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New Faculty: Jonathan Coley

September 9, 2016

Fresh-faced Jonathan Coley is one of the newest additions to the Monmouth College Sociology and Anthropology department. Navigating to his tucked-away office in the basement of Wallace Hall, one feels as though they are entering the den of some unspeakable creature, but instead of collecting bones and devouring small farm animals, Coley collects books on social movements, and devours rock n’ roll music. When asked about his interests, Coley excitedly talks about how seeing his favorite band, Taking Back Sunday, over 20 times. He is also an aficionado of Modest Mouse. When he isn’t jamming, Coley enjoys playing video games (he’s a Nintendo type of guy), watching Netflix, travelling, and a slew of other things that young people enjoy doing. To get out of the house, Coley enjoys playing board games each week with other professors, the interaction is welcome since he is new to the area and to small towns in general. Originally from Memphis, Tennessee, Coley has spent his entire life up to his coming to Monmouth in the south and in metropolitan areas—and he notices the differences. Most striking to Coley is the new lack of anonymity, which he says is not necessarily a negative thing. Overall, he considers the size of the area, and of the school, to be advantageous for the development of students here. He is very excited to closely watch students grow and develop during their years here.

Coley’s core academic interests are focused on social movements in which students acted as agents of change, more specifically in the LGBTQ community and during the Civil Rights Movement. He draws his inspiration from seeing students become impassioned to bring about a more just world. Coley himself attended Samford University in undergraduate, and completed his graduate coursework for sociology at the prestigious Vanderbilt University. Coley said that he draws more on his undergraduate career, joking that if he used too much of his graduate school experience as inspiration, he would have to assign 600 pages of reading each week, and that his students probably wouldn’t like that. Junior psychology major Lydia Hill gave her thoughts on Coley. “I think he’s really nice. He encourages class participation, which I like and he has daily quizzes to make sure we’re keeping up with the readings… I think Monmouth was definitely right in hiring him. He’s a good fit here.”

Carlin Reinig
Contributing Writer

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