By: Dezaray Barr
Jourdyn Berry graduated from Indiana Wesleyan University (IWU) with a bachelor’s degree in Strategic Communication. Berry grew up in Marion, Indiana, and it was important for her to stay close to her family while in college. She choose IWU because she was seeking a community that emphasized a genuine connection between staff and student. “My time at IWU really centered on finding myself while developing into an intelligent, independent thinker,” Berry said.
She said that the Division of Communication & Theatre at IWU really allowed her to explore her spiritually in a progressive and encouraging manner. “I would truly be lost if it wasn’t for some very wise professors in the Division of Communication & Theatre who served as my mentors,” she shared.
Berry is now a podcast producer for Barstool Heartland, an affiliate of Barstool Sports ran by Pat McAfee. She explained, “In addition to production, I also serve as an on-air personality for podcasts and The Pat McAfee Show on SiriusXM Power 85.”
“I spent a majority of my time at IWU figuring out not who I am but who I wanted to be. My four years on campus were transformative in the most beautiful way,” Berry said. “One of the best decisions I made was to be apart of the longstanding tradition that is Friday Night Live (FNL). FNL was the creative outlet I needed. I developed critical leadership skills along the way and met lifelong friends. I am also extremely thankful for the professors in my division who saw potential in me I never knew I had. My last two years were spent with WIWU TV and 94.3 The Fortress. My professors encouraged me to join even when I had no experience… and now I work directly in that field.”
Although Berry is not working for a faith-based company, she believes she can reflect Christ’s light from within herself. “I’ve been given an opportunity to speak to thousands of people on a popular platform,” she said. “The productions I work on are positive, with a purpose to make people laugh. I’ve received countless messages from people who say the shows have made them happier people. Whether they are going through something or just having a bad day, simply listening to the show allows them to escape. If my positive spirit can help just one person, I’m proud of the work I’m doing. That positivity comes from something much greater than me.”
Some fun facts about Berry include that she took a semester off and interned at Walt Disney World as a character performer! She was the student employee who put up all the Visit Day signs around campus and engraved all the employee name tags. She’d like to remind students, “Anytime you think about ‘borrowing’ a sign on campus, remember there are three people who then have to make another one. Just kidding. But really, stop taking signs!” She also spent her time at IWU working late night radio shifts so she could try out jokes. “That way if they failed, less people heard them,” she said.
If Berry could speak to IWU students today, she’d say, “I think it is so important to involve yourself in all aspects of IWU. First off, talk to your professors. I cannot emphasize how important my communication professors are to me to this day. Get a job! I worked for WIWU TV and for Facilities Services in the Sign Shop. I’m so thankful I got to befriend the individuals who make IWU what it is. Lastly, join an organization. FNL was my favorite part of college. It is so important to support organizations like this and all art forms for that matter. The arts community at IWU are an incredible bunch. Get to know them!”
Written by Dezaray Barr, PR Specialist for the Alumni Office. Dezaray is a senior Strategic Communication, Journalism and Honors Humanities triple major at Indiana Wesleyan University in the John Wesley Honors College. Visit Dez’s website at www.dezaraybarr.weebly.com.