Jandi Kelly

Doctor of Philosophy in Higher and Postsecondary Education

Jandi  Kelly, School of Education

Field of Study: Higher and Postsecondary Education, PhD

Year in Program: First year

Geographic Region: Chicago, IL

Undergraduate: University of Illinois - undergrad; Northwestern University - grad

Prior to UM: As an undergraduate at the University of Illinois, I was very involved with campus organizations, such as the University of Illinois Leadership Center, Leadershape, and Alternative Spring Break. I also studied abroad in New Zealand and Trinidad & Tobago. After graduation, I remained involved with my alma mater as a board member for the Chicago Illini Club. I also pursued my passion for higher education as a strategic planning assistant at The University of Chicago’s Office of Alumni Relations and Development. Two years later, I transitioned to my most recent role as Associate Director of Career Planning & Leadership Development at the University’s Harris School of Public Policy. Throughout this time I also pursued my masters in higher education policy and administration at Northwestern University (NU) and volunteered as a research assistant for NU’s Office of Change Management. In my free time, I enjoy traveling; staying active through yoga, walking, hiking, & biking; and exploring new neighborhoods, restaurants, and musical events. My husband, Rob, and I welcomed our first child, Charlie, to our family in July 2014.

The best part of SOE so far: I am very appreciative of the willingness of students ahead of me in the program to offer advice throughout the application process and on academic/community life in general. The accessibility of the faculty and overwhelming number of events, seminars, and resources available to graduate students both within CSHPE and across the University is also extremely impressive. This immense opportunity for extracurricular involvement and to be part of the CSHPE community is especially meaningful as I am not starting classes or my research assistantship until second semester given the recent birth of my son. Lastly, I have a wonderful and welcoming cohort of diverse peers who bring a wealth of knowledge, interests, and life experiences to my SOE journey.

After graduation: After graduation I hope to pursue my passion for teaching and research as a faculty member in the field of higher education.
Teach me something! As a Chicago native, I was a little worried that I might not find as “much to do” in Ann Arbor as at my former hometown. I couldn't have been more wrong! In the summer time, Ann Arbor can’t be beat for festivals, live music, and outdoor dining at one of the great local restaurants or breweries. For outdoor lovers, the nearby metroparks, Huron River, and Michigan Arboretum & Botanic Gardens can’t be beat. Students with families can enjoy a year round farmers' & artisans' markets, neighborhood parks, the Hands On Museum, and fantastic daycare options. My family is also planning a hiking trip to Luddington, MI this fall – next on our list include the Upper Peninsula, Canada, and Detroit. Sports enthusiasts have numerous athletic events and programs at their fingertips, such as UM’s renowned sports teams and the local YMCA. And don’t miss Michigan Marching Band performances at Elbel field almost every day of the week leading up to & throughout football season! The University and Ann Arbor communities also hold fantastic cultural events on a daily basis, including internationally acclaimed musicians, Art Fair, films, Top of the Park music & movie fest, and Garden Walk. Lastly, students couldn't ask for better coffee shops for study sessions or relaxing afternoons. (Jefferson Market and Cakery on the Old West Side is a personal favorite!)