A native of Mobile, Alabama, John graduated summa cum laude from The University of the South: Sewanee in 2012 with a double major in French studies and English literature. As an undergraduate, John competed in varsity track and cross country (earning all-conference honors, all-region honors, and Sewanee’s Michaux Nash Award for excellence in track for his tenure as team captain); co-founded and served on the SGA Senate; and worked as both section editor for and frequent contributor to Sewanee’s campus newspaper, The Purple. His leadership in other organizations also included terms of service as president of the University Writing Tutors and academic chair/risk manager of the Phi Gamma Delta fraternity.

As a senior, he was inducted into the Phi Beta Kappa and Omicron Delta Kappa honor societies, and following graduation, Sewanee’s French department afforded him the opportunity to teach English language courses at the University of Nantes in western France. There he served as an instructor at the school of letters for two years before returning stateside to complete his Master’s degree in English literature at The University of Alabama (with a focus on the work of novelist Flannery O’Connor and late Enlightenment philosopher Mary Wollstonecraft).

Do you have a nickname?  How did you get it / what does it mean?

John (Gilmz, Giles, Glitter, etc.) has long been both giver and recipient of nicknames, but his most common moniker is simply “Gilmer,” a foolproof way to keep from confusing him, at least in name, for Lee, his identical twin and a recent graduate of the University of Alabama School of Law.

What do you like to do for fun?

John was an early supporter of Netflix and, despite their treacherous price hike, continues to exhaust their supply of documentaries, dark comedies, and obscure French horror films. He is also an avid runner, an amateur (i.e. passionate and sub-par) fiddler/harmonicist, a lifelong student of the humanities, and an overly-serious fixture at pub quizzes.