Tuesday, November 16, 2021
By Jennifer Keefe
If you’ve ever been in a meeting with Jenni Campbell, or have seen her walking around campus, it might surprise you to know that this dean of communication and languages at the Osceola Campus really doesn’t like talking about herself. What Jenni does love to talk about is her commitment to collaboration across the College.
Jenni says she sees her role as one where she partners with dean colleagues, faculty and staff to create the best possible conditions for student learning.
She adds, “I am proud of our amazing faculty and staff who work diligently to ensure our students have the pathways and support necessary to achieve their academic and professional goals.”
Jenni isn’t just an administrator, though. She also teaches at least one section of Fundamentals of Speech or Interpersonal Communication every semester. For her, teaching is an opportunity to remember what she’s working toward every day. She explains, “The chance to teach allows me to stay connected to the root of our work and to engage with faculty from both administrative and practitioner perspectives.”
Inspiration comes in many forms for Jenni. She even has a favorite “work day” of the year — Commencement.
“There is something so special about watching students cross the stage (or drive through a Grad Finale) and be recognized for their academic accomplishments,” she says.
Jenni also remembers some special times from her own college experience, such as her study abroad experiences in Greece studying Greek history and in the Bahamas studying marine biology. She even got her master’s degree in political communication from the Brussels, Belgium campus of Emerson College.
“I really value learning that happens both in and out of the traditional classroom setting,” she explains.
Today, she likes to travel for fun. In fact, she recently returned from a get-away to Hawaii, a place she has been to several times and always enjoys.
“My favorite travel spots include just about any place where I can learn about new cultures,” she adds.
Jenni also enjoys spending time with her two rescue dogs, Oreo Speedwagon and Tilly Nelson.
“I’m a sucker for a cute dog,” she explains.
Both of her pups came to her with the help of The Healing Ark Animal Rescue, an organization she learned about through Professor of Humanities Jackie Starren.
Jenni started her higher education career in student services, in positions in admissions, academic advising and transfer services. She came to Valencia College in 2010 as dean of communication and humanities after serving in multiple roles at Technical College of the Lowcountry in Beaufort, South Carolina.
She says her experience across higher education “allows me to look at situations from multiple perspectives.”
Her positive perspective is one of Stanton Reed’s favorite things about Jenni. The interim president of the Osceola, Lake Nona and Poinciana Campuses notes, “I’ve enjoyed Jenni’s upbeat greetings. She always starts with ‘How are you, sunshine?’ I thought ‘what a phrase of endearment to receive and set the stage for a good conversation.’ Jenni’s smile and positive disposition are infectious.”
Know of someone who embodies one of Valencia’s values (learning, people, diversity, access or integrity), who has been an employee for at least one year? Send the colleague’s name to us at The_Grove@valenciacollege.edu. He or she might be one of our featured colleagues, subject to supervisor’s approval.