Alumni Spotlight: Jenna Spinelle

Alumni Spotlight: Jenna Spinelle

Jenna Spinelle is a 2008 Penn State graduate, earning a Bachelor’s degree in Journalism. She was very involved during her time as a student, acting as a member of Homecoming and the Pre-Law Society, a reporter for the Daily Collegian, and a Schreyer Honors College scholar. Jenna still resides in State College, now working for the University she learned from.
Jenna’s day job is working at the McCourtney Institute of Democracy, housed within the College of Liberal Arts at Penn State. There she creates a podcast about how democracy works and the different aspects of what it means to live in a democracy, including voting, elections, and how people receive media and information. In addition to working at the McCourtney Institute, Jenna writes for Penn State News and teaches within the Bellisario College of Communications. She is also a freelance writer, and her classes involve teach students how to work their brand. Outside of work, Jenna is involved with her community in several ways. Living in State College, she is active within the Penn State community, but also the surrounding areas. She plays in the Bellefonte Community Band, volunteers for WPSU, and helps her husband with work for the State Theatre.
Jenna says her connections with her professors helped her land her teaching job within the Bellisario College of Communications, and she can work with professors that once taught her in a new peer-to-peer relationship. She says that being a Penn State alumnus is like having a ticket in the professional world; you will have an instant bond and conversation starter with other Penn Staters you encounter.
She stresses to her students to be curious, ask good questions, and learn to think on their feet. If she could thank Penn State, for one thing, it would be the opportunity to be entrepreneurial and independent. She says that experiences at Penn State are beneficial to students in terms of learning how to do things on your own. While Jenna does not have a favorite line of the Alma Mater, her favorite place on campus is the library. Her parting advice to Penn State students is that you have more time than you think you do and you can do more than; you can imagine “your mind and motivation stands in your way.”

~ Rachel Betz

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