Joy Murphy Garretson
By: Mary Frances Broadhead
Joy Murphy Garretson, a Mississippi State University graduate from Birmingham, Alabama, says the College of Arts and Sciences has affected her career in more ways than one.
Since graduation, Garretson has held many prestigious positions in her career, from managing an art studio in Jackson, Mississippi, to becoming the Mississippi Library Commission Development Director. “My career has had several strange turns, and it has been fun to see where those turns led,” Garretson said.
An MSU English major, Garretson’s favorite memories of her time at MSU include going to art receptions at the Starving Artists’ Union. She also enjoyed volunteering with the English Language Institute where she was partnered with a student from South Korea. Garretson credits MSU for showing her how big the world really is. “MSU does a good job of bringing different cultures to the student body,” she said.
Garretson’s favorite class was Irish literature with the 2016 Grisham Master Teacher, Dr. Kelly Marsh. She believes the writing skills she obtained in this class still impact her today. “My degree in English helped me to be a critical writer and thinker and also helped me become an effective communicator,” Garretson said.
MSU and the College of Arts and Sciences continue to be a part of Garretson’s life as her stepdaughter Lily will be attending MSU in fall 2017. Lily too will be pursuing a degree in the College of Arts and Sciences and will also be a member of the Shackouls Honor College.
Garretson advises current and prospective students to keep their eyes and minds open to experiences that they may not be expecting in their future careers.
“When I finished college, I had no idea that I would know the inner workings of a ceramics studio, or that I would grow to love 3D printing and library statistics. I like that I don't know exactly what my next step will be, but I'm confident that it will be worthwhile,” Garretson said.
Today, Garretson resides in Cary, North Carolina, where she enjoys singing, playing the guitar, and reading. She is currently working her way through Dorie Greenspan’s “Around my French Table” cookbook. Garretson said, “I've never met a chicken or a chocolate that I didn't like!”
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