Every tattoo, big or small, has a meaning or a story behind it. We, the students of Dr. Hammer’s COM 200 class (Communications in Theory and Practice) have all come together to share the meanings and stories behind our tattoos or tattoos we may want in the future. We even interviewed our professor, Dr. Hammer, on his interesting tattoos.

Leon Maric (‘20)

Leon Maric’s (’20) tattoo

“A-Z, means more than just the alphabet to me. When I was a senior in highschool I decided to get my first tattoo at beneath the skin in Pottstown, Pennsylvania. I got it on the left side of my chest with the idea of it being right on my heart.” He says, “Growing up I always thought that my first tattoo should be meaningful to me. I decided one day to go and get A-Z tatted on my chest, the letter A standing for my moms name Amira and Z standing for my father’s name Zeljko. As of right now it is the only tattoo that I have, but I am open to getting more when I come up with ideas but it has to be meaningful to me and my life.”

Vaughn Sanders (’21)

Vaughn Sanders (’21) tattoo

“In May of 2017, I got my first tattoo at Kadillac Tattoo Deuce. The inspiration behind it was my late great grandparents. When I was younger, my mom would take my sister and I over their house after church for dinner. I would sit and watch the Phillies’ games with my great grandfather every week and during football season, we would switch to the Eagles’ games between innings. They always wanted to talk to me and make sure I was doing well. They took care of us when we needed help. They were like a second set of parents that I was blessed to have. As the years progressed and both aged, their health deteriorated. I lost both of them to cancer and it just hasn’t seemed the same sense. I didn’t get the chance to say goodbye to either of them, and I wanted to find a way to honor them and keep their memory with me. The tattoo I got was the word “Pop” using the Phillies logo as the first P, and the word “Mimi” written inside the logo. It’s something I will always cherish and it gives me the peace I need to cope with the loss of them.”

Erin Kelly (’21)

Erin Kelly’s (’21) tattoo

“The meaning behind my tattoo encomapsses many things. It is symbolic of the valleys and peaks that I have gone through, my faith, and how I have used these experiences to help me grow and continue to grow. A quote that is near and dear to me is, “you have to grow through what you go through.” A fun fact about my tattoo is that I actually designed and drew it up myself. I wanted a tattoo for a really long time but i had changed my mind multiple times but I had come up with this idea and I was set on it for about a year so I decided this was what was going to be right for me. This tattoo was very intentional and planned out even to the location that I got it at, Tattoo Galaxy in Ambler Pa. My tattoo is something that helps me to stay accountable for myself and reminds me that i’ve come this far and that my story is not even close to being over yet.”

Lauren Kelley (’21)

Lauren Kelley’s (’21) tattoo

“Getting a tattoo was always on the top of my bucket list, however, my parents wanted me to wait until I’m older to get one because they said I’m a pretty impulsive person who might end up regretting it. But I did not want to wait, and decided to just get one on a Thursday after class at Dave’s Tattoo Shop, a random place close to SJU. I got a lip tattoo that says “Dude,” because it would be in a place that people couldn’t see unless I showed them, and anyone who knows me knows I say dude way too much. I also figured that if I ever showed my mom I could tell her it “technically” was not permanent because lip tattoos are supposed to fade after a while. It was just a fun thing to do and to get crossed off my bucket list. I definitely want to get more, I guess you could say legitimate,  tattoos in the future, but it’ll probably require a little bit more of a thought process.”

Dr. Steven Hammer

One of Dr. Steven Hammer’s tattoos

Dr. Hammer is pretty famous for his tattoos, and I bet you’ve wondered what the meaning behind them are. The answer may not be as interesting as you’d think, as Hammer has gotten most of his tattoos on a whim. There’s the ones that pay tribute to his two children (a rowan tree and lily of the valley tattoos), but Hammer says his most meaningful one is the tiger tattoo on his hand. A good friend told him the ayurveda fable of a man and a mango tree where a man is sitting under a mango tree and wishes for a mango and one appears. He then goes on to wish for a hot meal which appears, and then gold which he received as well. The man then says that he hopes a tiger doesn’t come to eat him, and then a tiger comes and eats him. The moral of the story being that we make up our own monsters, and we can be our own worst enemy. Hammer is fascinated by the idea of monsters because they are something we make up in our heads but yet they have so much power over us.

Here are what the rest of the students of COM 200 who currently do not have tattoos said after being asked what tattoo they’d get if they had to get one:

Michela Bussard – “If I were to get a tattoo, which is highly unlikely, I would get a very small and dainty cross.”

Natalie Conway – “If I were to get a tattoo it would be a small deathly hallows symbol behind my ear. The Harry Potter books mean a lot to me and were a huge part of childhood. They were also what really sparked my love for reading.”

Arden Cudahy – “I won’t get a tattoo, but if I were going to I would want it to be representative of a constant thing in my life that means a lot to me. I’ve always been religious, so maybe I would get a small cross or a meaningful religious phrase, word, or bible verse. I would also consider getting a little flower, since that is a symbol of inspiration for me and I have always really loved flowers.”

Kylie D’Ambra – “I have always been drawn to the Bible verse Roman 12:2 which reads, “Do not conform to the pattern of this world; but be transformed”. The idea of being the black sheep in the herd has always been something I find to be sobering and I strongly believe in embracing everything life throws at you and making it something of value. If I were to get a tattoo, I’d definitely get something that embodies that verse.”

Sofia Filippo – “I never plan on getting a tattoo, because I don’t want to make a permanent decision off of a temporary emotion. However, if I changed my mind, I would get the words ‘made in china’ tattooed on the bottom of my foot because I find that hilarious. It’s also ironic because I’m super patriotic. Or I would get the name “Andy’on the bottom of my foot because of Toy Story. Another option would be a song lyric that means a lot to me. Maybe some T-Swift.”

Noah Gansallo – “I would get “this too shall pass” on my upper left rib. This is because I believe that everything in life that I ever wanted will present itself to me, as long as I have the patience and composure to deal with the lows as well as the highs.”

Nathan Hare – “If I ever got a tattoo I would get something relating to a rabbit because my last name is Hare and I was born during the Chinese zodiac year of the rabbit.”

Emma Herrick – “If I ever got a tattoo I would get a little butterfly on my hip or ribs.  I would want a butterfly because they have a special meaning to me, my group chat with my best friends from home is butterfly effect.  The butterfly effect is that even the littlest things have a big impact for example, something so minor as a butterfly flapping its wings can create a phenomenal change.”

Brynn Maiden – “If I were to get a tattoo, I would want a tiny, detailed black and white flower somewhere on my body just because I love flowers and obsess over them every time I see pretty ones!”

Catherine Moffett – “If I were to get a tattoo, I’d get a latin phrase on my left arm that reads ‘memento vivere’ which means ‘to live in the moment’ because that is something that I always strive to do everyday.”

Lauren Perrine – “If I were to get a tattoo, I’d get a small tiger on my ribs because my Chinese zodiac is a tiger.”




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