Jordan Lovejoy (B.A. 2015)
What connections do you see between WGST at WVU and your current work?
Because of WGST at WVU, I’m able to use concepts like intersectionality in my
current academic work in English and Folklore at The Ohio State University.
WGST, especially classes like ‘Feminist Theories,’ helped me build a theoretical
foundation for approaching complex narratives and literature.
How did our program prepare you to do what you're doing? or what you’d hope to do?
- The WGST program prepared me for graduate study in the Humanities because I was
encouraged to always use a critical lens when analyzing the world around me.
Additionally, the faculty in WGST encouraged me to critically approach and
deeply engage with topics I’m passionate about. Without such encouragement,
I probably wouldn’t be pursuing further educational opportunities.
How did your experience at WVU help you find your passion?
- To me, the best part of WVU is the people, particularly the faculty members, who
are always willing to help you explore your interests. My deepest interest is
in Appalachian narratives, and my professors in WGST helped my find a way to
always bring Appalachian studies into my work.
What are your long-term plans?
- I am currently working toward a PhD in English and Folklore. My long-term plan
is to become a professor and teach Appalachian literature, folklore, and narrative.
I’d also love to bring a greater focus to work and research on the environmental
humanities, Appalachian Studies, and Folklore to whatever institution I (hopefully)
join; Making these topics more celebrated and accessible to students is a big
goal of mine.
What would you recommend to current majors for post-graduation life and work?
- My biggest recommendation for current majors would be to find a career or higher
education program that is at least tangentially related to your passions. A lot
of WGST majors choose career paths that help other people or beings, and I think
that’s a strength of the major and WGST students; don’t be afraid to follow that
strength even if it’s not encouraged by others.
What experience, academic or otherwise, has had the most impact on you?
- My group experiences had the most impact on me. These included doing group research
at the West Virginia Dialect Project, working with other WGST students in TRIOTA
to host and support events like SlutWalk and I Love Mountains Day, working with
the local non-profit Aurora Lights, and volunteering with advocacy groups.
How will an education from WVU benefit you in 10 years and where do you see yourself?
- My hope is to stay and work within the Appalachian region, so my education from
WVU and being able to focus on Appalachian topics and regional issues at WVU
should greatly benefit this hope.
Where do you see this program in 3 years?
- I’d hope to see the WGST program grow in the next 3 years. Ideally, I’d like the
Center to become its own department and gain more faculty members and resources.
Describe the work you do (Job Title, description, etc.)
- I’m currently a graduate student in English with a graduate interdisciplinary specialization
in Folklore at The Ohio State University. I sometimes teach introductory English
courses, but I’m currently the Graduate Student Archivist at The Center for
What are you passionate about in your work?
- I’m most passionate about Appalachian environment and how Appalachian communities
interact with and respond to environmental disaster. I’d like to help improve
communication between communities and advocacy and grassroots groups to assist
in building better futures within the region.
How are you a game changer? Or, how are you making a positive impact in the world?
- This is a big question, and I can only say that I hope I’m making a positive impact
in the world. I want my work to help my people in West Virginia and Appalachia,
and I want to find a way to bridge academia and the greater world it’s in. Am
I doing that? I don’t know just yet, but I’m certainly trying to work toward
Your favorite WVU memory?
- I have a few favorite WVU memories. I’m particularly fond of joining with my peers
who also care deeply about ending sexual assault during the Slut Walk and ending
environmental destruction during the I Love Mountains Day event. I also loved
getting to work alongside other students and with Dr. Kirk Hazen at the West
Virginia Dialect Project. My simplest, happy memory, though, is sitting at The
Grind drinking a maple latte and running into my friends and mentors who also
love a good cup of coffee and conversation.