Jen Leach, MS, MA joined the Office of the Vice Provost for Faculty Advancement in 2019. She focuses on the planning and implementation of faculty development and community-building programs, including the campus-wide New Faculty Orientation. She co-leads the team’s communications strategy, which aims to highlight faculty news, events, and accomplishments on our website and on social media. Jen was a member of the working group that developed the 2021 Columbia University LGBTQ+ Guide: Resources to Foster an Affirming Community for LGBTQ+ Faculty, Students, and Staff.
Jen’s commitment to diversity in education spans decades; she was a secondary English teacher for ten years, and was a founding faculty member of the Bronx Center for Science and Mathematics, a small public high school. She is also part of the volunteer collective at Word Up, a multilingual community bookshop in Washington Heights, New York City.
Understanding disability as a dimension of diversity helps drive Jen’s work. Her recent graduate study focused on the connection between illness, identity, and work, and how a narrative approach to career coaching could benefit those living with chronic health conditions. She is also an artist and mental health advocate who uses graphic medicine (creating comics in a medical context), to help patients reclaim once-silenced narratives.
Jen received her bachelor’s degree in individualized study from NYU’s Gallatin School and masters degrees in English education from Teachers College and in Narrative Medicine from Columbia University.