In her own words
Dear RC Family,
I am writing with a feeling of deep gratitude for what my career at the RC has meant to me. First, I must thank my dear friend, Liese Hull, who suggested more than twenty years ago that I pursue teaching and advising in the RC. I am also grateful to former Director of Academic Services and Head of Creative Writing, Warren Hecht, and former Directors, Tom Weisskopf and Charlie Bright for seeing something special in me and encouraging me to take on greater levels of responsibility in the College. I want to express my gratitude to the many RC students who allowed me to take exciting advising journeys with them and, in some instances, with their families. I also have absolutely loved the engaged and dynamic students in my STP and First Year Seminar classes. Of course, I am immensely thankful for a dedicated faculty and staff who share in the RC mission of providing exceptional educational experiences for undergraduate students; faculty and staff who are not only great colleagues, but who have been more like family and friends. It truly has been wonderful to experience the fruits of my colleagues’ labors. In my time at the RC, I have had some of the greatest experiences of my life: e.g., amazing end-of-term performances in music and theater, engrossing creative writing presentations and compelling art exhibitions. I have learned so much over the years - from those who have been with the RC for many years and also quite a bit from our committed, newer faculty members. As I retire, I am profoundly encouraged by the ways in which the RC has evolved and yet still has retained traditions of putting students first. My work in the RC was an unplanned and unexpected career path, but it has been infinitely gratifying and fulfilling. There is so much to love about being part of the RC family and I am beyond grateful for the time I have had here.
From RC Director, Catherine Badgley
Jennifer Myers has enjoyed an academic career as a developmental psychologist before and during her time at the Residential College. She earned her doctorate in Psychology at the University of Michigan in 1992. She was a postdoctoral fellow and adjunct Professor at the University of North Carolina, before returning to the University of Michigan as a Research Associate at the Institute for Social Research and Lecturer in the Department of Psychology. Jennifer’s research areas include individual and family development, child development, adolescent life transitions, and psycho-social development in children with illnesses. She has published papers in academic journals about her research and given presentations at academic meetings over the course of 25 years.
How fortunate that in 1998, Jennifer was invited to teach in the Residential College. She taught courses in the Social Theory and Practice Program (e.g., Theorizing Knowledge in the Social Sciences) and the First-year Seminar Program (Mothers and Daughters).
Shortly thereafter, Jennifer added academic advising to her RC activities and by 1999, she was Coordinator of Academic Programs. I remember being on the RC Executive Committee when Tom Weisskopf was director, and one of the recommendations of the Executive Committee to Tom and to LSA was to appoint an Associate Director. There was no question in my mind at the time that Jennifer was the right person for that position. Her insights, constructive outlook, and perceptiveness were evident to several RC directors and to staff in the LSA Dean’s office. I was pleased for the RC and for Jennifer that she was appointed as our first Associate Director. She has served in that capacity as a respected colleague and collaborator to five RC directors.
In 2014, Jennifer received the LSA Kay Beattie Distinguished Staff Award. In 2019, she was recognized with the LSA Excellence in Departmental Advising Award.
Jennifer’s dedication to the success and well-being of students and her delight in their accomplishments have made her a cherished advisor. In her own words, “In my time at the RC, I have had some of the greatest experiences of my life: e.g., amazing end-of-term performances in music and theater, engrossing creative writing presentations and compelling art exhibitions.” Her commitment to the values of the RC and her skill at expressing these have been valuable in recruiting students, during orientation for new students and parents, to faculty and administrators outside the RC, and in preparing self-study documents in advance of external reviews. Many faculty and staff have sought advice about their own concerns, knowing that they would find an analytical mind combined with the ability to be both candid and diplomatic. Her insight and perspective were valuable to me as I became the Director.
Jennifer, we will miss you in uncountable ways. And we wish you many fulfilling explorations for years to come.
Jennifer Myers, Ph.D., lecturer IV in Social Theory and Practice at the Residential College of the College of Literature, Science, and the Arts, retired from faculty status at the University of Michigan on May 31, 2021.
Dr. Myers earned a B.A. in Psychology from the University of Maryland-College Park in 1975 and a M.A. (1987) and Ph.D. (1992) in Developmental Psychology from the University of Michigan-Ann Arbor. After completing a postdoctoral fellowship and teaching at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill (1992-1996), Dr. Myers returned to the University of Michigan in the fall of 1996.
Dr. Myers was hired in 1996 as a Lecturer in Psychology and taught in the Developmental Psychology Program for almost twenty years. The courses she taught included Social Development, Lifespan Development and the Advanced Research Laboratory in Developmental Psychology - a research methods courses required of all Psychology majors. Dr. Myers’ teaching was quite successful – consistently earning the highest ratings from her students. During her tenure in the Psychology Department, she taught with and mentored graduate students and served on numerous undergraduate Honors theses committees. Dr. Myers’ affiliation with the Residential College (RC) began in 1998. She has taught courses in the RC Social Theory & Practice Program and the First Year Seminar Program; worked as an academic advisor and served as Director of Academic Services and Associate Director of the Residential College. In these roles, Dr. Myers was unwavering in her commitment to providing optimal experiences for undergraduate students. In recognition of her exceptional work advising undergraduate students as well as her advising leadership in the RC, she was honored with the LSA Excellence in Departmental Advising Award in 2019. In 2020, she was nominated for a Golden Apple Award in recognition of teaching excellence.