Jess Hench (Higher Education)

PhD student in EPPL - Higher Education

Jess HenchI grew up in Connecticut and made Virginia my home in 2000, when I started my undergraduate program at Roanoke College.  I loved the small, liberal arts college setting, and I was highly involved on campus.  I was fortunate to have a wonderful advisor who became a mentor and friend to me, and his influence inspired me to work in higher education 'someday.' 

Because I was already on the path to teaching, I pursued that career after graduation and spent six years teaching in the public school system.  While I was teaching, I completed a master's degree at Virginia Commonwealth University in Adult Learning, hoping it would keep me focused on that future goal of working in higher education. 

In the spring of 2011, I walked out of my classroom for the last time, and a month later I was a transfer advisor at VCU.  While the experience was excellent, I found that William & Mary offered the Ph.D in Higher Education Administration, which sounded perfect.  I visited W&M one day just to check it out and fell in love.  I knew immediately that I wanted to be part of this program and this institution, so after seven years in Richmond, I packed up my life and made a new home in Williamsburg.  I am open to the many possibilities that will surely await me upon completion of the EPPL program.  When I'm not studying, I enjoy marathon running, coffee shops, and being outdoors.