“A ship in harbor is safe, but that’s not what ships are built for.” This quote by John A. Shedd is one of Justine Jackovich’s favorites. Jackovich is in her first year working for Northwestern, and recent visitors to the Franken Center might have seen her hanging around the Global Education Office. The quote, in a nutshell, explains what Jackovich’s role in the NW community is and why she is so passionate about it.
Her official title is a mouthful — Coordinator for Global Education Programs — and she works primarily with students interested in studying abroad. Study abroad opportunities include semester programs such as Romania or Oman, summer programs and the Denver semester program. Jackovich works in all of these areas.
Her position includes a wide range of activities and a lot of student interaction.
“I enjoy encouraging people around me, so my favorite aspect of my job is being in a position to encourage NW students to step outside the comfort of their own culture to explore a different land and live among people that have different backgrounds from theirs,” Jackovich said.
As the year has progressed, she said she has slowly been able to meet students, and she is hoping to meet more and continue to build relationships.
God has taken Jackovich on a journey that has placed her at NW for the time being. She grew up in Eldridge, a town outside Davenport that is similar in size to Orange City. For college she migrated to the Dutch town of Pella and attended Central College, where she graduated in May 2013 with a biology major and Spanish minor. While in college, Jackovich’s experiences abroad were what piqued her interest in subjects related to her current position.
For five months, Jackovich had her own study-abroad experience in Spain for five months during the spring semester of her junior year, and her time there was transformative. It was there that she really “fell in love with culture and language study.” In the summers and semesters following, she was able to travel to Morocco, Great Britain, France, Italy and the Netherlands. She also had the opportunity to travel to Guatemala through Central’s Alternative Spring Break, which is synonymous with NWC’s Spring Service Projejct. Jackovich was able to facilitate the trip and act as a student leader.
Following graduation, Jackovich was offered the position at NW, so she packed up and headed to yet another Dutch town. Prior to Jackovich’s hiring, Boryana Dobreva held a position similar to Jackovich. When Doug Carlson retired, Dobreva became the Director of Global Education, and Jackovich came to fill the open position.
Although she has many responsibilities, there is one adventure that she would like to include in her position as Coordinator for Global Education Programs. Someday Jackovich would really like to work with a faculty member and help lead a Summer Study Abroad program.