Active Activist

Humans of Juniata College, Lynn Cockett

Jill Palmer

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If Dr. Lynn Cockett could change one thing about the world, she would want everyone to assume that everyone else is doing their best. She believes that if we start by approaching others with good motives and assuming everyone else has good motives, we can get along better and begin to talk more openly.

Lynn Cockett is a professor of communication at Juniata College. Before becoming a professor, she had a previous career as a children’s librarian. When she went back to get her PhD, she moved from library education to communications. Dr. Cockett was initially drawn to the communication field because she wanted to study desicion making in graduate school. She looked at a group of librarians and how they approached talking about teenagers. Communication gave her the tools to think about what people are doing when they talk to each other. She used librarians as her subjects, but communication as her theory and methodology. Dr. Cockett thought it was interesting how, through communication, she could better understand the library field.

In the summer of 2016, Dr. Lynn Cockett collaborated with Susan Prill to start a chapter of SURJ for central Pennsylvania. SURJ stands for Showing Up For Racial Justice, which is a national organization with smaller chapters all throughout the U.S designed specifically to motivate white people to care about ending racism. It started in Huntingdon before eventually also migrating up to State College. Dr. Cockett says that if someone wants to get involved in activism, they should first figure out what they care about and then seek out the people who might be related to those things. She suggests asking faculty members who can connect you with people in the community and
finding ways to use your talents to help out.

The three things Dr. Cockett can’t live without are coffee, her family, which includes her husband, her 14-year-old daughter, her sisters, and creativity. She enjoys creative outlets such as building her garden in the summer and cooking delicious vegan food.