“Hi, my name is Jennifer and I’m a recovering academic.”
I’ve been introducing myself this way for years and it still gets a laugh, almost every time. And yeah, it’s funny but it’s also true. The years I spent getting a Ph.D. in history have shaped me, for good and for ill, in ways that still sometimes surprise me.
I spent about half my adult life in higher ed – as a grad student, a teacher, and an administrator at leading public universities in Wisconsin, New York, Illinois, and California. The other half I’ve spent as a jack of all trades, translating my academic writing-research-critical thinking skills into the “real world.”
My #alt-ac highlight reel includes: park ranger at Women’s Rights National Historical Park in Seneca Falls, NY; coordinator of a Kids Walk for Homeless Kids in Chicago; PR hack for a couple of California ballot initiatives; and lots and lots marketing communications and project management, in venues ranging from grassroots nonprofits to powerhouse PR firms and, of course, higher education. You can find my full c.v. and professional work history on LinkedIn.
These days I juggle work on my own projects with consulting work. My current gig is with The International Tea Sippers Society, where I edit the newsletter and wrangle an amazing project called Sip for Peace.
expertise & experience
about the egghead
Working at the UC Davis Humanities Institute from 2007 to 2011, I fell in love with the egghead sculptures by Robert Arneson that dot the campus. Before long, the egghead had worked its way into the DHI’s marketing materials, first on a poster for the Public Intellectuals Forum and before long into a “Be the Egghead” campaign for the DHI and the value of the humanities. Elliott Pollard, the DHI’s webmaster, did the design work that transformed a photo into the line drawing, which then showed up on promotional coffee mugs, staff T-shirts, and eventually a giant poster that hung for a time in the hallway outside the DHI’s conference room.
And now it’s become the icon for my personal quest to infuse my pointy-headed inner egghead with more fun, creativity, and adventure.