Volunteer Profile: Logan Jacobs (GSAS ’18, GAL ’22)
“I can't seem to get away from NYU!,” says Logan Jacobs (GSAS ’18, GAL ’22) jokingly. But joking aside, as an NYU student, employee, alumna, and alumni club leader, Logan is a seriously committed Violet.
It’s this deep dedication to the university that compelled Logan, who is president of the Native & Indigenous Alumni Network and the coordinator for Native American recruitment in NYU’s Office of Admissions, to become involved as an alumni volunteer. “This university has shaped so much of who I am,” she says. “I want to continue that work for the next generation of scholars and community members.”
What inspired you to become involved as an alumni volunteer with NYU?
The local Native American community has always been my second family, whether it was at my undergraduate institution or at NYU. I wanted to continue my involvement and support of the Native community at NYU, and, a little selfishly, wanted to continue having a network of Indigenous people to connect with. It can be so difficult finding community in New York City as an individual, and even more so as an Indigenous person who is actively erased from the NYC story. Having this network reminds us all that we are here, we will continue to be here, and we will not be silenced or alone in our individual journeys. As someone who struggled with their identity growing up (and, honestly, into adulthood), I want to ensure the path is easier and wider for those that come after me in whatever way I can.
What is the mission of the Native & Indigenous Alumni Network?
The mission of the Native & Indigenous Alumni Network is to ensure all Native students, past, present, and future, are able to connect and form a community. Native folks are often left out of conversations—for example, I’m thinking of CNN recently lumping Native American votes into a "Something Else" category—and this Network allows us to create various programming that is by and for Indigenous people. This group is about acknowledgement, validation, and family.
Why do you stay involved with NYU? Why would you encourage other alumni, especially Native and Indigenous alumni, to get involved?
I can't seem to get away from NYU—only joking! But as an alumna of GSAS, an employee within Undergraduate Admissions, and a current student at Gallatin, I do certainly have a dedication to this institution on many levels. I've been the student denied as a first-year; I've been the grad student transitioning to the big city; I've discovered myself, personally and professionally, throughout Washington Square Park, Bobst Library, and Frybread Fridays at friends' residence halls. This university has shaped so much of who I am; I want to continue that work for the next generation of scholars and community members.
What are some of the most memorable moments from your involvement with the club?
Last year, we were able to host our kick-off event for the network. It was thrilling to see so many folks turn out to engage with our community, especially because they also brought their own community—children, family, friends. It wasn't just attended by individual alumni, but truly represented what I hope to build through this network: family. It was inspiring to see how many people were just as excited to create this community as I was.
What can alumni expect if they attend an event hosted by the club?
Alumni can expect to learn more about the myriad Indigenous cultures throughout the world. Our events cover social, educational, and community-building topics, so there isn't just one type of meeting. Post-COVID we hope to have some outings throughout the city that celebrate Native peoples, whether through the National Museum of the American Indian or different galleries showcasing Native artists. We create opportunities for Native folks to see and be seen throughout NYC and beyond.
You're both an alumna and a current student; Did (or do) you have any NYU classes or instructors who inspired or impacted you?
I have been incredibly lucky to work with some phenomenal faculty—Dean Saranillio (Social and Cultural Analysis); Nicole Simonelli (Politics); and my current advisor, Faye Ginsburg (Anthropology) have all shaped how I approach my studies. Indigeneity is interdisciplinary, so I've really appreciated how each of these professors have lent their views and knowledge to help me form my own framework.
What is your favorite NYU memory?
It's a tie between NAISG's “Frybread Fridays” and meetings with “Pathways to the PhD” through GSAS—both were spaces I felt I could be my authentic self and be supported. They were spaces to challenge my thinking, have some insightful conversations, and have an opportunity to eat, drink, and be merry with some of my favorite people at NYU.
What is your favorite:
- Food? Macaroni and cheese; from Kraft to homemade to covered in truffle oil and breadcrumbs.
- Book? Stephen King's The Shining
- TV Show and/or Movie? I just finished rewatching The Good Place, which is definitely in my “top 5 shows.” For movies, I could probably watch Mamma Mia! on a loop for the rest of my life.
- Song and/or Musical Artist? An impossible question, but Harry Styles will always hold a special place in my heart.
- Podcast? I am not a podcast person, but All My Relations with Matika Wilbur and Dr. Adrienne Keene might just convert me yet.
- Place in New York City? The Lower East Side—it's been my home for four years and the restaurants make it so I will never leave.
- Social distancing activity? Nintendo Switch’s Animal Crossing: New Horizons—who doesn't want to pretend they're on a tropical island these days?
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