Jacob Stump, a political science professor at Shepherd University since the fall of 2010, came to Shepherdstown after graduating in 2010 from American University in Washington, D.C.
Stump grew up in a small town in Konnarock, Va.; after graduating high school, he joined the U.S. Army.
In the Army, Stump was an Airborne Combat Engineer. “An Airborne Combat Engineer,” he said, “is someone who uses machines and explosives to make obstacles appear or disappear.”
During his time with the Army, he jumped out of an airplane 27 times and traveled to the Dominican Republic, Puerto Rico and Panama.
“The most exciting thing about the Army is that I got to do and see things that many people never do,” said Stump.
After enjoying a little over three years in the Army, Stump decided that it was time to move on to new things.
Stump originally wanted to go to law school to become a lawyer after he graduated from college, but he said that he saw the life of a lawyer compared to the life of his professors, and he decided that being a lawyer was not what he wanted to do with his life.
Stump said that a professor named Joe Corso inspired him to not only become a political science major but that Corso showed him that everybody’s beliefs are limited—that we are kind of stuck in a box. Stump said that Corso helped him to realize the box he was in and helped him get out of it.
When Stump graduated, he came to teach at Shepherd because he liked the quiet, small-town atmosphere. He liked that it wasn’t a big city and class sizes were small.
Stump said that he can relate to what a lot of students are going through because during his first semester at East Tennessee State University, the first year after he was out of the Army, he was put on academic probation.
After that, however, he realized that he had to get serious and care about why he was going to school.
Diana Everhart, a senior English major, said, “Dr. Stump really makes learning about government structures and political concepts fun and fairly easy. Not to say his class is easy, but if you pay attention to his lectures, everything he’s saying falls into place. Before taking his class, I had zero understanding or interest in politics or government, but now I can actually hold a conversation with most people about the subject.”
His advice for current students is to “care. I mean, there are two things I’d tell students. First, think about why you’re here. If you are here, then care about why you’re here. Second thing I’d say is to be aware of the limits of your own perspective. What you believe, no matter what it is, is always going to be countered by someone who believes the exact opposite of you. Realizing you’re in a box will help you get out of it.”