My relationship with Longwood is kind of a revolving door. When I was a student here, Dr. Wade Edwards—who just hired me to teach French—was my senior research thesis director and Dr. Mc Amoss—whose position I am filling—was my advisor. So it’s kind of poetic that I’m stepping into his shoes.
After I graduated in 2009, I spent a few years teaching at a French language elementary school in Fairfax, and then became the director of the French program in New Kent County Public Schools. While I was there I ended up funneling several of my students directly into Longwood. And in a really interesting twist of fate, one of those students just graduated from Longwood this past spring and has taken my old teaching job in New Kent!
This university has a way of staying with you. I was in the honors program before it was a college, and served on the honors advisory committee that turned it into a college, and it’s amazing to see how much the Cormier Honors College has blossomed. I was the news director at WMLU, and was happy to see that they aren’t in the basement anymore! I really feel there a sense of investment in the university that students have always had that I don’t necessarily see with my friends who went to different universities. There’s a sense of community here. It’s that welcoming kind of vibe that everyone has.
A lot of people have made it easy to come back, helping me reacclimatize and figure out what’s what. I really didn’t expect to be that guy who needs the Help Desk on his very first day on the job, but I did! A lot of people have been really fantastic in helping me get on my feet quickly.
I can’t help but smile being around here. It’s that sense of nostalgia, that sense of pride, that sense of excitement. It’s the fact that I get to be what Dr. Edwards and Dr. Amoss were for me to a whole new generation of students—that I get to shape those minds. My intent is to do the same thing that I’ve strived to do at every school I’ve been at: grow the French program, and increase student interest in study abroad, living abroad, and experiencing new cultures.
Dr. Jay Crowell ‘09
Assistant Professor of French