About Jen McCreight
Before we touch on anything else, remember this: McCreight likes to write. It rhymes. If you ever meet me in person and actually pronounce my name correctly, you’ll get a thousand bonus points.
What’s there to say? I’m a random opinionated grad student who studies science but also loves art and writing. I graduated from Purdue University in West Lafayette, Indiana with a double major in Genetics and Evolution. While there I spent three years in an ecological genetics lab researching the migration patterns and mating habits of the adorable kangaroo rat. As for Indiana… I lived there since I was a baby, though culturally I consider myself a Chicagoan. There’s a reason I describe my move to Seattle as “escaping” – if you’ve ever spoken to a liberal from Indiana, you’ll understand.
Now that I’m in Seattle, I’m working on my PhD in the Department of Genome Sciences at the University of Washington. I’m researching how microRNA, a small non-coding RNA involved in gene regulation, has evolved across the primate lineage. Or in simpler terms, I’m yet another researcher trying to figure out what exactly makes us human. I’m also the chair of Women in Genome Sciences, a group that works to make our department and field a more diverse place and to help female scientists make it through the “leaky pipeline” of academia.
Feminism isn’t my only activist cause. I wasn’t raised in a religious household, so moving to a conservative Midwestern community for college was a bit of a culture shock for me. I co-founded the Society of Non-Theists at Purdue University at the beginning of my sophomore year, and was President for three years. The group really prospered and is still going strong long after my graduation, which is the greatest success I could have hoped for. I also served on the Board of Directors of the Secular Student Alliance for three years.
In my nonexistent free time, I like painting and drawing, golfing (8 handicap, woo!), and playing video games. Especially Civ 5. Taking over the world is fun.
About the Blog
I love writing, and I’ve kept a personal blog for a long time – I had a Xanga in middle school which I upgraded to a LiveJournal in high school (I know, an internet blast from the past). I created the blog Blag Hag on March 11, 2009, mostly out of boredom. To be completely honest, I had just gotten out of a long relationship and needed something to pass the time in the void known as singledom. I thought, I loved writing, why not blog?
I haphazardly picked a name based on a bad pun just so I could get started. I never fathomed that people other than my close friends would actually want to read this thing, or that I’d start being referred to as The Blag Hag (Moral of the story: Think before you name things). But then I was Pharyngulated a couple of times, I accidentally made an insanely viral post called Boobquake, and the rest is history. Frankly, my life has been delightfully bizarre since then. Being on Dan Savage’s podcast, appearing on a sketch on the Colbert Report, getting recognized on the street, even in freaking Dublin of all places – my life is kind of weird.
The Jenome was created as a sort of rebirth (though it still falls victim to my curse of only coming up with pun titles). My blogging waned in 2012 due to a combination of grad school stress, a stupid brain that tends to get depressed, and a vicious harassment campaign against me by internet misogynists. 2013 was even worse: In March my mother was diagnosed with stage four ovarian cancer, and in April of 2014 she passed away. As horrible as these last couple of years have been, they’ve given me a new perspective on life. This is the one shot we have, so we should live life to the fullest. And to me, that’s all about exploring how the universe works, sharing that wonder with others, and creating art to make the world a more interesting place. I wanted a place for this fresh start, hence The Jenome.
This blog doesn’t have a specific theme, unless you count Shit Jen Thinks About as one. I view it as an open, interactive journal or gallery. I still have to pinch myself that anyone wants to read what spills out of my head, but I’m happy to keep sharing.