Jennifer Bradley is currently the Associate Vice President of Student Affairs at Kirkwood. Starting January, she will be the new Vice President of Academic Affairs. Prior to working at Kirkwood, she worked at Central College and Mercy College of Health Sciences as both a faculty member and administrator. She came to Kirkwood in 2006, where she started as the Dean of the Arts and Humanities department.
In an interview, Bradley reflected on her favorite moments as a staff member of Kirkwood.
“I’ve had so many memorable experiences at Kirkwood. It is difficult to choose just one. I have had great experiences in the classroom and online, teaching College 101, Encounters in Humanities, and American Dreams where students have had that “aha” moment of deep learning… I have had the pleasure of leading study abroad trips to Russia and Australia where I have seen international experiences change students’ views of themselves and their world. As someone who has attended hundreds of Kirkwood’s musical and theatrical performances, student shows in our Iowa Hall Art Gallery, student honor’s project presentations, All Iowa Academic Team celebrations, and Phi Theta Kappa induction ceremonies, I have had the great pleasure of watching students shine as they performed, displayed their work, or spoke about their research. I have had recent immigrant and refugee students share their moving stories about harrowing journeys to make it to this country and their determination to make a new life for themselves and their families.”
It’s obvious Kirkwood has had quite an impact on Bradly. The array of classes, extracurriculars, and students seems to have transformed the administrator as well as the students participating in them. The opportunities Kirkwood has provided was a key point in a Phi Theta Kappa induction ceremony.
“The keynote speaker was a recent graduate who spoke eloquently about finding herself at a crossroads as both she and her husband lost their jobs during the Great Recession. Together they made the decision to attend Kirkwood as adult students to get an education and find a new path. Both excelled in their coursework and earned membership in Phi Theta Kappa. She talked about the difference several faculty had made in helping them find their new career passions and navigate college as returning adult students and displaced workers. Their journey had not been easy. It took sacrifices, determination, and hard work. But they made it. And she was extremely proud.”
When asked about her goals as the Vice President of Student Affairs, Bradley stated:
“As the Vice President of Academic Affairs, I will be committed to helping students reach their goals by ensuring they have access to high quality instruction and the support they need to be successful. I am excited to work with this team of outstanding faculty and staff who are passionate about fulfilling Kirkwood’s mission.”