Director of Candidacy Building
Jennifer graduated from Columbia University with degrees in both English and Jazz Studies. It was at Columbia that she fell in love with Ethnomusicology and pursued independent study on the connection between grief and music with the Ph.D program chair. Columbia exposed her to many new ideas and supported her in deepening her understanding of humanity. Her favorite moments in college include composing sound design for a theatre production of The Saliva Milkshake, interviewing the very musicians she studied, and taking such inspiring courses as Arabic Prison Writing and Applied Poetry. Jennifer has also taken courses in psychology, English and film at Trinity College Ireland, UCLA and NYU. She is an active filmmaker, performing artist and writer.
Jennifer has long worked in the field of education. She started coaching drama, with an intimate understanding of embodiment and the voice, and enjoys bringing that into her work with students here at Ivy Scholars to help build their confidence and prepare them for interviews. She helped assist the Emily Shane Foundation’s SEA program in its early stages as a mentor and worked as a second teacher and behavioral coach for kids on the spectrum at The Help Group School. She joined Ivy Scholars as a lead candidacy building mentor in 2020.
Jennifer mentors and helps oversee the Candidacy Building program and is a huge advocate of its benefits not only for the ease of college applications, but also for the long-term foundation it builds for our students. She prides herself on being an idea consultant for our students, helping them make connections between seemingly disparate interests, connecting them to the greater community and instilling the soft and hard skills necessary for success. There is great wisdom in laying the groundwork now, and she uses a whole-person approach to her work with each student.
It is with much joy Jennifer witnesses her students’ growth. Under her guidance, her students have initiated many projects, including:
Her students have also worked or studied with many organizations, including The Cooper Union, PAIR, CoLAB Arts, Child Advocates, NASA, AAYGC, TWRC, SCA, 7cups, Curious Science Writers, and UCSB’s Student Research Academy.
Fun Fact: Jennifer loves to climb big mountains. Her highest backpacking summit to date was 17,769 feet high, and her longest multi-pitch rock climb was 4,180 feet tall!
Alma Mater: Columbia University
Based In: New York, New York
“Attention is the key to transformation.” – Eckhart
Here are some of Jennifer’s past successes with students. Click to expand:
Jane was a very bright student, but when she first started working with Jennifer, she was suffering greatly from the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic. She was struggling with motivation, and didn’t have a spark of passion to follow.
Jennifer encouraged her to get started where she was; to look for some spark of interest, and then follow it. Since she was feeling so down due to the pandemic, the mental health of teens was a natural place to start. She began with simple research, but Jane quickly fell in love with mental health, and the field of psychology more broadly, sparking an interest in medicine, so Jennifer found further ways for her to get involved.
She began by helping Jane find an internship where she worked as a peer counselor, which she threw herself into, amassing over 180 hours at the internship. This in turn taught Jane useful skills, and helped her learn to initiate, and to take the lead on pursuing her passions.
When Jane landed a shadowing opportunity, her new skills came in handy, as the initiative she showed allowed her to transform shadowing into another internship. Jennifer counseled her though this, helping her maintain her accountability and build professional connections. One research mentorship led to another, and then to a poster presentation at a conference.
These amazing experiences were great material for college essays, but also allowed Jane to learn and grow as a person, developing new skills and learning how to take the initiative when pursuing her passions. The skills she learned will no doubt help her in the future, as she prepares to study psychology at UC Berkeley.