Communication grad finds her voice in performance art


ASU student Jaime Faulkner

Jaime Faulkner.

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Editor’s note: This is part of a series of profiles for fall 2018 commencement. Read about more graduates.

Communication major Jaime Faulkner transferred to Arizona State University from Mesa Community College and wasted no time getting involved in student life and leadership at ASU, all while making the Dean’s List each semester. 

In addition to her classwork, Jaime interned for the ASU online literary magazine Superstition Review before being promoted to the position of nonfiction editor. She also worked as associate editor for Four Chambers Press, an independent community literary magazine and small press based in Phoenix.

With a clear love of writing, the Phoenix native was also a Presidential Honors Scholar at Maricopa Community College and placed first in poetry in a national literary competition sponsored by the League of Innovation, a consortium of community colleges across the nation.

Branching out while at ASU, Jaime began to explore performance art as an aspect of her education in communication.

“Performance art is a really gracious intersection between theater and poetry for me,” she said. “My work and study in this area have allowed me to articulate exactly what I want and need to say.”

Jaime also received the Kristin Bervig Valentine Performance Studies Scholarship from the Hugh Downs School of Human Communication for 2018 and wrote and performed a solo show about queer resistance in tabletop gaming. She has also performed about the panopticon effect of the male gaze on female-coded bodies, and she studies gender and pop culture. She is  one of the organizers for the Encyclopedia Show Arizona, a community-led live variety show, which is being organized entirely by students for the first time in Arizona.

“My time at ASU has been invaluable to my development, as a scholar and as a person,” Jaime said. “My life has been shaped in the best way by my education, and I can thank my classmates and instructors at the Hugh Downs School for that.”

Question:  What was your “aha” moment, when you realized you wanted to study the field you majored in? 

Answer: I transferred into ASU and had heard great things about the Hugh Downs School from other friends in the major. When I started making my schedule, I was delighted by the versatility of communication and took the opportunity to study gender, critical theory, pop culture and performance studies. My aha moment was during our dress rehearsal for a performance showcase in spring 2018; I realized I was exactly where I was meant to be, doing the work I needed to. 

Jaime rehearsing her performance at The Empty Space theater at ASU. Jaime is a Kristin Bervig Valentine Performance Studies Scholar.

Q: Why did you choose ASU?

A: I chose ASU for the Hugh Downs School, specifically. My sister went to the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and had an excellent experience, so I was encouraged by that. 

Q: Which professor taught you the most important lesson while at ASU?

A: In my first performance studies class with Jennifer Linde, I was blown away by her ability to facilitate spaces and create communities within classrooms. We've studied and performed about a lot of sensitive topics in those classes, and Jennifer always gives students the space to grow and learn from each other. Her ability to deeply listen and make people feel heard is a gift I wish to emulate. 

Q: What’s the best piece of advice you’d give to those still in school?

A: Go to office hours! Your professors want you to succeed, and they'll help you if you're having trouble or even just have questions. Forming relationships with professors has been one of the most rewarding parts of my studies.

Q: What was your favorite spot on campus, whether for studying, meeting friends or just thinking about life?

A: I love the lawn above Hayden!

Q: What are your plans after graduation?

A: I'm taking a year off to work and travel, and then plan to attend graduate school in fall 2020.

Q: If someone gave you $40 million to solve one problem on our planet, what would you tackle?

A: I would make sure sexual health resources and family planning resources were available in every place I could reach. 

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