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What makes Greater Phoenix so great: Jessica Cornell

Published: 10/13/2021
Updated: 10/28/2021

How old are you?


How long have you lived in Greater Phoenix?

22 years

What city do you currently reside in?


Why did you decide to stay here?

Decided to go to Arizona State University because they had the best Kinesiology program in the country and stayed after college because I had some wonderful career opportunities here.

Where are you originally from and why’d you decide to move to Arizona?

I was born in Fort Riley, KS, but my father was first in the Army, then a civilian contractor, so we moved 28 times before I was 14. Our final move was to Yuma, AZ where I attended the Crane Middle School, then Cibola High School.

If you graduated from college, where did you attend and what was your degree?

Arizona State University, Kinesiology

Where do you currently work and what is your title?

Western Governors University, Strategic Partnerships Manager

What do you like to do in Greater Phoenix on the weekends?

Boat, hike, check out all the awesome restaurants we have, volunteer

What’s your favorite restaurant and why?

That is such a hard question. We have so many great ones! If I have to pick one Crazi’s Hot Chicken in Tempe is a place I wouldn’t turn down even during an apocalypse. The chicken is so juicy and the spiciness is like no other. The unique sauce is amazing! I’ve tried a few other Nashville hot chicken joints and this place takes the cake.

What’s your go-to staycation spot and why?

JW Marriott Desert Ridge because it’s old school class, but still family friendly. The pool and lazy river never disappoint and the poolside DJ’s on the weekends add an extra layer of fun. Plus, it’s the only place I’ve found that makes the ‘Miami Vice’ frozen drink (a mix of strawberry daiquiri and pina colada) and it is phenomenal!

How do you stay “cool” in the Arizona summers?

We are one of the fortunate ones with a pool! We spend a lot of time in it as well as boating on Lake Pleasant. When we are looking to get out of the heat, we head to San Diego or Flagstaff for the weekend.

What do you like about our winters and why?

They are so beautifully mild. The sun still shines and you can spend the entire day outdoors without worrying about heat exhaustion. But the biggest reason I love our winters is because I can put the top down on my convertible Mini Cooper and cruise around town. We enjoy heading up to Cave Creek for lunch at Mountain View Pub or downtown for happy hour at the Kettle Black or Wilderness Brewery.

What do you love most about living in Greater Phoenix?

There is always something going on whether it’s a taco festival, music event, comedy nights or Restaurant Week. We never utter the words, “there’s nothing to do!”

Please include anything else you’d like to share about what makes Greater Phoenix so great.

Our diverse population creates a wonderful mix of cuisines, heritage events, careers and civic opportunities. I love living in a city where I can learn about, and be a part of, other cultures and provide my daughter the opportunity to be immersed in them herself. I think this creates a more understanding and inclusive human being and we can use more of that in the world right now!


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