UTF Spotlight: Jessica Morrill

Temple of Poseidon at Sounion, Jessica is second from the left. (Photo courtesy of Jessica Morrill)

Jessica Morrill loves history because “it covers everything.” She explains that you get to choose what you are interested in, and then focus in. Jessica is double majoring in History and Economics, a mix she found appealing and described as a good hybrid between the Liberal Arts and Humanities areas with Quantitative studies. She plans to continue her education in a graduate studies program, potentially law school or continuing in history. Her dream, she explained, would be to make enough money to pay her incurred library fines while she enjoys reading books in a hammock on the beach.

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Island of Santorini. (Photo courtesy of Jessica Morrill)

This past summer, Jessica traveled to Greece, attending legendary places like Athens, Sparta, Olympus, Mykonos, and Crete. She enjoyed seeing the archaeological sites, especially knowing the myths and people that were related to those places. As part of her time there, she got to attend the “Night of Museums,” in which all the museums in the city of Nafplio are open to the public—museums of folklore, music, war, and ancient history to name a few. She also enjoyed Greek salads, and visited an island obsessed with pistachios—including pistachio waffles (that would be Aegina for you pistachio fans!).

Jessica became interested in the UTF program after seeing her sister’s experience as a UTF and by observing the UTFs in her freshman classes. After taking a classics course from Dr. Titchener, Jessica appreciated that Dr. T. was passionate and a great storyteller, and did a good job of “mak[ing] things relevant.” She was chosen to be a UTF for Dr. Titchener’s Greek History class, and she is currently a UTF for Dr. Bulthuis’s American History survey class.

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USU Special Collections and Archives. (Photo courtesy of Sam Paepke)

“The UTF experience is flexible,” she asserted, explaining that she has had a variety of experiences and opportunities through the program. One of Jessica’s favorite experiences as a UTF involved helping a group of students with a project centered in the special collections department in the library, focusing on how Greek culture still affects our lives today, including areas such as art, philosophy, and literature. Jessica applied what she learned in a previous class, and was grateful that she had experience doing a similar project. She explained, “It helped me be empathetic…[to] help where I could.” In another class with more students, she had the opportunity to hold office hours. She and her mentor even worked out their schedules so that there would be overlap between their respective office hours—giving them an easy time to coordinate and discuss things.

“Definitely give it a try!” Jessica responded, when asked what her advice would be to prospective UTFs. “Work hard, be helpful,” she advises, adding that the UTF program helps one to “realize the importance of skills and professors.”

We are happy to have Jessica as a part of our program!

Feature photo: Temple of Poseidon. (Image courtesy of Jessica Morrill).

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