Jessica Wager Jessica Wager serves as the assistant director of institutional history and is the co-founder of the Native American and Indigenous Cohort at W&L.
Q. How long have you worked at W&L?
Almost eight years. Gracious, time flies.
Q. What do you like most about working at W&L?
Learning from students and colleagues. Our community is generous and I find myself discovering something new on the regular.
Q. Where is your favorite location on the W&L campus?
The chunk of land all the way below University Chapel right before you get onto N. Jefferson Street. Lots of trees and quiet for the most part. Reflection is an important part of the day for me.
Q. Where did you grow up?
In Georgia and right here in Lexington.
Q. What advice do you have for students (or parents)?
Always keep it truthful and spontaneous.
Q. What is the most adventurous thing that you have ever done?
A solo vacation with my 5-year-old to the beach — twice. Equal parts tiring and fun, and the adventure comes from being with his curious mind in a totally new terrain. In my world, you don’t need to go far for an adventure.
Q. What’s your favorite thing to do when you’re not working?
Rolling out to the river in Goshen Pass with my son. Also, painting and getting totally swept up in that process.
Q. If you could live anywhere, where would you build your dream home?
Beach front, lake front, river front — I think you get it.
Q. Who most inspires you?
Lately, in this stage of my life, it’s my pops. He’s enormously patient and even-tempered. He is also super funny in his frankness.
Q. What book are you reading now?
“Monacan Millennium” by Jeffrey Hantman and “To Remain an Indian” by Lomawaima and McCarty. Oh, also “Joshua and the Biggest Fish” by Kaylee Morrison because if there’s a book that involves a catfish or a big ol’ fish, my son will want to hear it.
Q. What music are you listening to these days?
Circling back to Led Zepplin. My son likes it.
Q. Your favorite film (movie) of all time?
“Wild Hearts Can’t Be Broken.” A horse girl movie from my little years.
Q. What is the website you visit most often and why?
Logging into MyASU for schoolwork — I am pursuing a master of arts in Indigenous education from Arizona State University. No doubt this is my least thrilling response.
Q. Which historical figure do you most identify with and why?
Vine Deloria Jr. (Standing Rock Sioux). He’s my kind of thinker. His work is all about keeping the Native momentum going and reconnecting the elder and younger Natives in their indigeneity. Oh, and Tupac. Dude’s a genius poet and I appreciate the words of advice he puts out there.
Q. If you could have coffee with one person (living or deceased), who would it be and why?
My dad’s mom. I never met her.
Q. What is your desert island food?
Steak and strawberries.
Q. What is your secret talent?
If you’re in my regular orbit, I will for sure know when you’ve had a haircut — even the slightest trim.