“My official title is U.S. Marketing Communications Manager for the Restoring Ancient Stabiae Foundation, Castellammare di Stabia, Napoli, Italy.”
Quite the appellation for one that is just starting out. A position not given, but earned through constant committed effort.
A reflection of where he happens to be today. But not so much how or where this young man is certain to finish.
Just the current milestone along the road to a life well lived for Taylor Layton – HHS 2007.
It seems to this author that Individuals with the discipline to dedicate themselves to maximizing the capacity of their aptitudes in academics, the arts, service and athletics tend to ascend on an altogether different trajectory.
Though this may serve as some foreshadowing to the story that will follow, Taylor seems to understand this approach to life.
He has an appreciation for making the most of these aptitudes. He understands it equips him with the vision to see how they fit together now so they can provide another measure of meaning to a much bigger picture.
And Taylor knows that using all that he has been given is the golden ticket to a life well lived.
His endeavors over the past eight or so years are a testament to pursuing one’s life in a relentless fashion.
Perhaps at first glance, there may appear to be a random quality to his approach.
But as you read on, you will begin to divine a deliberate thread of full intention.
Share in Taylor’s personal quest for meaning, to find purpose and embrace wonder.
Discover how he has committed himself to making the most of every moment; a life lesson we can all employ.
Take it away Taylor:
“While at Homestead I was active in AFS. I traveled to Paraguay and hosted several students here along the way. This would later result in a long-lasting relationship with many people living abroad. Not just in Paraguay – but all around the world.
I was a letter winner at Homestead in soccer, football, skiing, track and actively participated in band, and orchestra. I graduated with the class of 2007.
After Homestead I wanted to be a fighter pilot. Or I could have played football, soccer or run track at a variety of schools. But since I was recruited by the United States Naval Academy to play soccer, that is where I started. While at the Naval Academy Preparatory School, I earned the role of co-captain for varsity soccer.
In addition to soccer, I pole-vaulted and was fortunate enough to compete in the Harvard Relays, the Terrier Classic, Dartmouth Invitational and some other fantastic meets.
Then, I elected to switch to the U.S. Army.
So I attended the New Mexico Military Institute in Roswell, New Mexico where I was in Army ROTC. I also attended the Leadership Training Course in Fort Knox, Kentucky and was the Service Academy Fitness Coach for high school and junior college students who were applying to or attending the US Naval Academy, Air Force Academy, Coast Guard Academy, Merchant Marine Academy, and the US Military Academy at West Point.
Over the summer of 2010 and 2011, I also worked at Philmont Boy Scout Ranch in Cimarron, New Mexico as an NRA Range Safety Officer and Program Counselor working with over 15,000 young men and women when they trekked through the Boy Scouts of America’s premier High-Adventure Base.”
Maybe his foundation in academics and the arts took a back seat during this phase of his life. But as you read on, you will see how it all begins to fit together.
“Poor vision ended my dream to be eligible as a fighter pilot. But since my college was self-funded, I was able to leave the military entirely without a contracted commitment and begin fostering relationships that would change my life in academia.
My first exposure to Roman History was with a professor at UWM. I had known him since 2008 from research I had been interested in, which was architecture and Roman history.
We discussed where I could go with my skill set, experience, leadership, and insight with respect to antiquity, which it turns out is what really interested me.
I returned to UWM in 2010 to work with Dr. Galvao-Sobrinho and later Dr. Elizabetta Cova to finalize plans to finish a degree in something I wanted to do.
I went to Italy for 8 months, I was intern to the lead archaeologist at ancient Stabiae, Dr. Paolo Gardelli and site Coordinator General, Dr. Thomas Howe.
Ancient Stabiae was buried along with Pompeii in the AD 79 eruption of Mt. Vesuvius in Italy. It is home to at least 5 enormous Roman villas, two that are being excavated. Several more have yet to be uncovered.
For a modern perspective – the smaller of the villas is encompasses about 116,000 square feet.
Bill Gates’ house is approximately 66,000 square feet.
While on site, I consistently publish field work for Pompeii’s archaeological superintendent in addition to my research on 3D modeling in Roman ritual spaces. I have focused my efforts on particular Roman household shrines known as a Lararium. “
You can almost sense that the tone and tenor has noticeably changed during this chapter in Taylor’s life.
You can tell he is in his element.
“In 2014, I began my initial 8 month on site stay at Stabiae. During that time, we began research investigating Roman domestic religion and architecture, a venture that has allowed me to work with Northwestern University, both Oxford and Cambridge Universities, Columbia University, the British School at Rome, UWM and finally, the University of Maryland School of Architecture, Planning & Preservation where I was a graduate from their Field School in Architectural Data Recording for Archaeology in Italy.
A simple example that alludes to the value of this research would be the fact that when anyone walks through the front doors of the Milwaukee County Courthouse, City Hall, or many other public buildings, one is surrounded by columns, statues, and interiors that represent these cultural anachronisms: Why are Roman or Greek Columns, artwork, etc…present in our own age and moreover, representative of legal power, equity, etc…?.
While completing a B.A. in History and Religious Studies at UWM, I have been fortunate enough to travel the world documenting ancient sites and artifacts.”
And from this point and forward, Taylor begins to really hit his stride.
“While I was in Milwaukee, I was also able to work out, play, and train with the Milwaukee Wave. I have known a lot of the players personally and grew up playing with them. Coach Keith Tozer had seen me at the MISL Combine in Kansas City in 2012 and invited me to work out with them as I was studying at UWM. I have kept up with soccer, less than I would like to.
But my research is the priority, and I can do that and lead a relatively fitness oriented lifestyle.
I attended several cooking classes throughout Italy which helps with my diet. I have worked in New Mexico, Morocco, Turkey, Croatia (at the Palace of Diocletian in Split), and Italy.
I have also kept alive my musical skills, being fortunate enough to play an ancient Etruscan trumpet at the ancient Villa Oplontis in Torre Annunziata, Italy as well as at the ancient city of Pompeii.
However, one of greatest rewards from it all was to be able to bring high density laser scanning to UWM.
Attached here is a link to a YouTube video that was completed in partnership with the University of Maryland in 2014 on the Villa San Marco. It serves to illustrate the power of LiDAR (Light Detection And Ranging).
Back on April 6th, the UWM Art Gallery hosted two laser scanners, one from SARUP (School of Architecture, Restoration, & Urban Planning) and the other from the makers FARO Technologies. This was a great opportunity to showcase the 3D scanning of artifacts right here in Milwaukee.
I will be scanning a 14th Century wooden statue of the Virgin Mary making it 3D printable, This will give me the ability to fully restore the piece.
Although I typically work in Roman villas with Laser scanning technology, I was happy to lead the workshop at UWM to try a different scan method, and with FARO coming to help with software and showcase the LiDAR X330 Scanner, I’m sure we will have a great time.
Additionally, my research which will be made public in September highlights the importance of studying ancient Roman religion through a variety of diverse media. Of course there are ancient and primary sources that are critical to improving one’s knowledge, however we also have high density lasers that add a nice touch. They make measurements and illustrations extremely fast, and overall, dramatically increase the speed at which information and documentation of objects takes place.”
For one just starting out, this one certainly knows how to make the most of every moment granted and each opportunity presented.
Guided by an indelible image of what he is meant to be and who he is in the process of becoming, Taylor has worked his way well down the path of where all of this is going to take him.
First hand testimony of what can happen when you choose to maximize your capacity in all areas of your life.
And always in the moment.
Thanks for sharing your journey, experience and all the lessons Taylor.
A glimpse of how to live a life well lived.