Jennifer Summerhays joined Trinity College in 2017 as the Director of the Office of Study Away, bringing over twenty years of experience in international education.
Before devoting her work full-time to Trinity, Jennifer was the Director of Global Education at Georgian Court University in Lakewood, New Jersey where she managed all global initiatives including study abroad, collaborative online international learning, and international partnering. She worked as Associate Director of the American Language Center and International Programs at Bloomfield College in New Jersey, served as an English Language Fellow at the University of Latvia in Riga, and taught as a visiting faculty member at Seowon University in Cheongju, South Korea. She has designed international teacher-training programs for the Ministry of Education in Korea, and managed teacher development programs in Latvia and Lithuania in conjunction with the U.S. State Department. In addition to experience in higher education, Jennifer has also worked in the corporate world as the Director of International Training and Development at Morinda, Inc. She designed the company’s first international training program and directed international training efforts in the US, Thailand, and Germany.
A California native, Jennifer has lived and worked on five continents. She got her start in Scandinavia. As an undergrad, she spent a year and a half in Denmark. The months spent working in Danish refugee camps provided perspective and early impetus for her eclectic international career. As a graduate student, she returned to Denmark on scholarship to conduct ethnographic research in prisons and detainee camps, and later worked in U.S. refugee resettlement with a focus on Vietnamese immigrant communities.
Jennifer obtained a BA in English from Brigham Young University, an MA in International and Area Studies from the David M. Kennedy Center at Brigham Young University, and a second MA in Applied Linguistics/TESOL from the University of California, Davis. She worked on doctoral coursework in Applied/Sociolinguistics at Teachers College, Columbia University in New York City. She is an active member of the Forum on Education Abroad and NAFSA: The Association of International Educators.
Jennifer is a Reconstructivist and views education as a way to empower people and transform society. Her home away from home is Northern Brazil, where she learned to grind coffee beans by hand and out-smart tarantulas. She speaks Portuguese and Danish, and enjoys photography, art, digital storytelling, poetry and driving on unknown roads without a GPS.