Improv, History and More: Interview with Jean Howell '20

Jul 17, 2019

by Annabel Leonova '20
Marketing Specialist Intern

Every college student knows how important it is to have a strong resume by the time you graduate. Jean Howell ’20 is not an exception. She’s a rising senior with double major in History and Art history and minor in Spanish. And on top of her busy class schedule, Jean ’20 is constantly working on improving her resume by being involved on campus through various clubs, organizations, and internships.

What brought you to Florida Southern?

Wow, a myriad of things led me to choose Florida Southern. The school’s broad range of academic specializations was appealing to me. I really wanted to be involved in the arts in some form as well, so when I discovered the school had an Improv group, Studio Box, I was thrilled. Upon visiting the campus for the first time I found the students to be welcoming and lively, making me feel right at home. Also, the Frank Lloyd Wright architecture spoke to me in a way other traditional college campus didn’t. Lastly, I was awarded a generous scholarship which eased the burden of the cost. I am really pleased with my decision.

Jean Howell '20 with the statue of Frank Lloyd Wright.
Jean Howell '20 with the statue of Frank Lloyd Wright.

How is it like being a double major in history and art history? Do you think these majors work well together?

These majors work naturally together as both deal with the understanding where we, as humanity, have come from and what factors led us there. For the first half of college, I was just a History major and after I took a survey class of Western Art in the spring of 2017, I knew immediately I had to be a part of Art History in some way. Since then, I have been able to utilize my historical lens to view the scope of art history, which has benefited me greatly. My favorite part is the relationships I am able to build with my professors and advisors. I am able to meet with them regularly and they help guide me through classes, my resume, internships, and potentially grad school. 

Do you have a professor(s) who you feel contributed the most to your success as a student?

Dr. Harding helped me through my entire journey at FSC and I am so thankful for her.

Dr. Rich has not only been a superior advisor for matters like schedules and classwork and he has believed in me and together we have been able to work towards my future after FSC.

In addition my history professor Dr. Plavnieks has also helped me reach farther both as a student and as a professional. Overall, I have been insanely spoiled with great role models at FSC and I am thankful to everyone who has helped me along the way.

Let's talk about your involvement on campus. Are you a part of any student clubs/organizations? If so, can tell me more about them?

I am very involved on campus. I am the president of the History and Art History Clubs on campus, Vice President of an Honor Society, Phi Eta Sigma, and Events Coordinator and Player in Studio Box, the campus Improv Group. Through the organizations I am a part of, I am able to flex my creative side by planning fun events that will entertain and educate my friends. Even in Studio Box, I love to find out-of-the-box ways to make people laugh and every time is a fresh and surprising performance.

Jean Howell '20 outside of the fountain.
Jean Howell '20 outside of the fountain.

You recently went on your Junior Journey to Spain. Why did you choose this specific destination? Did you enjoy your trip?

I chose to travel to Spain because I know the language, I love the art, and it was one of the longest trips offered. Because it was a month long, I was able to fully immerse myself with the Spanish culture which helped me with my speaking skills. I really enjoyed the trip.

How’s your professional development going? Any internships?

A few years ago, FSC began a partnership with the Polk Museum of Art, and because of this I have been able to gain a few internships there. I worked as a curatorial assistant last year, and this summer I am working at the campus’s Frank Lloyd Wright Visitors Center through the PMoA’s summer internship program. I am working hard to have an impressive resume by the time I graduate.

What are your plans for this upcoming semester?

Next semester I have another internship lined up. I am taking some interesting classes which include my thesis class and I will be volunteering around Lakeland. But before all of that I will be an Orientation Leader where I will be welcoming in the new FSC class of 2023! I am so excited to greet the new Mocs, I want to give them the best first week of college possible, because you only get the one.

How does it feel like being a rising senior? Anything you are looking forward to the most?

Being a senior is intimidating and a bit surreal; it feels like my time at FSC has been so short. I am looking forward to writing my history and art history theses and attending Senior Splash at the end of the year.

During your time at FSC, what's the biggest lesson you have learned so far?

A good piece of advice in general that I have found to benefit my time in college is simply carpe diem: seize the day. Don’t wait to do things thinking you’ll get around to it later. If you want something you must be the impetus to make it happen.

What do you enjoy doing in your free time?

My favorite thing to do with my free time is to take day trips with a friend. I like to find a fun or quirky place to visit that isn’t too far away and make a small road trip out of it. There are plenty of fascinating things near us in Florida, so I recommend broadening your horizons and go adventure!

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