Q&A: Jenn Wells

Welcome to our new Director of Equity and Inclusion, Jenn Wells! 

Mx. Wells has come to us from Scripps College where she was the Assistant Dean & Director of the Scripps Communities of Resources & Empowerment. A UCLA grad with a Masters of Arts in Higher Education and Student Personnel Administration from NYU, she is now pursuing a Doctorate of Education degree from USC.

What attracted you to the Marlborough community?

My twelve-year career in higher education was built on the foundation that if I could have an impact on tomorrow's leaders, through the intersection of leadership development and social justice education, I could have an impact on the world around me. Given my own education background, I have been drawn to educational settings that are high-achieving but also empowering for women and other marginalized genders. As such, when I was looking to take on the next step in my career, Marlborough stood out as an opportunity that would allow me to continue this commitment to the development of inclusive, equitable, and accountable young leaders.

I am so excited to work with these brilliant young scholars and how they grapple with their own identities and how those identities influence their impact on the world. Moreover, as someone who was taking on a senior leadership role in diversity, equity, and inclusion, it was important to me to join a community that was already doing the hard work of self-assessment and creating necessary changes to make a difference. I was looking for a community that was not looking to this position to solve their problems or was treating this position as a band-aid to a larger systemic issue. 

I am so happy to share that after working at Marlborough for three months, I can confirm that my assessment of Marlborough was accurate: I have joined a community that takes the matters of equity and inclusion very seriously, is in an active process of addressing interpersonal and systemic issues, and sees the work of equity and inclusion as the work of each member of the Marlborough community. As such, it has been a great transition thus far! 

Now that the school year has begun and you have started working with the community, what do you see as your primary goals for this year?

My primary goals are informed by the fact that I am adjusting and learning about my new community completely virtually at the moment. Because of this, my goal is to take the stance of inquiry to better understand how issues of diversity, equity, and inclusion uniquely show up and impact the Marlborough community. 

Simultaneously, I would say another goal is assessing what are some of the "baselines" that are needed for a community to embrace the values of equity and inclusion. This work clearly began long before I got to Marlborough, but some of those goals include increasing faculty and staff capacity to address harm and micro-aggressions in their classroom, ensuring that our student conduct processes are restorative and equitable, enhancing the work of our Affinity Groups charged with empowering and developing our student leaders from marginalized backgrounds, and identifying and maximizing opportunities in our curriculum and other co-curricular programs for students to explore issues of identity, power, privilege, and oppression. These steps can set the foundation for the long-term work still ahead. 


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