Jennifer was a university Counselor and Part-time Faculty member in the School of Social Work at San José State University (SJSU) before arriving at Brandeis in Fall 2014. At SJSU, she created a campus-wide outreach program called GENERATE to support first-generation college students, which was featured in the Chronicle of Higher Education. She has served as a research mentor to four TRiO McNair scholars. A first generation college student herself, Jennifer earned her Bachelor’s degree in Sociology from Harvard University and a Master’s degree in Divinity at the Episcopal Divinity School in Cambridge, MA. Jennifer also holds a Masters in Social Work and a PhD in Social Welfare from the University of California, Berkeley, where she completed her dissertation on first-generation college students and stressful circumstances. Jennifer loves music, spoken word poetry, knitting, and running, as well as spending time with her husband Richard, who is a stained glass artist, and her cat Willow.
In 2004, Elena Lewis came to Brandeis from her alma mater Westfield State University where she credits SSSP and the McNair TRiO programs for her success in college. A Brandeis Alum, she earned her Master’s degree in Sociology where she studied interracial dialogue and racial reconciliation efforts. As the Assistant Director of SSSP, she advises students, oversees peer tutoring, mentors the Student Leadership Board, coordinates academic assessment, and plans workshops. Elena is passionate about her work with first-generation students. On campus, Elena is actively involved with the Brandeis Pluralism Alliance, the Brandeis Bridges Fellows, and the Civil Rights and Educational Equity JBS. She has also traveled extensively down South to study the Civil Right’s Movement. Elena's most recent ipod downloads are songs from the gospel artist Tasha Cobbs. Her biggest aspiration is to visit her family in Kumasi, Ghana, West Africa, one day.
Leah George joined Academic Services in July 2014 as the Department Coordinator for the Student Support Services Program. Leah earned her BS in Economics from Suffolk University and an MBA in Marketing from Bentley University. While at Suffolk, Leah worked as a Research Economist at The Beacon Hill Institute, the University’s public policy research institute. Also, while completing her MBA, she worked as a Researcher in Bentley’s Advancement Services Office. She has recently reentered the workforce after staying home with her 2 children. In her “spare time” she enjoys hiking, biking and curling up with a good book.