A-to-Z Index

Graduate Teaching Assistants


Picture of Jackie Carroll, graduate student at JMU

Jaclyn Carroll, GTA


I’m originally from Massachusetts and attended The College of William & Mary as an undergraduate; I majored in sociology and community studies. My research was focused on progressive pedagogies, critical theory, and the nonprofit industrial complex. These interests led me to the field of advocacy communication, directly to JMU’s doorstep. I am looking forward to getting to know the Friendly City, to finding fellow hockey fans in Virginia, and to learning and working in Harrisonburg!


Picture of Alex Davenport, graduate student at JMU

Alex Davenport, GTA


I graduated from JMU in 2011 with a B.A. in justice studies; I focused my coursework on social justice and minored in communication studies. I was a part of JMU EARTH and was privileged to attend UN's climate conference in 2010. I am interested in studying the ways environmentally impacted community members engage in environmental advocacy and the ways academic activists learn from and contribute to these communities. I look forward to being a part of the JMU academic environment and to spending more time in Harrisonburg. I enjoy hiking and live music.


Picture of Eric Dirth, graduate student at JMU

Eric Dirth, GTA


Born and raised in the great state of Iowa, I made the difficult decision to transplant to a new environment after high school, attending Saint Leo University in west-central Florida. My interests led me to my current pursue of an M.A. in communication and advocacy where I am focusing my strengths in the communicative spaces that facilitate conflict resolution.  After graduation, I will be attending law school to continue my development as a conflict resolution professional, indebted no doubt to the tremendous faculty, staff, and students who have helped me along the way. 



Picture of Marie Eszenyi, graduate student at JMU

Marie Eszenyi, GTA


I graduated in 2013 with a B.S. in communication studies and a B.A. in philosophy. My research interests generally center on critical race theory, feminist studies, and oppression studies. While I am not studying or preparing lectures for my (amazing) GCOM students, I enjoy traveling, learning languages, doing arts and crafts, and spending time with my partner Justin and our cat Max.


Picture of Nicole Hudak, graduate student at JMU

Nicole Hudak, GTA


I was born and raised in a small town in Wisconsin. Even though I didn't appreciate the cold, I still attended Minnesota State University, Mankato, where I received my Bachelor of Science in communication studies. While an undergraduate, I enjoyed competing for my university's speech team. I decided to come to JMU to pursue further my interest in communication. I have a special interest in women's and LGBTQ health. I can't wait to start the academic year, and I look forward to the warmer winter!


Picture of Ethan Smith, graduate student at JMU

Ethan Smith, GTA


I earned my bachelor’s degree from Christopher Newport University where I double majored in psychology and communication studies, and minored in leadership studies. I am a passionate advocate for those affected by issues of mental health, and I intend to dedicate my life to this field, both in the workplace and one day in the classroom as a professor. I consider myself fortunate to be a published author in The Mid-Atlantic Leadership Review. When not focused on academia, I like to kayak, boogie board, DJ weddings, write movie reviews, and cheer for the Washington Redskins.