Just spit it out: Former Homecoming Queen sparkles with life experiences

By Lindsay Cameron

A poised high school homecoming queen, Jeni Dodd fears not the bigger qualms of freshman college life (such as homesickness and making friends), but of falling out of her bunk bed…again.

The 18-year-old graduate from Open Door High School in Loraine, Ohio, has easily melted into Ashland University campus culture.

She enjoys the football games because her small high school never had a team and loves the beautiful campus.

Dodd has easily become busy on campus with activities, and is determined to remain a good example.

At her high school, everyone adored Dodd, which is why she won homecoming queen by a landslide, said the school nurse, who accidentally spoiled the surprise by congratulating her too soon.

“Homecoming queens are role models whether they want to be or not. I think that anyone who ‘wins’ some kind of recognition becomes a role model. If a body of students chooses you for homecoming queen, there is some quality that they think you possess that is wonderful,” Dodd said.

Dodd has made many friends at AU, and she and her roommate get along great, even though her roommate prompted the bed-falling experience.

Wanting to tell her roommate, Laura Thorton, a bedtime story, Dodd ____.

Dodd grabbed Thorton’s cell phone “as collateral,” only to slide into a dangerous hanging position on the bed. Despite efforts to prevent the plummet, Dodd toppled to the floor.

“I think it just added more fun to my life, because I laughed about it for a half hour,” Dodd said.

Dodd said she and Thorton respect each other’s study habits. Dodd knows her possessions are safe in the room with Thorton, and it helps that they are both tidy people.

“I’m glad my roommate’s organized because I would probably clean her stuff-not a lot, but to some extent,” Dodd said, because of her allergies.

Brother Jake Dodd described his sister as easy-going, diligent, competitive, caring, and one who shows kindness to everyone. He also said his sister has a great attitude-coincidentally, he mentioned everything Dodd wants to be remembered by.

Dodd has a close relationship with her brother. She said she looks up to him for playing varsity basketball at Ohio Wesleyan University, aspiring to be a neurologist and maintaining his morals.

It is important for Dodd that she and her brother be good role models for their younger sister, Juliann. She hopes that one day Juliann will value the importance they placed on keeping their morals in college, in which is far too easy to go down the wrong path.

“College really tests an individual to stick to his or her morals. It’s really hard to do that. Especially when your morals aren’t like everyone else’s you know,” Dodd said. “She (Juliann Dodd) is like me in so many ways. I want her to be able to look up to me and say someday, ‘Wow, how did you do that in those circumstances?'”

For fun, Dodd and her brother spend time at the lake by their house. Each year, their family takes a vacation. They have visited many national parks, such as Yellowstone and Rocky Mountain, which are fond reflections.

“She appreciates creation, nature and memories with her family,” Jake Dodd said.

Dodd loves to travel. She has been to Paris twice and her dream trip is one to Australia.

In Dodd’s dorm room, paintings of the Eiffel Tower adorn the walls. Her best friend from high school, Alyssa Overs, 17, painted them.

“She’s adventurous,” Overs said. “She likes to see how other cultures are and how other people live. She’s not afraid to experience a new place.”

“I can’t believe how marvelous some of the sights are out there in the world and I want to see as much as I possibly can while I’m still young,” Dodd said.

Overs said she was excited that Dodd was last year’s homecoming queen, and her falling-out- of-bed experience is one of the many ironies that occur in Dodd’s poised life. The two talk about everything, and Overs looks up to her as a role model.