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Pioneer Public – Jessica McCort, Ph.D.

Written By Tiara Strong, For The Globe

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Photo by Kelsee McHugh

When it comes to what Dr. Jessica McCort can do, there are no limitations.

McCort teaches literary arts and rhetoric. She is also a yoga instructor. In addition to earning her Doctorate from Washington University in Philosophy, English and American Literature, McCort puts in work outside of the classroom. On McCort’s list of accomplishments, being an author is another thing she can add.

“I am currently finishing up a big project.” McCort said. “I am in the process of putting together a collection of Sylvia Plath interviews.”

McCort comes from a blue-collar town and her upbringing gives her the ability to get through anything. As a freshman in college, she initially wanted to major in engineering because math and science are skills she is good at. However, she soon switched her major to English after a realization.

“I realized engineering was something that I could not foresee myself doing. I had really great English teachers in high school. I was always the one who really loved to read,” McCort said.

When McCort is not working on campus she is still very much a busy woman. McCort has two children who are involved in sports and dance.

McCort’s children are her inspiration for many things. Among those things include McCort’s book titled “Reading in the Dark: Horror in Children’s Literature and Culture.” In this book, McCort examines children’s fascination with frightening and scary things.

“Coraline is my favorite book,” McCort said. “Scary things can help children deal with horror.”

McCort enjoys fresh air and listening to podcasts on the way to and from work. The podcasts she often listens to are the ones that she feels give great life advice. She takes one lesson in particular with her throughout life.

“Instead of setting big goals, set small goals that lead up to the big goal,” McCort said.

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