Anna Jungels is a senior from Winfield, AL who is double majoring in History and Spanish at JSU. Recently, Jungels has been working on a research project that explores the history of JSU’s presidents.
Why did you decide to attend JSU?
I applied to JSU because of its scholarships and because the university offered the programs I was most interested in. Then, when I visited campus for the first time, it immediately felt like home, and I knew it was where I was supposed to be.
Why did you choose your majors?
History and Spanish were natural choices because peoples, places, and cultures have always fascinated me. I also wanted to strengthen my skills and knowledge in those subject areas because my high school history and Spanish classes didn’t satisfy my curiosity.
In your opinion, what is the coolest thing about the History and Foreign Languages Department?
The coolest thing about the History and Foreign Language Department is definitely the faculty. I love being able to talk to my professors before or after class, and I have been fortunate in that I’ve gotten to know some of them very well.
What can you tell us about your project the “JSU Presidency Pop-Up Exhibit”?
Last semester, my advisor told me about the opportunity to research JSU’s history and create a display for President Killingsworth’s inauguration. The project interested me, and I knew it would be a great experience. This semester, I worked closely with Karlie Johnson, JSU’s history librarian, as I researched the university’s history. I loved getting to work in the archives and looking through old photographs. Once we had all our information for the displays, James Johnson, a graduate student in the Art & Design Department, designed the amazing banners that will be on display during the upcoming inaugural events.
What inspired you to create this project?
When I started reading and researching, I discovered that JSU has a fascinating story. I wanted to find a way to bring it to life for our faculty, staff, and students. I hope this display will inspire others to do some research of their own.
Were you surprised by any of the information that you learned while creating your project?
There are a lot of interesting stories that I wasn’t able to include in the displays. My personal favorite was the pigeon infestation in the administration building (page 161 of The First Hundred Years). I also found events similar to the ones I’ve experienced during my time at JSU. The March 2018 tornado wasn’t the first to hit campus, and the school has dealt with multiple influenza epidemics.
Did you have any unexpected difficulties while creating your project?
The most challenging aspect of this project has been a lack of resources. There are some gaps in JSU’s records, which meant I had to dig a little deeper to find some of my information. Old school newspapers were a great resource, and they also enabled me to read the opinions of students as they navigated the World Wars, student protests, and integration.
How do you feel knowing that your work will be displayed at inaugural events next week?
I am excited to see the finished product, and I hope people enjoy the display. The main goal of this project is to educate people about JSU’s history and to foster curiosity about the pieces of the university’s story that didn’t make it onto the display. I’m honored that I was chosen for this project, and I’m grateful to Dean Stone and Dr. Beezley for giving me the opportunity to make my mark at JSU.
What clubs/organizations are you involved in?
I am involved in BCM and RUF, and I have been participating in Dr. Kaibara’s Japanese Club and Dr. Minets’ new Greek and Latin reading group.
What is your favorite thing to eat and/or drink on/off campus?
I love Mexican food, so Baja and Heirloom Taco are my favorite restaurants in Jacksonville.
Where is your favorite place to hang out on campus?
I spend most of my time on the third floor of Stone Center. I’ll stop and talk to my professors when their office doors are open.
Who is your favorite historical figure?
It’s hard to pick a single person as my favorite historical figure, but there are definitely historical people groups that I love learning about. I’ve recently been reading a book about the Maya and their complex writing system. Ancient peoples are interesting to me because there is still so much we don’t know about them.
What are your hobbies?
In my spare time, I’m usually reading or writing. I hope to be a published author one day, so I write whenever I get the chance.
What are your post-grad plans?
I have been accepted into the M.A. in Spanish program at the University of Alabama and the M.A. in History program at the University of Mississippi. I will be attending one of those programs in the fall.
What advice would you give a student who is new to JSU?
Don’t be afraid to talk to your professors. They genuinely care about your education, and they appreciate your interest. Also, find a place to get involved. I met some of my closest friends through clubs or campus ministries.
What is a course you would recommend to a freshman at JSU?
I would recommend a Humanities course that will broaden your horizons. Take a history class on a part of the world you don’t know much about. Take a foreign language class that will help you communicate with a new group of people. Take a literature class that will teach you to see the world through someone else’s eyes. Humanities courses promote empathy and understanding, and these are qualities every student, regardless of their major, should develop.