Who’s that myNOVA Girl?

Gustavo Solis

Jillian Chieppor is a typical Villanova student. The Lititz, Pennsylvania native is a junior English major and the treasurer of the Dance Team. She works hard to balance her academics and extracurricular responsibilities. Despite appearing to be a normal Villanova student, Chieppor may be the most seen person on campus. Sure, she may be lost in the sea of faces on the way to class, but you see her every time you check your computer – she’s the student pictured on the myNOVA login page.

“I had no idea [they were using my image],” Chieppor says. “The whole thing was a big surprise.”

A committee of faculty and staff members involved in the design and launch of the myNOVA portal selected Chieppor’s image after looking through a number of pictures. According to Jonathan Gust, director of Media Relations within the Office of University Communications, the photo was selected because it featured a student showing tremendous school spirit among an active and recognizable area of campus.

“It’s a good welcome for everyone visiting the site,” Gust says.

The now-famous picture was taken last year during NovaFest. A photographer asked Chieppor for a picture while she was walking around campus. Clad in Villanova apparel, Chieppor did not think much of posing for the photo and signed the release form.

She forgot about the photo until one day during her summer abroad when she received an abundance of e-mails.

“I was in Spain when it happened,” says Chieppor.  “One day I got about 30 e-mails from friends asking me about the picture.  I had no idea what was going on.”

While most incoming juniors were thinking about returning to school and living on West Campus, Chieppor was thinking about how people would react to the photo.

Chieppor describes the whole situation as just, “a funny thing that happened.”

My friends make jokes about it without fail,” says Chieppor with a grin.

She adds that although her friends joke around with it, her teachers haven’t mentioned anything, which she appreciates.

While professors may not have acknowledged her presence on myNOVA, she has been approached by some unfamiliar faces on campus.

“Having strangers approach you is a little awkward, but nothing to get bothered over,” she says.

Chieppor’s image will not be a permanent fixture on the myNOVA login page and there are plans for the image to change. A variety of student-related images will be featured on the myNOVA page throughout the school year.

“It’s not what I would’ve chosen, but it’s no big deal,” Chieppor says, “Hopefully, my 15 minutes of fame are just about up.”