Humans of Parkland: Jody Littleton

Photo provided by Jody Littleton

Photo provided by Jody Littleton

Emma Gray


Though she is always traveling and seeking new things, Jody Littleton has stayed at Parkland since she first started working here in 1997. However, this has not kept her from pursuing her passion for travel however, with travel even being part of her job.

“I have three hats,” Littleton says. “I am the study abroad coordinator, I am the presentation center coordinator, and I teach.”

She got the job as study abroad coordinator after the old coordinator retired.

“I begged and pleaded and applied for her job,” Littleton said.

The job has allowed her to do a lot of traveling, something she loves.

“I spent a whole semester in Ireland,” Littleton states. “I’ve also spent a lot of time in France.”

Littleton is an avid traveller outside of her duties as Parkland’s study abroad coordinator as well.

“I’ve been to Spain, been to the Netherlands…I’ve been to Great Britain,” Littleton said. “I’ve been to Italy twice—I loved Italy. I’ve been to Switzerland. I have been to Austria very briefly, just for a day…I’ve been to Germany…I’ve been into Belgium too. I’ve been to Mexico, too.”

The reason Littleton loves to travel so much is because she loves new things, which is one reason she always tries to go somewhere new.

“I tend not to go back to the same places,” Littleton explains. “I guess I’m a little bit of a thrill seeker…I love history and art [and] I am also a big nature person.”

This love of new things has lead Littleton to pursue numerous hobbies outside of her travels.

“My husband and I are going backpacking this summer,” Littleton says. “We are going to go out to Colorado.”

Exercise is something that Littleton enjoys a lot. She went white water rafting in college and continues to exercise whenever she can.

“I play tennis,” Littleton says. “[And] I’m running the half marathon for the Illinois marathon this spring.”

One of Littleton’s other hobbies is making bowls out of glass through a method called fusing and slumping.

“Right now, I am going to a place called Cracked Glass and I make little glass projects,” Littleton says.

Another thing Littleton does is massage therapy, for which she got a license through Parkland in 2012.

“I am a massage therapist licensed through Parkland,” Littleton says. “I do massage therapy out of my house. Just a couple people a week…It’s something completely different that I do during the day.”

Littleton says she is always looking for new places to visit and new experiences.