Jason Thompson '96
Major: classics, English, publishing and printing arts minor
"As a junior faculty member at a land-grant institution, my job requires my to be intellectually nimble: new courses that are related to but not grounded in my specialty of rhetoric require me to expand my expertise each semester; writing collaborations with colleagues from divergent fields, and sometimes other countries, challenge my comfort with a traditional understanding of academic disciplines. The risk is that I can sometimes feel like a jack of all trades; the rewards include attending international conferences and meeting outstanding thinkers who work across all areas of the university.
"PLU prepared me for my career by challenging me to work hard, but more than that to take intellectual and personal risks, to understand the laziness and fear that lead to failures of the imagination. As a Classics major, which at the time was the most interdisciplinary major available, I learned to practice what Douglas Kellner calls "a multiperspectival approach" to my work with language by studying history and literature, yes, but also by writing poetry and plays, and also acting in plays. I collaborated on writing projects, I worked as a teaching assistant with Professor Dennis Martin, and I had a rare opportunity to immerse myself in language, in the study of language, in the love of language."