Alumni Spotlight: Marissa Farris

Marissa Farris and a Jambar staffer pose in the office. Photo Courtesy of Marissa Farris

By Kyle Wills

Marissa Farris, a Youngstown State University graduate, reminisces her time at Youngstown State and The Jambar. A 2016 graduate, she was a part of The Jambar from 2010 to 2013 where she was an arts and entertainment editor. 

Farris has many fond memories of The Jambar office when it was previously located in the basement of Fedor Hall.

“We had the basement of Fedor Hall where not only we worked, but a lot of us in between classes would go and hang out there. I got to have so many really cool experiences while I worked there and then it’s just so cool to look back on,” she said. “I was reading some of my old stories just to remember what I had written about and it’s like, ‘Oh wow, I did that,’ and sometimes I’m like, ‘Oh no, I didn’t phrase that correctly,’ or ‘Oh, there’s a grammatical error right there.’ I really look back on those years very fondly.”

One of her favorite memories occurred in 2012, when she had the opportunity to write a story about one of her favorite topics.

“We were putting together an issue of the YO Magazine,” Farris said. “It was really cool because in 2012, I got to write a story of the Titanic 100 years later and its connections to Youngstown. I got to speak with the great grandson of someone who was on the Titanic. It was a really cool, as far as stories that I’ve written. That was hands down my favorite.” 

In addition to the memories she made, Farris was also able to create relationships with many people during her time at YSU. She stated she tries to stay in touch with some of those same people today.

“Even if we’re not able to get together physically, we can just kind of keep up with each other through social media. It’s just so cool to see everybody go from being a struggling college student to thriving in their careers and some of them have families now,” she said. “Mary Beth and Adam [Earnheardt] were such huge influences not only for me, but for a lot of people. It’s so cool that they were such huge supporters of us.”

Currently, Farris works for Target Corp., where she is a human resources executive. Even though it is not a journalism position, she still uses what she learned at The Jambar every day.

“The Jambar definitely taught me how to talk to people, how to approach people and how to not be afraid to ask the tough questions,” she said. “It’s sort of right there in my job every single day. I have to know how to talk to people every single day, I have to know how to give direction to my team, I have to be able to talk to my team and I have to be able to ask the hard questions, too.”

Farris advised college students to take the advice they’re given with a grain of salt. “Don’t feel bad if you follow your own road essentially in college because nobody else is ever going to have your experience except for you.”