I had so many ideas that I didn’t want to keep to myself.”

Being a part of a vlog that has to reach so many different students on campus can seem daunting, but Johnson and Crudele are dedicated to making it work.

“Everyone has a story to tell and something they would love to share,” Crudele said. “I’m inspired daily by the people of this campus and community.”

Now entering his second and final year as CMU vlogger, Johnson likes to reflect back to his time as a freshman.

“I like vlogging about things that I think freshman and prospective students would want to see. I think to myself about what I would have liked to know when I came to college.”

While both Johnson and Crudele will eventually set off towards careers in their respective fields, they both hope to bring a little bit of vlogging with them. Until then, you can always check out their weekly vlogs on YouTube.


Favorite food?

Johnson: Barbecue ribs and mac n’ cheese. He says he also “loves bacon on anything.”
Crudele: Her dad’s homemade panzerotti.

Go-to motivational quote?

Johnson: “You miss 100 percent of the shots you don’t take.” –Wayne Gretzky
Crudele: “No experience is too expensive.”

Life role model/inspiration?

Johnson: He says his role model is Hillary Clinton. He wants to “break barriers and help other people do the same. I also want to be a resilient as she’s been throughout her career, despite constant criticism.”
Crudele: Her high school leadership mentor, Nicole Miller.

Dream job?

Johnson: Post-graduation, he would like to work for a corporate foundation giving grants to nonprofits and deserving organizations. He says someday he also strives to be a U.S. senator, governor, and/or Secretary of Housing and Urban Devleopment.
Crudele: Either a dancer for Insomniac Festival company, or the person who makes the montages for the beginning of “Supernatural” episodes.