Editor: In honor of Women’s History Month, we are featuring interviews with local women leaders. These pieces were written by Baylor University students from the Department of Journalism, Public Relations, and New Media.
By Audrey Patterson
The green and gold glow from the top of Pat Neff Hall. The twinkling lights shine from the Magnolia Silos. The red lights illuminate the historic ALICO building. A spotlight is shining on Waco, and its new and old attractions draw tourists and students to Central Texas.
“[Waco] is so eclectic,” Jovan Overshown, Baylor University’s senior associate athletics director for external affairs, said. “People think of Waco as having this small, home-town feel, but it’s so much more than that. You can have that kind of close-knit experience, but you also have the energy, all the development, the building, the art scene and the boom of a big city happening here.”
Overshown joined Baylor Athletics in May 2017. She manages all aspects of the department’s external operations dealing with marketing communications, resource development, BaylorVision, creative services, and fan engagement.
“There are a lot of pieces to the puzzle,” Overshown said. “But they are all elements that have something to do with telling the story of Baylor athletics and our phenomenal 500-plus student-athletes. … We get to promote the amazing things we are doing here, this incredible university, whether that be in written form or by visually showcasing something really impactful.”
Overshown’s work with Baylor helps her interact with the Waco community. With her job, she engages the community and fan base through different projects.
“Baylor Athletics has participated in Bears for Books to help with literacy issues within the community,” Overshown said. “Our football team specifically has done a great job of engaging schools, whether it’s reading to kids or just engaging with them.”
Waco has the beauty of being in Central Texas. Overshown expressed how great it is to be surrounded by family and friends, never too far out of reach.
When asked about her hobbies, Overshown joked that she couldn’t count work as her hobby. Instead, she spoke of her love for her family.
“I’m the type to invite everyone to the backyard,” Overshown said. “Let’s cookout, let’s grill and hang out. I’m very much one of those people that is invigorated by community, but I also love to zone out and go for a run.”
Overshown considered the question of where she’d go if she had a bad day and wanted to be cheered up. Her response: to head into nature.
“Cameron Park was one of the first places my husband and I visited when we first moved here,” Overshown said. “We would run the trails all the time. … It’s great scenery, and it makes you feel like you’re not in Texas.”
Overshown advises to “not prejudge Waco. Get involved in your church or in your school community groups or whatever it is because there’s so much you can do, and there’s still so much growth that can happen here. Be intentional, get on that email list, get on those discussion board forums, and just really tap in.”
Audrey Patterson is a sophomore journalism and environmental studies double major at Baylor University. She is from California.
The Act Locally Waco blog publishes posts with a connection to these aspirations for Waco. If you are interested in writing for the Act Locally Waco Blog, please email Ferrell Foster at [email protected].