Her Campus Logo Her Campus Logo

J. Magazine Co-Editor-in-Chief Olivia Shumaker, ‘17

1.     Name: Olivia Shumaker

2.     Major, Year: Writing Seminars with minors in Film & Media Studies and History, 2017

3.     Hometown: Detroit area, Mich.

4.     Affiliated with: J. Magazine as Co-Editor-in-Chief/Publisher, Pi Beta Phi, the Woodrow Wilson Undergraduate Research Fellowship, the Wilson’s Social Events Committee

5.     You can probably find me… 1. in the library, because the Hopkins grind is too real for my own good, 2. wandering around Hampden/campus/A Level with my friends, 3. in my apartment, pretending to do homework while cooking and being in my safe haven

6.     The best thing about Hopkins is… the overabundance of areas with caffeinated beverages, roughly proportional to the amount of time Hopkins students spend squirrelled in small corners doing work. (Kidding…mostly.) Probably what I’ve most enjoyed about Hopkins is the abundance of people from a wide variety of backgrounds with a lot of different ideas. As long as you’re willing to talk to someone, you can learn a different approach or mentality.

7.     Something I’m especially proud of is… the work I’ve been able to do with the Woodrow Wilson Fellowship. I applied for the grant as an incoming freshman and won a $10,000 award to write my own research project to be completed before graduation senior year. My project now is to write a novel based on my great-grandmother’s collection of antique fine china teacups, which my uncle collected for her over two decades of taking students abroad during the summer.

8.     Something most people don’t know about me is… I’m something of a yoga fanatic. Not the, “I’m so Zen I float,” kind, but more of an, “I probably have more yoga apps than is useful for one person.” I was working in Baltimore all summer and discovered yoga on my own– I taught myself yoga through videos and how-tos and it has kind of become my desert island when I get really anxious or just need to realign. Since I go through most of the day using my brain more than the rest of me, yoga helps me get back on the same level. Also, it wakes me up better than coffee.

9.     This year, I hope to… in order: have more self-positivity/self-care, use said positivity to become Wonder Woman and find the best cookies in Baltimore. (I’m saving taking over the world for after graduation.)

10.  In five years, I will be… in an ideal situation, living in or near New York and working a job in media or publishing. I had a wonderful summer job with a Baltimore startup called NewsUp where I was writing trivia quizzes from current events in the news, doing extensive market research and doing the fun “What do we want to do and who do we want to be” talks. I would love to be doing something along those lines post graduation, where I’m in an environment that approaches the news from the perspective of trying to educate people and get them excited about real issues that are out there and overlooked or made too intimidating by large scale media (LGBT issues, women’s issues, American political issues, education, etc.)

11.  Next up for me is… packing up my Wilson research and travelling abroad in January to spend the spring semester at St. Anne’s College at Oxford University. I’ll be abroad for at least six months taking literature classes at Oxford, intermingled with on-the-ground research for the writing I’ll be doing during my senior year. At present, I’m making plans to travel around Europe (Germany, Austria, France, the Netherlands, Switzerland, Ireland, possibly Italy and Greece) to places my uncle visited when he went abroad, to major sites that played a historical role in European porcelain and to some wish-list spots.

12.  Relationships Status: In a committed and happy relationship with myself. We spent a long time coexisting and then one day finally had a long conversation. Turns out we really click–same nerdiness for Haruki Murakami and Andrea Gibson, appreciation for chocolate, even the same shoe size! It’s a soul mate situation.

13.  If you didn’t know, November is National Novel Writing Month! What’s your favorite novel? It’s a dangerous question, but I’ll go with “A Wild Sheep Chase” by Haruki Murakami. It was the first book that really got me into Murakami and remains an old standby as an entrance into “Murakami Land,” at turns funny and sly and crushing. All the while it keeps on dazzling with the simplicity of the prose and the frank dealing with the utterly bizarre. In any case, I remain awed by how he eventually used the titular sheep (whatever you think the sheep might mean, I promise you’re about to have your mind blown.)

14.  How did you get involved with J. Magazine? Like most of our current members, I found J. Magazine through the fall student activities fair. I came to Hopkins for the Writing Sems program, and so I was eager for a chance to meet other creative people. My role in the magazine has shifted over two and a half years, from member to co-chair of social media to co-editor-in-chief, and I’ve been delighted in that time to learn from the magazine as much as I’ve been helping it grow. 

Similar Reads👯‍♀️