About Jessica Turner

I am a 35-year-old single mom of two amazing boys, ages 6 and 8. They keep me busy and inspired me to return to college after nearly two decades. I'm a junior pursuing a BS in Urban & Public Affairs, and hope to work this year with PSU's Career and Community Studies program. I'm also a Peer Mentor in the University Studies program, and look forward to being a part of enriching and challenging discussions during my Freshman Inquiry: Migration, Immigration and Belonging.

Autism in Pop Culture: The Movie!

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I learned so much from our class this term! My two favorite lessons from Pop Culture really challenged me to dig deep – first, the deconstruction of the Axe commercial taught me a lot about just how much research and production can fit into such a short message, and then the blog project that forced us to critique news stories helped me further define the differences between news and entertainment. These two projects – as well as others in the class – helped me research and find the book I wanted to use for a book report, narrow my focus for a 2-minute speech I have to give about urban equity, and even become so effective in my internship in state government that I got an unexpected stipend and a job offer!

But perhaps the thing I cherish most from this class was the opportunity I got to take a hard look at an important identity in pop culture: autism. Although I myself am not autistic, my youngest son is. The reason I am back in school is so I can make it my life’s work to educate others about what it means to be autistic, and how those on the autism spectrum can make the world a better place. I got a small taste of what that might be like with our final project, and I invite you now to sit back, relax, and enjoy my newest flick: Autism in Pop Culture.