Class of 2021: The Marvelous Miss Jaya Armstead

Meet Jaya Armstead, a junior from Dallas, Texas, studying writing and cinema and media studies. After attending college in Arizona, she transferred to Texas Christian University in hopes of finding a new place to call home. Armstead knew TCU was the perfect fit to continue her education. “I like the sense of community at TCU and being able to communicate with my professors directly,” she said.  

Armstead has always considered writing her passion in life. Her dream is to become a screenwriter. After joining the Student Filmmakers Association at TCU, she knew cinema and media studies was the major for her. This major allows her to study film and television thoroughly. It makes me watch the media differently,” she said. “I’m able to reflect on the aesthetics, audiences and the historical links to films and television shows.”  

Because cinema and media studies is a relatively new major, Armstead believes that it is important for people to know that this major teaches you to look at film and television through a multiplicity of perspectives. You have the chance to fully understand each step of a scene and why it is significant to the film or show,” she says. Cinema and media reflect society and its many voices. It changes the way you watch films and shows. 

One of her favorite moments at TCU was taking Media Adaptation: Marvel and DC Comics, taught by Associate Professor Dr. Tricia Jenkins.I am a huge fan of comic books, as it’s my dream to work for Marvel Comics someday,” said Armstead. She loved being able to share her love of comics by studying the films and history with classmates. During this course, she had the opportunity to meet TCU alumna and former DC Comics editor Molly Mahan. “Meeting her was inspiring because I could finally talk to someone who understood what I wanted to do for my future career, she said. 

It is not surprising to know that Armstead is a comic book collector—specifically collecting Marvel Comics. My collection includes comic books, movies, statues, and encyclopedias, she said. Knowing her love of comics, it is fitting to find out that after earning her degree from TCU, she wants to pursue a career working for Marvel Comics (or Pixar) as a screenwriter. I’ve been reading comic books my whole life, beginning with X-Men,” she said. “Seeing the Marvel Cinematic Universe grow through comics and film makes me excited for the future.” 

Armstead’s favorite film is “Logan,a Marvel Studios film. “I love the way it was filmed,” she said. “It was a perfect sendoff for Wolverine, my favorite hero, who is such a beloved character. 

After transferring to TCU, Armstead believes the best advice for first-year students would be to just go for it. “Don’t worry about what others may think. Do the things that make you happy and push you to be your best self,” she said. Everything else will fall in place. 

Click here for more information on the Film, Television and Digital Media department.