by Allie Smith

A goal of the University of West Georgia is to teach students how to leverage their skills in many capacities and evidence of that can be seen in alumna Jessica Reynolds.

Jessica ReynoldsReynolds works as the director of the Office of Downtown Development and Georgia Main Street for the Georgia Department of Community Affairs. As the director, she is tasked with supporting commercial historic districts to ensure they thrive and succeed.

Reynolds graduated from UWG in 2007 with her Bachelor of Arts in painting, giving her a unique perspective in her current position.

“Being an artist trained me to have a critical eye,” Reynolds explained. “It showed me how to properly communicate the idea and intention behind what I am doing.”   

Reynolds said that because she majored in art she has been afforded many opportunities. She emphasized her different skills that were highlighted and cultivated due to her degree.  

“Artists’ minds work differently - we don’t feel confined to do something the way it’s always been done,” Reynolds said. “We know our interpretations and perspectives are what make us unique, and we are creative in how we problem solve and approach new ideas.”   

Reynolds became interested in UWG when her sister, who was a student, introduced her to the community. She visited during a family weekend and was instantly drawn to UWG.

“It was honestly love at first sight,” Reynolds reflected. “I had a feeling in my gut that this was the place I was meant to be.”  

She’s also a former Main Street manager for the city of Carrollton. Not only did this experience prepare her for her current position, but her time spent at UWG did as well.

“UWG taught me the importance of accountability and integrity,” Reynolds said. “I chose to come to UWG because it is small, focused, connected to the community and invested in my personal success.”  

Reynolds said her experience living, going to school and working in Carrollton has made such an impact on her, she considers it her home.

“This city may not be where I was born, or where I went to grade school,” she concluded, “but it is my hometown.”  

Posted on Jan. 10, 2020