Alumni Section

Jessica L. Nelson ’04, ’10M


The stigma of all English majors is that they will all become teachers. Jessica Nelson heard it plenty of times, but upon the sharing of the book, Jobs for English Majors and Other Smart People, by her professor Dr. Phil Kelly, she realized that her degree is just a small door into a huge world.

Beginning her college career in 2004, Jessica continued on to earn her Master of English at Gannon in 2010, as well. During her stay, she was a member of the Alpha Gamma Delta sorority, the Gannon Honors Program, a Resident Advisor, Students for Life, and Young Republicans. In 2011, she won first place for the Braeger Graduate Research Award and was also a FLEX Young Professional of the Year nominee.

Today, Jessica works as the Director of Development for Villa Maria Elementary, handling the school’s fundraising, marketing and recruitment. She is also a member of a local young professional group, contributes to Gannon through membership in the National Alumni Board, and has been involved in local retreat programs for the Erie People for Life group. Obviously keeping busy, Jessica hints that she “would love to go back to school to get my Ph.D.” or begin teaching at Gannon in the next five years.

“Participate in as many things as you can,” Jessica notes. “Gannon provides so many wonderful opportunities and events – so many ways to get involved – that I would really encourage every student to take advantage of those opportunities.”

(Published June 2014)

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Gannon is a Catholic, Diocesan University dedicated to excellence in teaching, scholarship and service. Our faculty and staff prepare students to be global citizens through programs grounded in the liberal arts and sciences and professional specializations. Inspired by the Catholic Intellectual Tradition, we offer a comprehensive, values-centered learning experience that emphasizes faith, leadership, inclusiveness and social responsibility.