Spotlight on Jessica Doty

  • Jessica Doty in JapanSenior Geography major
  • Co-major in Sustainability
  • From Harrison, Ohio
  • Studied abroad in Japan for a semester in the spring of 2014
  • Interned with Cincinnati Zoo and Botanical Gardens in the horticulture department
  • Completed undergraduate thesis, presenting at research forum

Why Miami

“I was going in for zoology at first, but at orientation I changed my mind after looking through the course guide they gave us. I thought these [geography] courses looked a lot more interesting.”

 Best Miami Experiences

“I like that you actually know a lot of people [at Miami]. There’s the same people in every class, so you get a sense of community.”

 “I did study abroad, and that was really fun. I met some good friends, too. I went to Japan, it was outside of Osaka and Kyoto, Kansai Gaidai. I was there for five months. I haven’t practiced since I got back because my schedule got busy and I had to stop taking Japanese, but while I was there I spoke pretty fluently.”

 “I really like geography because it’s fun, but with my focus, which isn’t really natural, earth geography, or cultural, it’s really hard to look for careers. So this year I actually applied and was accepted to the combined program for the environmental science master’s.”

 Miami and the Liberal Arts

“[In liberal arts] you get a lot of different perspectives on things. For geography, you can really make it anything you want it to be—and I’ve done a lot of really weird things with geography. My thesis for undergrad was actually on Japanese monsters and nationalism in Japan and how they evolved together. And that was really weird that I could make that fit for my major.”

 “I really like the cultural courses. I’ve taken a few with Dr. Ornelas and Kim Medley that was “Women, Gender, and the Environment” and “Native American Women,” and I really like those, because they’re a little bit different than anything else I’ve done before.”

 Study abroad and cultural experience in Japan

“Kansai Gaidai and Miami are partner schools, so it was an even exchange program.”

 “I decided once I got there, I was gonna travel a lot. And I really did that. I went all over Japan, and it was great. I spent spring break last year in Tokyo for a week, which I never thought I’d ever do that. I had a group of friends which were mostly Americans, but my best friend that I met there was from Latvia. So I had her perspective too because while she was there with me, it was the beginning of the Ukraine-Russia [conflict], and that was a really worrisome thing for her, because Latvia’s right next to Ukraine.”

 “It was really weird to be overseas. I had a lot of fun, but I live at home here, and that was the first time I had to go everywhere on my own. I learned how to ride trains, I don’t do that where I live either.”

 Internship at Cincinnati Zoo and Botanical Gardens

“It was great. I worked in the horticulture department there, which was basically taking care of the plants. And I helped run a nursery, which is behind the scenes so that’s something you see.”

 “But I also got to interact with the park guests a lot, which was interesting because I never thought I’d be the good with people kind of person. But it was fun to work with the plants when the animals are right there—you can always be around them.”

 Advice to Students

“For study abroad, I would say just do it. You can always find out the money issue if you try really hard and get the scholarships, and I’ve never been anywhere and I wasn’t sure what to expect, but it was wonderful. For internships, start early. I worked at the Cincinnati Zoo in 2013, and that was wonderful. I had to apply really early, and it was competitive. But once I got in, it was a wonderful experience.”