Jodi Clark knew by the time she was 10 that she wanted to be a writer.
“I wrote a 400-page manuscript that has never seen the light of day,” said the English major, who’s minoring in History and Political Studies. “I fell in love with writing dialogue and complex characters.”
Fast forward a decade and change and Clark is still as inspired by words as she was back then. The difference? They’re central to her job now, and not just a hobby. In addition to seeking her undergraduate degree at Chaminade online, Clark is a content editor for a small publishing house and social media manager.
She says that being able to attend class remotely — she lives in Oregon — has allowed her to feel connected to her Chaminade professors and to the university while completing her coursework on her own schedule. “The online program at Chaminade is fantastic because despite weekly deadlines, there are no strict requirements for when and where you have to ‘show up’ for class,” Clark said.
She added the flexibility allows her to arrange her schedule in a way that makes sense for her.
Clark enrolled at Chaminade in winter 2018, after doing research about universities nationwide. She knew that she wanted to opt for an online program because she wanted to remain near her family. She was also looking for an institution that honored her religious values and belief in giving back to others.
“After much thought, we decided on Chaminade because of its religious values and because of its location since the Hawaiian Islands are very dear to my family and me,” Clark said, adding that what’s surprised her the most is how warm and welcoming the university community is — even from afar.
“Even from a distance, the family spirit of the school puts me at ease,” she said, adding that she’s planning to spend her senior year on campus. “My time at Chaminade feels so well spent and I am looking forward to the day I can visit … the people who have helped me pursue my education.”
People like Dr. Brooke Carlson, one of her English professors, who has helped Clark learn the “technicalities of writing” and challenged her to think more critically. Professor Justin Wyble, who encouraged Clark to take more risks in her writing. And Professor Karla Brundage, who worked with Clark on poetry.
Clark has also brought her own contributions to courses as a “beta reader.” She works for MaileKai Publishing, where she’s helped fellow Chaminade student Sami Eastwood publish her debut young adult novel “Blackstone Asylum” on Amazon and is in the revisions process for a sequel.
“Sami Eastwood came to me with the idea for ‘Blackstone Asylum’ as she wrote it,” Clark said. “I provided ideas and advice when and if she needed them. I started providing content editing for the book in about 2018, and by 2019, I helped plot and point out issues in large-scale revisions.”
She said working as a content editor, she enjoys “untangling knots in stories in their earliest stages.”
And her time at Chaminade has helped her become even more adept at that untangling, providing inspiration and feeding her creativity to as she works to develop her confidence in editing and writing. “When I was younger, my work ended up being either very formulaic or very scattered,” Clark said. “Thanks to my time in Chaminade’s online program, I feel that I have the tools … to take creative risks and see them through. My degree will be helpful for pursuing a variety of jobs in the writing world.”