Higher Education and Human Resources

GVSU names Jessica Jennrich director of Women's Center

September 18, 2013
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GVSU names Jessica Jennrich director of Women's Center
Jessica Jennrich. Courtesy GVSU

Grand Valley State University has found a new director for its Women’s Center.

The role vacated by Marlene Kowalski-Braun, now assistant vice provost for Student Affairs, will be filled by Jessica Jennrich.

Jennrich served for about a year at Dartmouth College as the director of the Center for Gender and Student Engagement.

“Identity is more than just gender”

With about 100 events per year, the Women’s Center, located at GVSU’s Kirkhof Center, offers students opportunities to learn about issues affecting women.

Jennrich said she plans to maintain the center’s programs and add more focus on a local and national level.

“Moving forward, we’ll look at how to integrate all students in the center and make sure all people feel like they have a place here,” Jennrich said. “We’ll make sure all aspects of our work have an intersectional lens, so we’re thinking about how a student’s identity is more than just gender.”

Bart Merkle, vice provost for Student Affairs and dean of students, said the Women’s Center “challenges and supports our students to explore a range of gender and social issues as part of their Grand Valley experience.”

“Engaging students to learn about themselves, about other people and about our broader society is an endeavor that we will continue to expand under Jessica’s capable leadership,” Merkle said.

Art Reception

GVSU will welcome Jennrich tomorrow at the Women’s Center's annual Art Reception, celebrating artists whose art is on display at the center, from 1–3 p.m.

Academic background

Jennrich earned a bachelor’s degree in English from Bowling Green State University, a master’s degree in women’s and gender studies from Eastern Michigan University and a doctorate in educational leadership and policy analysis from the University of Missouri, Columbia. 

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