College of Humanities & Social Sciences
Graduate Student Teacher of the Year
Jessica Cushenberry is a Masters student in the folklore program. She has a Bachelors in Apparel Merchandising with a minor in Business. Her current research focuses on family life among African American coal mining communities in Harlan County, KY during the mid-1900s. She wants to illuminate the role African Americans played in the Appalachian mining industry by discussing how community was fostered among mining families. Her work is an attempt to bridge a knowledge gap about African American mountain people where documentation is lacking.
She is also the Assistant Director of Composition. In her role, she works closely with first year graduate instructors, as well as faculty, lecturers and adjuncts. Jessica tutors at the Writing Center, working with national and international students. She has interned at the Library of Congress where she broadened her love of folklore. Jessica contributes to the Digital Folklore Project, a national initiative that tracks digital trends.
She is passionate about helping people, place, preserving culture and fashion. She is still expresses interest in dress studies and fashion as a communicative mode. Jessica strives to create an interactive classroom that connects her personal and academic interests with students and student interests for an engaging learning space.