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August 03, 2017 : OUL alumna comes back to Ohio University Lancaster to pay it forward

by Meghan Morris

JessicaHannaJessica Hanna spent the first two years of her college career at Ohio University Lancaster and comes back every year to teach elementary and middle school students at OUL’s Kids in College event.


Hanna, an assistant professor at Marshall University said. “I absolutely loved going to OUL! The faculty there really spent time facilitating my love of learning."


She said it was important for her to show her appreciation toward OUL and the community that helped her reach her goals. Every summer, she comes back to Lancaster to teach a web design class for the Kids in College event, three one-week sessions when public school students can take college courses.


“I enjoy working with the kids,” Hanna said. “They have such a great outlook on life. It’s very different from teaching adults, and a nice break.”


Hanna graduated from Ohio University’s Athens campus with a BBA in 2003 and an MBA in 2006. Before teaching at colleges, she worked at American Electric Power (AEP) for five years where she negotiated and wrote contracts. From that job, she taught at a community college part-time.


“Once I started teaching at the college level, I was hooked,” she said.


She appreciates helping students broaden their minds and having thoughtful talks with them.


“I love being able to discuss and share ideas with people from all walks of life,” Hanna said. “Every semester, I learn things from my students as much as they learn from me.”


Hanna said the best part about being in the education field is the flexibility around teaching classes and grading assignments. Most of Hanna classes are online, she can make her office hours at less traditional times to better benefit her students. This really helps out the active military members enrolled in her classes. Since many of them are overseas, they can reach her easier since they’re online after 6 p.m. when she does most of her work.


Hanna moved to West Virginia with her husband and in 2015, she completed a doctorate in education at Marshall University and now teaches full-time there in a tenure-track position.