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Jessie Dixon-Montgomery

Associate Professor of Modern Languages (Spanish)

2 East South Street

Galesburg, IL 61401-4999



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Drawers hold art supplies for students in a painting class.

Jessie Dixon-Montgomery

At Knox Since: 1994

Associate Professor and Chair of Modern Languages

Dixon-Montgomery's current research focuses on Cuban underground hip-hop as a platform for cultural expression and cultural revolution in contemporary Cuban society.

What is it about Knox that brought you back as a faculty member?

After going to graduate school, I could see the difference in education and the overall college experience at a small, liberal arts college and that in a larger institution. I wanted to work with students in a closer setting, be able to advise them, to nurture them, work with students and let them know: "Yes, you can actually do this. We will work with you. I will help to get you on track to get the grades and to decide what your future is going to be."

How would you describe academic life at Knox?

Intense. It's not a bad thing, but it is intense, and we move at a fast pace. For us, it's not overwhelming. It's exciting and rewarding. Students are engaged in learning more and have a true zeal for knowledge. They want to learn, they want to discuss, they want to do things that positively impact their lives and the lives of others.

You often encourage students to study abroad. Why is that important?

A lot of times, when you just stay in the U.S., you have this vision of the world that is very, very limited. If you're here, whether you're from underrepresented groups or not, you have this vision that there's one dominant culture, this American culture, and that's the way it should be for everybody. You don't stop to analyze why we do the things we do. Every student that has gone abroad has come back and said, "Wow, I just feel totally different. I'm looking at things in a very different light." I think it's really good when students go abroad, move outside of their comfort zone, and expand their mindset.

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Printed on Tuesday, December 10, 2019