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The Guilfordian

The student news site of Guilford College

The Guilfordian

The student news site of Guilford College

The Guilfordian

Students give thanks to retired adviser


(Originally written and published in 9/2016)

On Dec. 15, 1947, a little boy was born in the small town of Parma, Ohio.

He grew to share his passion for writing and zest for life at Cleveland State University, the University of Toledo and Kent State University.

In 1987, he became the faculty adviser of a commendable yet frail newspaper, The Guilfordian. This boy, now a man, was Jeff Jeske.

“I can’t really imagine The Guilfordian without Jeff,” said former Guilfordian Social Justice Editor Joshua Ballard ‘13. “Even prior to my enrollment at Guilford it seems like Jeff was always strengthening and curating The Guilfordian into the paper we see today.”

With nurturing words and constructive feedback, Jeff touched the heart of every student under his guidance.

“I met Jeff the very first day of my first year at Guilford when I had Journalism,” said former Guilfordian Editor-in-Chief Allison DeBusk ‘16. “Without that class, I probably wouldn’t have been motivated to stay at Guilford longer than a year.

“I think I’m just lucky to know him and have learned from him.”

As a role model and friend, Jeske empowered students to change the world through their words.

“Jeff helped us realize that even as students, we can make a significant impact in our college community,” said senior and former Guilfordian Video Editor Carson Risser. “With Jeff steering the ship that is The Guilfordian, I think all of us who work for the newspaper have felt that we are doing something important.”

Students loved Jeff for his character and big heart. He worked at Guilford for over three decades.

“I think Jeff feels things more deeply than most people I’ve interacted with,” said former Guilfordian staff writer Eric Ginsburg ‘10. “It’s clear that he’s always truly listening to you and concerned with what you’re saying as well as the wellbeing of everyone around him.

“He’s almost monastic in his dedication to his students, friends and family.”

His dedication also created many strong connections with those in leadership roles at The Guilfordian.

“Every Editor-in-Chief that worked with Jeff had a different relationship with him,” said former Editor-in-Chief Justyn Melrose ‘15. “Back then, what I really needed was to feel trusted. It was Jeff’s support that really gave me the confidence to believe that not only was I cut out to maintain the paper, but also to make calls that would affect the paper’s future.

“I don’t think I’ll ever be able to pay him back for his support.” Jeske was also the source of inspiration for many aspiring journalists.

“God, Jeff is why I’m a journalist today,” said Ginsburg. “He’s really the one who first trained me, who helped me land my first gig, who cheered me on and offered advice.” Students appreciate and admire Jeff’s ingenuity and inventiveness.

“Jeff was singlehandedly the most influential person for me at Guilford College,” said former Guilfordian senior writer James Sharpe ‘16. “I could always count on Jeff to propel me in the right direction and with a buoyant smile on his face.”

Although students were responsible for the newspaper, Jeff was always ready to jump in when needed.

“Through spending long hours in meetings with us, reviewing multiple drafts of writing and standing up for the paper more times than we were probably aware of, he was an unwavering foundation for members to lean on,” said former Guilfordian Social Justice and Diversity Coordinator Alexandra Haridopolos ‘15.

Jeske went beyond the capacity of a professor to being a catalyst for accomplishing goals.

“Being a part of The Guilfordian changed my life,” said former Guilfordian News Editor Valeria Sosa ‘15.

“It changed the way I viewed the world.It changed how I interact with others and how I understand language and writing.”

Due to his retirement from his advising position, Jeske leaves The Guilfordian with many awards, warm memories and motivation for what is to come.

Those who had the experience of having Jeske as their professor, adviser or simply their friend remain thankful for all he has done. But they will also miss his tantalizing prose and cheerful spirit.

“Without his class and influence, the way I work and approach challenges would be incredibly different than it is today,” said former Guilfordian Features Editor Aubrey King ‘16. “I owe him an immense debt of gratitude.”

For some students, words do not suffice.

“I don’t know how … to thank him for everything …, but maybe it is impossible to thank someone who’s completely changed your life for the better,” said Anthony Harrison ‘14.

“Jeff was one of my greatest mentors, and that’s something you can’t fully capture or describe, no matter how good you are with words.”

The 2016-2017 editorial board sends its love and best wishes to a great leader, mentor and family member. We thank you for all your 29 years of work, advice and laughter. You are leaving us with a “tough tarantula”.

“(Jeff) embodies the best parts of Guilford,” said Haridopolos.

