Allegheny professor moves from Los Angeles for the love of fall

Jessica Harris

Jessica Harris

Deciding to move thousands of miles across the United States for a new position is not an easy one to make. 

However, Jessica Harris, visiting assistant professor of history, accepted a position at Allegheny not only share her love for history and learning with others, but also to experience an East Coast fall.

“I’m looking forward to fall,” Harris said. “Seeing how the leaves on the trees change will be extraordinary, especially coming from Los Angeles, where it is just one season more or less.” 

Harris completed her bachelor’s, master’s and doctorate degrees at the University of California, Los Angeles. 

“I spent quite a bit of time at UCLA,” Harris said. 

Although Harris cannot pinpoint a single experience that inspired her to become a teacher, she attributes her desire to teach, to her own teachers. 

“I always enjoyed learning about history,” Harris said. “I had really good, fantastic history teachers — and that was something I aspired to be.” 

While Harris is excited to experience a Meadville fall, it was not the sole reason she decided to accept a position teaching for Allegheny. 

“(Allegheny) is a beautiful campus,” Harris said. “That is the thing that struck me the most when I came here for my campus visit, coming from L.A. where things are not very old.” 

Besides the beautiful campus, Harris is also excited to get to know her students and fellow faculty members. 

“I came to Allegheny because of the great interest the institution takes in its students and the relationships that it builds with the students between students and faculty,” Harris said. “That is what attracted me the most.” 

Harris will be teaching two courses in the history department during the fall semester. The first course is focused on the history of the United States prior to 1865, and the second is Harris’ research specialty, which will be exploring American consumerism. 

“I’m looking forward to seeing how the students react,” Harris said. “I love learning so much that I want to share what I have learned with others.”