Senior Jamie Jennissen has made quite an impact on the Gustavus campus, whether it be her dedication to the Gustavus and Social Justice Chamber choirs, organizing as a Study Buddies coordinator or excelling in her academics as part of both the Education and English Honors Societies (Kappa Delta Pi and Sigma Tau Delta).
With all of these extracurriculars and more, Jamie makes a perfect Gustie of the Week.
Jamie is a senior Communication Arts/Literature Teaching major from Sauk Centre, Minnesota. “Growing up, I always played teacher. I taught my little sister how to spell words and I even created a lesson plan in my “lesson book” on protractors. My mom is an English teacher, and she continues to inspire me. I am also a book nerd…So, combining two passions, boom: my major,” Jamie said.
She enjoyed her recently completed student teaching and got the opportunity to work with a variety of ages.
“I just finished student teaching, and I had an absolute blast. I taught fifth grade English/Language Arts for the first seven weeks of the fall semester, and then the second seven weeks I taught twelfth grade English/Language Arts, both in the St. Peter school district,” said.
Choir has been an important part of Jamie’s time at Gustavus. Specifically, her participation in the Gustavus Choir this year has required a significant amount of commitment and effort, despite her busy schedule.
“Choir has been such an influence on my experience here at Gustavus. This year, over J-term and Touring Week, we toured five countries in Europe, which will probably be a highlight of my life. The choir has given me an amazing sense of community,” Jamie said.
Jamie also works for two offices on campus as a telecommunications operator and in the Education Department, where she has not only developed helpful skills for her career, but has also built meaningful and long-lasting relationships.
“The other activities I am involved in are academically and/or career-oriented, which I love because I am very passionate about my major. I also work two jobs on campus. I’m a telecommunications operator and I work in the Education Department. My work supervisors have been like my campus moms; they’re always looking out for me, like giving me a mini humidifier when I was sick or giving me gloves to borrow when I lost mine,” Jamie said.
Her supervisor, administrative coordinator in the Education Department, Sara Sletten, noted Jennissen’s eagerness to accomplish tasks and puts forth great effort into her work.
“Jamie is a very valued employee. She shows up with positive energy and ready to work. She is eager to take on a new project or to find something to work on. She is an outstanding student employee,” Sletten said.
Jamie spends her free time attending campus and Saint Peter community events with friends and enjoying time with family.
Jamie is grateful for her peers at Gustavus and for the love of learning that the college has helped her to develop.
“When my sister toured here, I remember coming along with her and thinking that this is where I wanted to be. I feel excited to go to class, and I love that I can have a close relationship with the professors, too. The feeling on campus is home to me. I have so many memories here because of the beautiful campus, awesome education program, but mostly because of the amazing people,” Jamie said.
Jamie is regarded as a positive and inspirational Gustie on campus who moves forward in her educational journey with dedication and enthusiasm.
“Jamie deserves Gustie of the Week! She brings great enthusiasm to the Gustie way! She absorbs learning, collaborating with peers, getting involved, and doing all of this with a smile on her face,” Sletten said.
Her peers regard her as a bright and committed student on campus, especially with her choice to pursue a career path in education.
“Jamie represents the values of Gustavus so well, and lives her life with such sincerity each day. Jamie is one of the most caring people I know, and she has always been there for me. I’m very lucky to have her as my friend and peer. As an education major, she takes the values of “excellence” and “service” to heart and applies it to both her major and involvement in student orgs, such as in her work with Study Buddies. She will be an amazing teacher and I’m so excited to see where she ends up,” senior Meghan Gallagher said.
Jamie plans to apply for middle school teaching positions in the future and is looking forward to the rewarding feeling that teaching can bring.
“I feel most passionate about teaching that age range because I remember what it was like to be their age, and it’s hard trying find yourself and be yourself when you feel so much pressure to fit in. It’s my goal to inspire my students to not be afraid to be themselves and show their passions,” Jamie said.