By the time Jen graduated with a BS from Cornell University's School of Industrial and Labor Relations, she knew she was destined for graduate school. While she had a concentration in Labor Economics, her curiosity about the subject was not satisfied, so she went on to earn both a Master's degree and PhD in economics from the University of Colorado at Boulder, with concentrations in labor economics and economic history. She has enjoyed working in a variety of settings, including The Economics Institute of Boulder, CO and MGMA, a medical group data management organization. And while she enjoys "getting down and dirty" with data and research, she's found her true passion lies with teaching.
Jen's approach to teaching economics follows the belief that her role is to equip students with economic tools of analysis and then let them analyze their own life choices, the political promises they read about in the papers, and the impact of one business decision versus another. Jen takes examples from the headlines and real-life examples and brings them into the classroom to help students realize that economics is more than a bunch of theories and graphs, it's a way of making smart, optimal decisions in all areas of life.
Jen moved to her husband's hometown of Burlington in 1998, and says she'll never move again because Vermont is the best place on earth to live and raise a family. When not on campus, Jen spends most of her time chasing around her four children, who are all getting harder and harder to catch. She enjoys playing and coaching soccer, reading, dancing, making pottery, baking, exploring Vermont and playing just about anything with her kids. Jen also devotes time to serving as Vice President on the Board of Directors at The Children's School, a local preschool, as well as the Festival Organizing Committee of Dragonheart VT, a local organization of dragon boat racers that hosts an annual international dragon boat racing festival which supports breast cancer survivors.
As devoted as she is to her family, Jen has still managed to find herself skydiving in Texas, gawking at David in Florence, and haggling at the Khan Al Kalili Bazaar in Cairo. Jen hopes to continue to explore all that life and the world have to offer. In particular, she hopes to travel the Silk Road, learn to play the violin and find out more about Medieval and Renaissance architecture. If she can teach her students nothing else, she simply hopes to convey the excitement inherent in learning something new.