Jacci Stuckey Welling is a professor of history who specializes in Asian History. She is a Malone graduate and was named the 2014 Alumna of the Year.
Aviso: What brought you to Malone?
Welling: I first found out about Malone when my father came to teach here; he was a professor here for 30 years. I’m a graduate of Malone. Later I was elected as president of the alumni board for two years, and after those two years was up, I was asked to be the director of alumni services. I left and I taught at the University of Akron for about nine years, and then when a position here came open, I applied and I am back at Malone.
Aviso: Who inspires you?
Welling: My father did the most. He’s since passed away, but he was not only my dad and a professor, he was a mentor. He was a professor here when they started the social work program. He was very concerned about people who were marginalized. He was interested in social justice. So, actually between my time graduating and coming back, I was director of community services at the Stark Metropolitan Housing Authority, and I learned about that program through my dad. He lived out his faith.
Aviso: What is your favorite book?
Welling: Gilead by Marilynne Robinson. She’s a great author. She hasn’t published a lot. She’s published essays as well, too, but she’s a deep and thoughtful thinker. Gilead is about a pastor, an older pastor in Iowa and he looks back on his life in thoughtful and meaningful ways. I read it during a time of transition in my life and it was really helpful in terms of my faith.
Aviso: What do you like most about Malone?
Welling: The students. I appreciate the diversity of students that come here, both in terms of their backgrounds, their interests, their faith stories; and also the colleagues that I teach with. They’re pretty great.
Aviso: Do you have Quaker beliefs?
Welling: Well, I am a Quaker. I teach the Friends history class here. I first started going to a Friends, or Quaker, church when I was 10 years old, and it was the church that Emma and Walter Malone used to co-pastor. It’s now Willoughby Hills Friends Church, but when I was there, it had just moved from Cleveland. It used to be Cleveland Friends Church and it was Emma and Walter Malone’s church, who founded this place.
Aviso: What do most people not know about you?
Welling: Because I have been associated with Malone for so long and I speak on behalf of Malone quite a bit, there’s probably little people don’t know about me. My students who do know me know I love teaching about China. I’ve been to China four times: China and Hong Kong. I’ve traveled to a number of East Asian countries: Korea, Japan, China and Hong Kong. My middle child is adopted from Korea. I have two birth children and a middle one, and it’s my middle one, Jenaye, who graduated from Malone. All three of my siblings graduated from Malone.