Jennifer Irwin has made quite a name for herself in Northwest Arkansas. From working as the promotions manager and on-air spokesperson at Arkansas’ NBC 24/51, to working for Celebrate Magazine and now as a radio host with Magic 107.9, Irwin has excelled in the field of media and she attributes her success to her time spent at the University of Arkansas.
Growing up in Dallas, Irwin’s parents told her that she could go to any school in the Southwest Conference. After touring all the schools, she and her dad visited the University of Arkansas and they knew instantly that this was the “perfect fit.” With her dad and sister being alumni of SMU and her mom, an alumna of the University of Dallas, her family was very supportive of her decision to attend the university.
Coming to campus with the intentions of majoring in secondary education, she realized that her strong suits lay in writing and English. After her mom recommended she look into journalism, Irwin took that advice and considers it to be “the best decision I made,” she said.
Through her journalism classes, she met Hoyt Purvis, a professor whom she holds in high regard. “He treated you like an equal. His classes were very entertaining. Professor Purvis really encouraged me,” she said. These were the same classes that Irwin considers to have had many fond memories, saying, “They didn’t feel like class because of the writing and reporting that went on.”
Aside from her classes, Irwin has other fond memories including living in a dorm her freshman year and making many new friends, being involved with the Chi Omega sorority, and cheering on the Razorbacks for the 1994 championship.
Looking back on her time spent at the university, she feels privileged to have had the experiences and opportunities that led her to where she is today. “Everything I learned about AP writing and journalism; reporting was so beneficial…I feel like I’ve been so fortunate to work in all aspects of the media,” she said.
Creating a career that has allowed her to work in the forefront, as well as behind the scenes of various media outlets in Northwest Arkansas, Irwin tends to keep a busy schedule. However, between her work and her volunteer efforts, she remembers to give back to her alma mater. Not only is she the Chi Omega co-recruitment adviser, but she is an advocate through many of the different media outlets and a member of the Arkansas Alumni Association.
Showing off her Arkansas pride, she remembers sitting in a restaurant in Houston with several of her friends, watching a Razorback basketball game. “It was just so fun being in Texas and calling the Hogs,” she said.
When asked what advice she would give to future alumni, she begins by referring to her own experience, saying, “Attending the university was the best thing that ever happened to me. Being from Dallas, shy and dependent upon family, it forced me to mature a lot and come out of my shell, and it helped me to gain all of the insight that led me to my career path today.” Taking her experience, she encourages students “to make the most of their college experience and enjoy every minute. Take it serious, but make sure you have fun and great memories.”