Miles’ paper on the electronic and structural properties of epitaxial Co1+xMn2-xO4 spinel thin films is now out in the Journal of Physics: Condensed Matter. In this paper we examine the role of the Jahn-Teller distortion in stabilizing the electronic structure of the material as well as Co and Mn ionic coordination and valence. We show the polarization-dependent X-ray absorption studies of these materials and observe a strong polarization dependence in the Mn K edge data due to the Jahn-Teller distortion that has not previously been observed in spinels. Through density functional theory modeling performed by Jonathan Heath and Prof. Marcelo Kuroda at Auburn, Rutherford back scattering performed by Tami Isaacs-Smith, X-ray absorption spectroscopy performed by Dr. Steve Heald at the Advanced Photon Source, along with spectroscopic ellipsometry performed by by Dr. Tiffany Kaspar, X-ray diffraction performed by Dr. Mark Bowden, and scanning transmission electron microscopy performed by Drs. Bethany Matthews and Steven Spurgeon (all at Pacific Northwest National Lab), this was truly a team effort! The paper will be appearing in the 2020 JPCM Emerging Leaders special issue.