Meet a Colleague: Jillian Murphy Jillian Murphy is the study abroad coordinator.
Q. How long have you worked at W&L?
I have been at W&L for three years and seven months.
Q. What do you like most about working at W&L?
I love how dynamic my work is – working with students, faculty and international partners – it’s something different and interesting each day. Not to mention I have super fun colleagues to collaborate with.
Q. Where is your favorite location on the W&L campus?
The dessert section of the dining hall! Just kidding – I love the spot by the river on the back-campus trails and our cozy and colorful office here in the Center for International Education.
Q. Where did you grow up?
Q. What advice do you have for students (or parents)?
When I was in college, I remember one of my professors saying, “If you want study abroad to be like home, then stay home!” This is a little harsh, but it stuck with me because at its core, studying abroad is about exposing ourselves to new cultures and challenging our world views. And international education doesn’t have to mean studying abroad! There are so many opportunities at W&L to learn from and alongside the many different cultures here on campus.
Q. What is the most adventurous thing that you have ever done?
Going to school for a year at the University of Guanajuato in Mexico. I remember wanting to cry after the first day of politics class because I understood so little of what the teacher was saying. I passed and was a much better person for it. I have been motivated ever since to help college students do the same!
Q. If you could live anywhere, where would you build your dream home?
Celestun, Mexico in a tiny house by the ocean. Best swimming and best fish ever.
Q. What book are you reading now?
I’m in a book club (that is really more of a snacks club) and we are reading “Demon Copperfield” by Barbara Kingsolver.
Q. What music are you listening to these days?
I just saw the W&L production of the Beehive musical (so good!) and have been jamming out to the soundtrack.
Q. What is the website you visit most often?
Terra Dotta, because it’s the study abroad application management software and the slowest-loading website known to mankind, so it’s always open on my computer. I also visit Moodle a lot because I am just a few classes away from finishing a master’s program in international education.
Q. If they made a movie about your life, who would play you?
Jim Carrey with a wig?
Q. Which historical figure do you most identify with and why?
Amelia Earhart! She had such a great sense of adventure, determination and curiosity about the world. Plus, I once heard a PBS special where she described her method of face-first downhill sledding as “belly slamming” and I really identified with that. 😊
Q. What is your desert island food?
Soup dumplings or an everything bagel, toasted with too much cream cheese.
Q. Tell us something most people don’t know about you.
I went to an experiential project-based school from ages 12-18 in Westminster West, Vermont. I had just 13 people in my graduating class! We did a lot of wild things like paint murals and build cardboard boats and float them across the lake to learn about buoyancy. It made me realize how fun school can be.