LETHBRIDGE - Our city seemed to leave an impression on YouTube star, Jenna Marbles, and she did likewise for a large audience during a question and answer period. She visited the University of Lethbridge on Saturday (Feb. 5) to discuss everything from her favourite conspiracy theories, to the importance of mental health for post-secondary students.
The 30-year old internet comedy sensation, whose real name is Jenna Mourey, grew up in Rochester, New York, and currently resides in Los Angeles, California with her boyfriend, Julien Solomita, and their three dogs. She earned her Bachelor of Science in psychology from Suffolk University, and moved on to graduate school at Boston University, eventually receiving a Masters degree in sport psychology and counselling.
She started her YouTube career back in 2006, using her channel to post school projects at the time. One video titled “How to trick people into thinking you’re good looking”, helped launched her channel into what it is today. Jenna now boasts more than 16.7-million subscribers, and well over 2.2-billion total video views, placing her among YouTube’s top content creators.
To start her talk on Saturday, Jenna made sure to note her love for Lethbridge, and even Alberta as a whole. Riley Miller, the session moderator from the U of L, then launched into a series of personal questions, which Jenna answered in her typically humorous fashion.
She said she was particularly impressed by the university’s commitment to student mental health, and drew from her academic experience to muster up a few tips for students to effectively manage stress. From there it was a flurry of questions, covering her favourite sports, how she plans out her weekly videos, the seemingly unknown future of her channel and how she’s managed to build a meaningful brand. She also spoke about some of her most memorable fan experiences, one of which happened right here in Lethbridge. Jenna explained that two fans offered to buy her and her boyfriend dinner the night before her talk.
After an hour long session, the floor opened to the audience for 15 minutes. Fans in attendance asked questions about Jenna’s camera and audio equipment, what it’s like keeping up a relationship with her viewers, wrapping up with others surrounding topics in her recent videos.
Jenna was invited to visit as part of the University of Lethbridge Students’ Union on-going academic speaker series.
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