The Karate Kid
October 20, 2015 - by Laura J. Cole ’04 ’08MLS
A martial artist set to represent team USA next month in
the world championships, Jasmine Kitterman ’16
discusses launching the Rollins chapter of The Odyssey
and why she’s so passionate about feminism.
(Photo by Scott Cook)
Orlando-native Jasmine Kitterman ’16 may be tiny but she packs a
punch—or in her case, a kick.
The 5’1”, 19-year-old, self-proclaimed feminist is a second-degree black
belt in karate, which she teaches—along with a hip hop dance class for
little kids—at her family’s Ultimate Power Martial Arts and Fitness
Center in Lake Nona.
“I’ve been teaching now for five years, and competing as well,”
Kitterman says. “Now that I’m in college, it’s harder to go around the
world and take weeks off.”
In fact, next month, she’ll be
representing team USA at the WKC
World Championships, which will be
held at the Wyndham Orlando Resort
But that doesn’t mean she doesn’t still practice and compete. In fact,
next month, she’ll be representing team USA at the WKC World
Championships, which will be held at the Wyndham Orlando Resort
International. “It’s gonna be near Universal, luckily, so maybe I won’t
have to miss so much school.”
Which is a good thing, since Kitterman is hoping to graduate in May,
completing a major in critical media and cultural studiesplus a minor
in communication studies in only two years. During that time, in
addition to being a martial arts instructor, she’s joined the Rollins
Climbing Club, performed in LipSync, been a workstudy for IT,
completed a PR internship at WPRK, and, this summer, launched the
Rollins College chapter of The Odyssey.
“I love sleep, don’t get me wrong,” she confesses. “It’s just my
subconscious doesn’t love sleep.”
The newest member of Rollins student
media family, The Odyssey is an online
Buzzfeed-like site, where Rollins students
post roughly 12 articles a week.
The newest member of Rollins student media family, The Odyssey is an
online Buzzfeed-like site, where Rollins students post roughly 12 articles
a week. And while Kitterman stresses that The Odyssey is not competing
with The Sandspur or The Independent, she does want people to know
how close-knit the group of writers have become, even dubbing
themselves “The Squadessy.” “We’re our own Greek life organization or
something,” she says.
What else do you need to know about this powerhouse?
Her favorite place on campus is the library (“It’s like a hangout for
people who want to be educated.”); her favorite writer is John Green (“I
love young adult fiction.”); and her favorite Rollins memory is jumping
through the fountain in front of the campus center, which she found out
later is tied to a campus superstition:
“People were like, ‘Oh my God, you’re not gonna graduate because you
ran through the fountain,’ ” she says. “I was like, well, I guess I’m not
gonna graduate. But here I am, senior year… and hopefully I will
graduate next semester.”
LJC: What made you want to start The Odyssey?
JK: This summer I came across an Odyssey article and I was like,
“Whoa, this is cool,” and I just kept clicking through the website. I
noticed that the writers were all college students, and I was like, “Oh,
maybe I can do this.” I applied to be a writer, but I applied as a general
Florida area writer, and they contacted me. They liked me, and then they
were like, “Hey, do you think Rollins would be a good fit for this cuz
we’re opening up new locations everywhere across the world right now?”
They’re expanding by like double right now. They gave me the
opportunity, and I went with it.
It was me originally, and then my best friend Carmen Cheng ’18. She
was (and still is) involved with The Sandspur and The Independent—
next year she’ll be the editor of that. The day after I found out about it, I
was like, “Hey, do you want to help me start this?” And she was like,
“Sure let’s do it.”
LJC: Is there one story that you’ve been dying to write for a while but
haven’t been able to?
I want to ask people around campus if
they consider themselves a feminist.
JK: Yes. We’re integrating video, and I want to ask people around
campus if they consider themselves a feminist. I want to ask a ton of
people and see the statistics on campus and write an article about it. I
think that since we’re a liberal arts college it would be interesting to see
who actually identifies with that. It’s something I study a lot, and I’m
LJC: In addition to The Odyssey, what are you reading regularly?
JK: Buzzfeed. All day long.
LJC: What story are you most proud of that you’ve written for The
Odyssey or elsewhere?
JK: The one I’m most proud of so far would be one I wrote really early
on. It was calledWhy I’m Bad at Being a Girl. It was decently personal as
well as something that has to do with my major, so I integrated all of
that stuff in and it was just a fun article to write. It wasn’t too serious or
too funny, but explained it in a way where I could say why I was bad a
being a girl as far as gender roles. And then I added funny gifs.
LJC: What is the most popular article so far that’s been posted on The
JK: It’s 30 Signs You Go to Rollins College. The lists are most popular
LJC: What social justice issue would you say you’re most passionate
about and why?
JK: It’s definitely feminism. One, I relate to it because I’m a girl in
American society. And two, I think people don’t take it too seriously and
I want to raise the bar.
I feel like I’m in a more privileged
position as far as feminism goes because
I’m an educated woman.
I feel like I’m in a more privileged position as far as feminism goes
because I’m an educated woman. I’m going to Rollins College. I work,
but I’m not working 24/7 in a harsh environment or anything. I like
using that privilege to raise awareness, especially through my writing
and through talking to people.
My old idols, when I was in high school, used to be celebrities. Now it’s
the suffragists. I just watched a documentary on the suffragists
movement. Alice Paul, she’s like my favorite person in the world right
now because she fought for the cause no matter what—she went on
hunger strikes and went to jail.
You are way more likely to get raped than
get attacked by a shark, and people are
afraid of sharks more than they are
concerned with rape.
Right now, I’d say the most pressing issue would have to be violence
against women in any shape, way, or form. I think domestic violence is a
big issue. (October is domestic violence awareness month.) Rape is as
well. I just watched a documentary on rape on college campuses, and it’s
pretty scary. You are way more likely to get raped than get attacked by a
shark, and people are afraid of sharks more than they are concerned
LJC: How can students become involved in The Odyssey?
JK: Students can either shoot me an email (email@example.com)
or there’s an employment tab on our website where you can apply. Then
all you have to do is send us an email with a writing, photography,
and/or video sample.
Check us out at theodysseyonline.com/rollins.
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