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15:11 PM

Alum's Jaguar Journal Podcast Helps GSU Students

Governors State University alumni are known for giving back to the community, and many turn right back to GSU after graduation to help new Jaguars. 

Kristiana Russell ('20) who works as an Alumni Advancement Associate at the university aimed to do just that by creating a bi-monthly podcast, Jaguar Journal, for students and alumni. 

"We wanted to engage alumni as listeners and participants by creating a platform that went beyond just academics, but provides life skills," Russell explained.

The podcast features Russell speaking with alumni from various fields about topics such as the transition from undergraduate to graduate student, as well as the student to employee transition, and discovering their passion and purpose. In episode one, 2020 alumna Nechawn Johnson discusses how working on her Master of Arts in Communication, Performance and Media made her realize she wanted to work with autistic individuals and so she built her capstone and career around the communication between autistics and non-autistic individuals. 

Now, Johnson works as a Recreation and Inclusion Leader for South Suburban Special Recreation Association, where she helps individuals with autism acclimate to environments and she sees herself using the skills she learned at GSU in her daily work. 

"At first, I just wanted to finish my degree but halfway through I realized there's so many other skills you need and want along the way. You have to think 'What skills do I need to be able to do what it is I want to do once I graduate?'" 

Russell says Jaguar Journal is important because it not only serves as a tool for current students, but celebrates the success of alumni and puts them in a position to help others. 

"We can offer advice for career choices and give an idea of what to expect from employers or even what to expect in the classroom. Every Governors State student has a unique experience and this platform is a tool to share that," she explains. 

"It lets current students and alumni know that they can always look to Governors State for help."

Listen to the first two episodes here.