Jordan Lovejoy

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 Folklore Studies.

  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 that goal.

  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.
                                                                                                                                           April 2017