Jayna Milan’s “Ravenna” online/in suite

November 20, 2023

Jayna Milan’s “Ravenna” online/in suite

The Honors staff was delighted to hear from alumna Jayna Milan (BA in Business Administration w/Interdisciplinary Honors, 2019). Jayna has gifted us with 10 copies of a beautiful creative project “Ravenna,” which she published this year to share in the Honors library in Mary Gates 211. Anyone in our community is welcome to pick it up in our suite, or to view it online (see links, below).

Students often ask alumni for stories about “life after college,” so we are sharing extra details about Jayna along with her open invitation to slow down and connect with the natural beauty that’s just a short walk from campus.

From Jayna, August 2023: We’re [Jayna and her husband/fellow Honors Husky, Noah Johnson]currently nestled into Noah’s cozy childhood home on Fox Island for the summer, just an hour south of Seattle. The past year has brought sweeping change for both of us, as we both decided it was time to shift from our current jobs to new professional paths. Post-graduation, we both enjoyed our roles (me as a communications specialist for the Seattle and King County Health Dept. and Noah as a marine engineer at Glosten). But we were also feeling called to find something more true to ourselves.

Prior to beginning this new path, we decided to travel internationally for 8 months (Croatia, Nepal, Thailand, Australia, New Zealand) as I applied for Mental Health Counseling graduate programs. We chronicled our adventures here on our blog created for friends and family, if you’re curious.

We landed back in WA in late April and are now soaking up the summer with family, friends, and seasonal work until we move to Berkeley, CA in early August! I’m excited to attend a 2-year, small cohort-based program at the Wright Institute and embark on the path towards becoming a mental health therapist. I’m excited about this next professional stage of life — it took a lot of exploring, failing, and trying different jobs to figure out what feels good to me. I think back to the small poster in an Honor adviser’s office showing the ups and downs of “success” and how it was a guide post for me to trust (and to continue to trust) that the process is the whole journey!

As for Noah, he plans to establish a personal art business, mostly selling my pen and watercolor creations online. We’re both still creating art, biking, and spending lots of time outdoors together!

A bit on the creative project: The Ravenna Zine was actually born out of a final Honors project I created for Tim Billo’s “Natural History of the Puget Sound!” I received funding my senior year from the Awesome Foundation to share it out with the local community, and over the past several years, I’ve been slowly tending and adapting it from its original form. I think it would benefit UW students, especially as the themes I touch upon – slowness, healing, softness – are critical to nurture within the high-stress academic environment that fast-paced student life typically brings. 

There are 10 full-color copies available to take from the Honors suite during open hours in Mary Gates 211. It is a free resource, but folks are encouraged to “pay it forward” through Venmo (sliding scale from $1-7), knowing that 100% of donations will go to yəhaw̓, an Indigenous Creative Collective building a permanent home for Indigenous art and culture on 1.5 acres in Rainier Beach, South Seattle.

Venmo: @jaynamilan (comment: “Honors, UW”)

  • The digital file can be found here (~10 minute reading)
  • The website for the zine can be found here

What you’ll find:

The Ravenna Zine is a 40-page small book that is part story, part guide, and part reflective booklet. At the heart of it all, readers are invited to explore how paying attention to nature can nurture slowness, softness, & healing. 

StoryIn the pages ahead, you’ll find three narratives that explore my meanderings in the abundant Ravenna Park in north Seattle. Each vignette explores how my time sitting among the ferns in this beautiful urban park helped me foster a sense of connection to land, spirit, and community through my early 20s. 

Guide. Along the way, I’ve tucked in plant identification cards and mindfulness practices to encourage readers to connect to the everyday nature that surrounds them in a new, playful way.

Reflective booklet. In the spirit of reflection, I’ve invited readers to ponder open-ended questions after each story.

Bonus Matter: Check out Jayna’s Honors Portfolio for a glimpse into her student experience: https://jenjirahonors.weebly.com/1-4.html