“He is a Guilford Gem, if you will.”

Editor’s note: We have updated the article to reflect that Jeff Jeske did not retire from the English department at Guilford, only from his adviser position at the Guilfordian.

View Comments (8)
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About the Contributors
Beatriz Caldas
Beatriz Caldas, Editor-in-Chief
Senior Beatriz's goal is to make sure that every person on campus has a voice, that every group is being represented, and that The Guilfordian becomes #1 in reporting Social Justice stories not only from Guilford, but from all around the globe. Beatriz comes from Brazil and is able to speak four languages.
Meghana Iragavarapu
Meghana Iragavarapu, Features Editor
Early College Senior Always hoping to spread smiles, Early College senior Meghana Iragavarapu dedicates her section and free time to advocating for social justice causes in Greensboro and around the world. A coffee fanatic, Meghana enjoys spending time with family and friends, serving at local food shelters, and most importantly, savoring the occasional waffle fries from Chick-fil-A! Meghana has been with the paper for a year and loves receiving ideas for pitches and stories!

Comments (8)

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  • J

    Judith ShorterFeb 6, 2017 at 1:36 pm

    When I first arrived at Guilford I had no idea what was so unique about me, being blind to my own capabilities I doubted my own power. I believe God creates and allows things to happen for good reason. It was necessary for Jeff to cross my path in life to help prepare me to take on the next chapter after Guilford. Without my professor, my advisor, my friend, Judith would have never known the power behind who she is, or what she is capable of doing. I thank God for creating Jeff Jeske who has touched not only my life, but my family, and those who I have yet to encounter. Today I am aware of my power, and I have faith in who I am because my professor had faith in me when others did not believe I would last, or that I could do it!
    Judith S. 2015

  • L

    Laurel Nesbitt '92Sep 21, 2016 at 2:30 pm

    Jeff was my adviser and mentor. He had enormous influence on my development as a student, a writer, and a thinking adult. My peers and I (class of 1992) loved him practically beyond reason–and that was very well deserved. Congratulations, Jeff, on a magnificent career that has shaped so many of us. I have a difficult time picturing Guilford College without you, and I know how sorely you’ll be missed there. Many thanks.

  • J

    Jacob StohlerSep 21, 2016 at 2:00 pm

    Jeff has had a long and amazing career at Guilford, and it’s hard to think of the school without him and his wry but always upbeat personality. And as if teaching the good word about writing to thousands of students wasn’t enough, he shepherded The Guilfordian (capitalize that definite article, people) for 30 years. He certainly taught me everything I wanted and needed to know. A toast to Jeff and his wonderful rollicking career!

  • L

    Larisa (Hulnick) PazminoSep 21, 2016 at 1:41 pm

    Jeff was my advisor and I also worked on the Guilfordian. I also took a writing class with Jeff. When I think of the caring nature of Guilford professors, he is always the first to come to mind. Guilford is a better place for having you on the faculty, Jeff Jeske.

  • D

    Dorothy BrowneSep 21, 2016 at 1:28 pm

    Jeff Jeske taught me a lot about writing — my writing needed a lot of work when I first met him. His class was fun, and was very good preparation for writing my dissertation and nonprofit grantwriting. Thank you Jeff!!

  • P

    Paula Wilder '09Sep 18, 2016 at 3:53 pm

    As a non-traditional student, I didn’t think I would be able to write for the paper, but Jeff gave me a chance and my own column. Because of him, I had a chance to work with great writers and editors. I also learned so much from him in the classroom and continue to model my teaching practices after his by sitting quietly, asking questions, and allowing students a voice so that they can formulate their ideas. I also give my students short accountability quizzes on their assigned readings. They can thank Jeff for that idea. He is an amazing person. I’m lucky to have had him as my teacher. Guilford will have an empty place without his presence. Jeff, thanks for all of your years of dedication – I’ll miss seeing the light on in your office when I happen to be on campus in the evenings.

  • E

    Ellen Yutzy GlebeSep 18, 2016 at 3:47 pm

    I wish this article quoted more of those who worked with Jeff more than just a couple of years ago. The Guilfordian was a central element of my Guilford experience and I wish both Jeff and the paper all the best going forward! Greetings from Germany!

  • S

    Skee GeorgeSep 17, 2016 at 2:14 pm

    Jeff was likely the best teacher I ever had- and I’ve had many great ones. Happy to see students sending Jeff off with such love two decades after he had such a great influence on my education. Thanks Jeff! Skee George (1998)