Loyola University Chicago

Arrupe College

Jennifer Armstrong

Name: Jennifer Armstrong
Title: Communication, Lecturer
Degrees: BA, Hampton University; MA, Hampton University; PhD, University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign
Hometown: Chicago, IL
Courses taught: ACCOM 101 Oral Communication and Presentation; ACCOM 205 Communication and New Media

What attracted you to Arrupe College?

I was attracted to Arrupe for two reasons:

1. I have always had a heart to teach those who have the goal of obtaining a four-year degree but for a myriad of reasons (first-generation college student, uncertainty about the future, grades in high school, etc.) decide to make the associate’s degree their first stop.

2. I was intrigued by Arrupe’s model of providing an affordable education that emphasized care for others.  As an educator, I have always strived to create opportunities for all people.  I believe that learning is the responsibility and right of every individual, no matter their life circumstances. 

Talk a little about the classes you teach.

I currently teach Oral Communication and Presentation. I enjoy watching students’ presentation skills and confidence blossom.  Many begin the term nervous and unable to see the relevance for taking this course; however; by the end of the semester and to an even greater degree when they begin to enter the workforce, students are prepared, brave and grateful. 

How did you get involved in teaching Communication?

My earliest introduction to teaching oral communication skills began over twenty-six years ago with my sixth grade English class.  I realized the positive impact that teaching them how to be active listeners and confident speakers had on their academic success.  I went on to become a speech language pathologist and taught oral communication to high school students preparing to meet the demands of higher education and various careers.  I landed in higher education teaching typical and atypical communication skills approximately eleven years ago.

What’s your favorite part about teaching? And the biggest challenge?

My favorite part about teaching is the challenge!  This includes the challenge of a disinterested student, the challenge of teaching a topic that no one seems to understand and the challenge of competing with societal and political issues that impact my students’ well-being.  The opportunity to build relationships and work through these challenges together brings me the greatest joy.