Phoenix Feature: Jacob Sherrod | Cumberland University

Phoenix Feature: Jacob Sherrod

COVID-19 has completely changed the way society functions and made mundane things, like going to the grocery store, a feat on its own. Sophomore Jacob Sherrod knows this all too well. 

As a Kroger employee, Sherrod witnessed first hand the swift shift of shopping habits in his customers that happened due to the early March tornados and the global pandemic.

“It felt like the holiday season on steroids due to non-stop flow of customers coming in,” said Sherrod. “The craziest thing to me was the fact that we have had a shortage of toilet paper. It’s definitely been a weird experience.” 

Since the implementation of social distancing and stay-at-home orders, Sherrod switched to night shifts to keep his risk of exposure low. 

“My grandmother lives with me and has some health issues, so I did what I could to keep her safe while still being able to work,” said Sherrod

His work schedule wasn’t the only thing to change due to the pandemic. Sherrod and fellow CU students were scheduled to travel to London and Paris this summer, which has since been indefinitely postponed.

While Sherrod was disappointed in his canceled trip abroad, he knows it’s for the best.

“Obviously it has been a downer, but for good reason,” said Sherrod. “Nobody wants to go on trips that could possibly put you, your friends, and family at risk of getting sick. I fully intend to go to Europe sometime in the near future as long as the circumstances permit.”

Even still, Sherrod has English professor Summer Vertrees to thank for the travel opportunity. 

“She has been the person who has helped guide me in the right direction and lead me down the path to success,” said Sherrod. “That’s my favorite part about CU. The teachers know you by name and are always willing to have a one on one if you ever need the help. Not many college students are fortunate to have that type of interaction with their teachers.”

Professor Vertrees was quick to comment on Sherrod’s drive to succeed at CU, and has continued to check in with him as well as her other students through email communication.

While the transition to online classes has come with challenges, the encouragement and support from CU professors have not wavered. 

Sherrod is an interdisciplinary studies major and hopes to one day combine his love of history and business to teach or pursue a leadership role within a company.