Jessica Elton, Ph.D.
Professor of Communication
Years at EMU
Why You Like Working Here
We have an amazingly supportive community. Of course, because I’m a professor, I love our students. I wouldn’t be here if it weren't for them. I’m really in awe of the way our students can manage so many different responsibilities and still do incredibly well in school. Additionally, students have come up with really innovative ways to still connect with each other. Professors facilitate that in many ways, but I know some students who are taking matters into their own hands.
Favorite EMU Moment
When I first came to campus for an interview, I remember taking a campus tour with a colleague of mine. I had been teaching at other schools, but there was something that felt different about EMU. Seeing students move from class to class and getting to interact with some of the students in my program before I was hired felt really special. I remember walking away from that interview and thinking to myself, “this is where I want to be.”
Favorite Campus Spot
I like the walk from Pray-Harrold to the Student Center, the one that takes you up behind the Lakehouse. Especially in autumn, and sometimes in winter, that’s a really nice walk. And like a lot of people, I like the tables near the lake outside of the Student Center. On a semi-chilly but really sunny fall day, that’s an awesome spot to enjoy a coffee.
As much as it might be cliché, my parents. I am fortunate to have been raised by super supportive parents, and even into my adulthood, they’ve been my biggest cheerleaders. They’ve always really encouraged me and shown me how to move past hard moments and become a stronger, better person. If you have supportive parents, that’s kind of all you need!
It took me seven years to get my undergraduate degree! I sometimes have students in class who are a little sheepish about being a fifth- or sixth-year senior, and I’m like “I was a seventh-year senior at one point!” I also spent a year studying abroad in England when I was an undergraduate, which is why it took me seven years to get my undergraduate degree.
Teleportation, especially now. It seems like it would be the safest way to travel.
Travel, for one! For many of us it’s probably been hard to stay in one place for so many months. I was on sabbatical last year, and one of the ways I was going to close out that experience was to hike the West Highland Way in Scotland with my mother, who is 74 years old. It’s a 95-mile trail, and we had to cancel it. I know for her in particular it was terribly heartbreaking, so to be able to do that with her someday, hopefully in the next few years, would be good.
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