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Jennifer Jacobsen to leave Grinnell

Jennifer+Jacobsen+%E2%80%9995%2C+Assistant+Dean+of+Students+and+Director+of+Wellness+and+Prevention+and+Title+IX+Deputy+for+Prevention%2C+will+leave+Grinnell+in+early+October+to+take+a+position+at+Macalester+College.++Photo+by+Ariel+Richards.
Jennifer Jacobsen ’95, Assistant Dean of Students and Director of Wellness and Prevention and Title IX Deputy for Prevention, will leave Grinnell in early October to take a position at Macalester College. Photo by Ariel Richards.
Jennifer Jacobsen ’95, Assistant Dean of Students and Director of Wellness and Prevention and Title IX Deputy for Prevention, will leave Grinnell in early October to take a position at Macalester College. Photo by Ariel Richards.

Jennifer Jacobsen ’95, Assistant Dean of Students and Director of Wellness and Prevention and Title IX Deputy for Prevention, is leaving Grinnell in early October to take a position at Macalester College in St. Paul, Minnesota.

“It was a really tough decision. Grinnell was my alma mater and I’ve had a fantastic experience here the last eleven plus years,” Jacobsen said. “I love our students and I have lots of great colleagues.”

Jacobsen contributed a great deal to Grinnell during her time at the College. Some of Jacobsen’s proudest accomplishments at Grinnell include her promotion of active bystander awareness and her work to reduce binge drinking on campus.

“We started doing active bystander work on campus here ten years ago, and 97.7 percent of our students agree or strongly agree that active bystanderism is essential to the success of self-government,” Jacobsen said. “So that’s been a cultural shift here. We’ve also seen a ten percent decrease in binge drinking, as well as a statistically significant drop in students experiencing things that they don’t want to experience with alcohol … Blackouts, hurting themselves, doing something they regretted or having unprotected sex.”

Jacobsen also noted that she was very proud of the work of students, and she made special mention of the student-athlete mentoring program.

Jacobsen wants to ensure that her legacy is carried on at Grinnell, pointing to several things that could be done to further reduce binge drinking and other issues on campus.

“I think especially when you’re here in the months of January, February and March, students being aware of all the programming and things [that] there are to do here is really important. But I think our students have really taken the lead in caring a lot about these issues. We’ve also [seen] a big change in social norms. Fewer students perceive that a lot of students are binge drinking than before,” Jacobsen said.

At Macalester, Jacobsen expects to have a more specialized position than the one she has at Grinnell, concentrating mostly on sexual violence prevention.

“Right now, my job [in Grinnell] has so many facets.” Jacobsen said. “I do sexual respect work, and alcohol and other drug work, mental health promotion and general wellness, and [at Macalester] I will be specializing more as a sexual violence prevention person. We know that that has some overlap with alcohol and other drugs and certainly involves a lot of active bystander work, but there will be three full-time people doing about 90 percent of my job responsibilities here.”

Sarah Moschenross, Associate Vice President for Student Affairs, noted that Jacobsen would be missed.

“I have really enjoyed working with Jen, and I think she’s made a huge impact on our campus and with our students,” Moschenross said. “I think she’s really helped us move the needle on important aspects of student well-being, certainly on alcohol and other drug education and knowledge around sexual respect, as our title IX deputy for prevention. I think she leaves very big shoes to fill and I will miss her a lot and I’m sure there’s a lot of people on campus who will miss her.”

The College plans to fill Jacobsen’s position, though it is possible that the precise job description might be somewhat modified. Moschenross noted that the College would conduct the job search process primarily through online channels, and made special mention of The Chronicle, as well as several different professional associations.

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