Authors: Jason Spoon, Megan Bailey, Mindy McKenzie
Jami Kinton wasn’t ready to leave Mansfield after graduating from high school; ten years later, she still isn’t. As a newspaper reporter, model, actress, performer, and TV host, Jami continues to flourish in her hometown. This dedicated young woman is certain that she “cannot fail here.” Jami credits her drive to succeed to strong support from faculty and staff at the Mansfield campus of the Ohio State University.
Jami never thought she’d be asked to name 100 rocks, and she certainly couldn’t have guessed at the effect it would have. When she signed up for a Geology course at OSU Mansfield, it was with some anxiety. She was convinced that this wouldn’t be a very strong course for her, and was worried about the outcome. She needn’t have been. The “rock test” was given as one of the first class assignments, and she aced it. Encouraged by this early success, Jamie went on to get an A in the class, and ultimately become a teaching assistant in the Geology program.
But it was more than rocks that appealed to Jami about OSU Mansfield. The small class sizes at the Mansfield campus were a perfect fit for her. While getting lost in the freshman crowd at a larger campus may be fine for some, it just seemed overwhelming to Jami. Speaking about the intimate classroom setting at OSU Mansfield, Jami says, “This kind of atmosphere really helped me to do as well as I did.” For Jami, a bigger setting would have just meant being more inhibited; at the Mansfield campus, she was anything but.
Each day, she arrived on campus at 6:30 in the morning and normally stayed until the math lab closed at 8:00 at night. During her time at OSU Mansfield, Jami was involved in Spanish Club, Campus Activities Board (CAB), Buckeye Ambassadors, and was president of the Women’s Club. All of these activities, along with her teaching assistant position, meant that college was Jami’s primary focus. She jokingly admits to going to only one party while in college, but she has no regrets. “I still made a ton of friends, but I made them in school,” Jami says. It was that same kind of determined focus that would pay off later in her professional career.
There is no doubt that Jami has made a name for herself. Her drive and ambition have resulted in many professional opportunities, not just in Mansfield, but in Columbus and Cleveland as well. Whether working with Radio Disney, serving as the in-park host for the Cleveland Indians, hosting Ohio Idol in Columbus, modeling and acting for six different agencies, hosting for the Fashion TV network, acting as a beauty contributor for Nigel Barker’s website, or hosting the Cash Explosion Roadshow for the Ohio Lottery, Jami works tirelessly to advance her career and be an example of what hard work can do. And she is quick to credit OSU Mansfield with a piece of that success.
She attributes this success to being on a campus where professors truly care about the futures of their students, and are willing to do whatever it takes to help them do well. It was this personal attention from staff and faculty at OSU Mansfield that meant so much to Jami. These connections allowed her to form lasting relationships which would lead to employment opportunities. Ultimately, Jami knew that she would have to spend some time in Columbus to finish her degree, and it was with tears in her eyes that she made the initial drive south. Columbus, for all its supposed advantages, just wasn’t Mansfield.
Jami loves the Mansfield community and cherishes her time spent there. Although her many jobs give her opportunity to travel, it is always to Mansfield she returns home. The strong sense of community and purpose that her time at OSU Mansfield helped instill in her are part of what keep her here still. Jami is happiest when helping other people, and within the Mansfield community she has found many people to help and many stories to tell. Among those stories, she may pause long enough to consider her own.
Few people are as driven as she is, and fewer still turn that drive into such success. For Jami, much of that achievement has its roots at the Mansfield Campus of The Ohio State University. And until an offer rolls in to host American Idol, you can expect to continue seeing her successes right here in Mansfield.
But for Ohio State Mansfield, Jami might not have fulfilled her aspirations and launched a great career right here in her hometown.