Meet the Russ College’s new crop of faculty and staff members this year in this series of interviews, and stop by their offices to greet them in person.
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As Director of Multicultural Experiences on the Dean’s staff, heading up an expanded role that replaces Outreach Coordinator, Jody Markley has big projects ahead to help multicultural and women engineering students succeed in the Russ College – and big plans to accomplish them.
How did you make your way to these parts?
I’m from Central Pennsylvania, working the past 15 years for Penn State where I was director of the Upward Bound Math and Science program. I was lured to OHIO by the welcoming environment and friendly people of Russ College, and the opportunity to assist underrepresented students in their pursuit of an engineering or technology degree.
What was special about your own education?
I have bachelor’s and master’s degrees from Penn State in education and am pursuing a Ph.D. in educational leadership. I’ve focused on the challenges many students face in gaining access to -- and successfully completing -- higher education programs. I enjoy helping them find ways to overcome barriers and preparing them to navigate their journey in STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) fields.
What will your role be at the Russ College?
I’ll provide programming that focuses on the unique cultural capital of each person in the college and encourages them to share that.
What’s your professional superpower?
Seeing the good and the potential in each person I meet. I’m still working on my x-ray vision and my ability to teleport.
At the Russ College, we "create for good." You'll be hearing this a lot because it's true. How will you "create for good" while you're at the Russ College?
By doing my part to support a welcoming environment for everyone, so they can look back on their time in Russ College fondly once they move on.
What's the most interesting thing to you about Athens so far?
I was surprised to hear that Athens was known as the 13th most haunted city in the United States!
What’s been the best local meal you’ve had?
When I came to interview, my son and I ate at Gran Ranchero. Once we tasted their food, we knew we could move to Athens.
What do you do when you're not creating for good?
I enjoy spending time with my 17-year-old son, exploring different cultures, and watching zombie movies.
Favorite travel destination?
Philadelphia. I lived there for seven years. The diversity it holds and having the ability to do any number of interesting things there at almost any time of day is awesome.
What's something your students would never guess about you? And what would you tell them heading into fall semester?
That I’m the first in my family to attend college, and I have overcome many challenges in my pursuit of my own education. I’d tell them: “Stay focused on your goals, because when things get tough or there are many distractions, keeping your eyes on where you want to be can put things back into focus.”
Jody Markley can be found in Stocker Center 176 and at 740.593.1487, firstname.lastname@example.org