Martin posing with Swift’s Album of the Year Grammy for '1989.'
Alumna Melanie Martin ’15 got the chance to meet her idol, and she hasn’t been able to shake it off.
The creative force behind the Taylor Swift fan blog Swiftly Obsessive, Martin has been a loyal “Swiftie” since the singer released her debut album in 2006. Her site caught Swift’s attention, prompting the singer’s management team to contact Martin with a meeting location, date, and time— nothing more.
Martin accepted the mysterious invitation, joining a small group of fans who were led to Swift’s family home in Rhode Island on Oct. 18. Dubbing their six-hour hangout a "Reputation Secret Session," Swift shared the meaning behind her upcoming album, offered an exclusive first-listen to the songs, and met one-on-one with her guests.
“Taylor explained that, over the past year, she hand-selected us through social media to meet her,” said Martin. “It felt like hanging out with a friend who I hadn't seen in years and catching up on life.”
Martin, who graduated from Arcadia with a Bachelor of Arts in Biology and minor in Psychology, is a research specialist at the University of Pennsylvania’s Perelman School of Medicine. Since receiving her master’s in Neuroscience from Drexel University in May, Martin has focused her research on neurodegenerative diseases ranging from frontotemporal dementia, to ALS, to Parkinson's and Alzheimer's diseases.
Between sharing recipes and guitar advice, Swift also thanked Martin for her ongoing research, which Martin explained “puts life into perspective and gives [her] a sense of purpose.”
“When my mother, who accompanied me, told her about my job at Penn, Taylor grabbed my hands, gave me the biggest hug, and repeatedly told me how proud she was,” said Martin. “I'll never know why I was chosen out of millions of fans, but the biggest thing that I will take away is that nothing is impossible, no matter how crazy it sounds.”