Jesi-Lee (Naslund) AllenJune 22, 2021
Jesi-Lee (Naslund) Allen graduated early from Truman, went on to get a Master’s from UCM, and graduated early there as well in 2018. She now lives in a tiny town about an hour outside of Kansas City and teaches high school English and Speech for the Richmond R-XVI School District. Outside of work, she enjoys video games, traveling, and getting together for game nights with friends and family. She has two beautiful dogs that she shares her small house and big back yard with.
What year did you graduate and what was your concentration?
I graduated in 2017 with a concentration in Public Communication.
What extra-/co-curricular activities did you do?
I worked in Kirksville for the duration of my Truman experience. This left little time for extracurricular activities.
Did you go to grad school? If so, where? Was it immediately after you left Truman or did you wait? Why?
I did go to grad school. I went to the University of Central Missouri immediately after I left Truman. I decided to go to grad school to explore the field of communication at greater depth before entering the educational field to teach it.
What was your first job after graduation?
After graduating from Truman State, I went to work for Hallmark Cards, Inc. in their distribution center while I worked on my Master’s program.
What work do you do/What are you doing now?
I am now a high school English and Speech teacher in the Richmond (MO) R-XVI School District.
How has your Liberal Arts/COMM education helped you?
My COMM education definitely helped me when preparing to take the certification exams to become a Speech and English teacher. As you would expect, much of the speech test is public communication based; however, my Communication education also overlapped heavily with the English content exam as well.
Which class did you dislike at the time you took it, but now you’re grateful you took it?
One class that I did not like at the time I took it, but has come in handy since was Experimental Methods. The class was tough and I was frustrated throughout the entire course, but in the end I have used that material countless times.
What was your greatest accomplishment at Truman?
My greatest accomplishment at Truman was opening myself up to new perspectives and opportunities while exploring new information and creating a new sense of self.
Why is Truman a good place for a student to study?
Truman is a good place for a student to study because there is something there for everyone. It is small enough not to overwhelm you, but big enough that there is always someone new to meet. People come from many different areas and walks of life, so you have the opportunity to see many things from completely new points of view. The small class sizes mean that you get to know your professors quite well, and those personal relationships can lead to better guidance in a study plan for you.
What would you say a COMM student should absolutely do while at Truman?
I would say a COMM student should absolutely bring Dr. Self a Diet Coke on their first day of class while at Truman. (Editor’s note: We like the way you think, but that isn’t necessary. He is well stocked. )
All jokes aside, I would say a COMM student should definitely take as many special topics seminars as they can while they are there. They are unique topics and the faculty are passionate about them.
What do you miss most about campus/Kirksville?
The thing that I miss most about campus/Kirksville is dollar bowling at Leisure World. It was something that my friends and I did every week, and it was a tradition that I loved.
What tag line would you create for the COMM department at Truman?
I’m not really good at coming up with taglines, but I guess it should be something that encompasses how helpful the professors actually are in the COMM Department. I started my Truman journey in another major and didn’t receive half the help or guidance there that I did in the COMM department.
What advice would you give someone who wants to go into the same line of work as you?
The best advice I can give to someone who wants to go into teaching is to make sure that you are going into education because you love the students, not just because you love the content.
If you could come back to Truman and teach a class for a semester, what would be its title and what would it be about?
If I could come back to Truman and teach a class for a semester it would be titled “Communication and Authority Figures.” It would detail some best practices for communicating with authority figures out in the buisness world. It would discuss how to respectfully get a point across, and also tips on how to handle constructive criticism in the workplace.
What did we not ask that you think is important for people to know?
One thing that I think is important to know about COMM is that it is so versatile. You can go down almost any career path with a major in COMM. I would say to set yourself up early and often with opportunities, such as internships, in order to set the clearest possible path to the career that you want.