Jennifer is a self-professed ambivert who loves to travel, read lots of books, learn, and watch others succeed. A woman of color, Jennifer is passionate about growth, development, and overall success. She is a life-learner with a passion for culture and personal experience.
A product of Springfield public schools, I was born and raised in the area. Growing up, I enjoyed learning. During my undergraduate studies, I realized experience was my best teacher. As an undergraduate, I worked in several offices on campus. I enjoyed the environment and liked working with college students. I never considered higher education as my career choice. I didn't think it was possible. Unfortunately, I didn't see many women or people of color leading the charge. As a result, I looked elsewhere. I thought everyone aspired to work in corporate America, so that's where I focused. After completing my undergraduate studies, I moved around, searching for my fit. Very quickly, I realized the typical 9 to 5 experience was very draining and unappealing. I questioned if something was wrong with me, if I was smart enough, enough of a people person, or was I worth the investment? If you read my journals from back then, self-doubt and fear of failure were very consistent. I had the job, but I didn't have the passion and purpose of wanting to do this forever. I didn't know what I wanted to do, but I knew I needed a change. After much introspection, I stepped out on fear and faith and returned to school for my Master's of Business Administration. Let me tell you; it was the smartest decision I could have made. I learned about myself, my value, my purpose, my passion, and my strengths.
Over the next few years, I traveled to several colleges and universities. I met with many people in higher education leadership. Once again, I didn't see many women and saw even fewer people of color in leadership positions. But I did see many people of color and culture as students, and I began to ask the question, "do they see examples in leadership that resemble them?" I thought back to my undergraduate experiences. I enjoyed working in higher education, but I didn't see many similar examples, so I decided to move in that direction. After completing my M.B.A., I began to see higher education in a new light. I wanted in, and I was determined to make it happen. As a result, I returned to Bay Path University.
I've embraced that I'm a life-learner. Knowledge is my sustenance. I like to be challenged. In a good way, of course. I've always said, ‘If you're the smartest person amongst your friends, it's time for you to find some new friends.’ Beyond the MS in Higher Education Administration, I plan to deep dive into student success strategies and work with students, faculty, and staff to maximize the higher education experience. I plan to pursue a Doctorate in Higher Education Administration, continue to travel and explore different cultures, embrace every opportunity placed in front of me, read the next great book, and embrace who and what I am!”