Counselor, professor and administrator Mary Jensen was recently named associate provost of Eastern Mennonite University’s Lancaster site, which serves approximately 1,000 students in nursing, pastoral studies and graduate education programs.
The first to fill this new position, Jensen will focus on organizational leadership and program development beginning July 1, 2015. She is currently associate dean for academic affairs at Bethel Seminary, associated with Bethel University in St. Paul, Minnesota.
“I am honored to be chosen for this position,” Jensen says. “EMU is a gem of a university with a wonderful history and legacy that is firmly rooted in its Anabaptist Mennonite commitments and which provides a strong foundation for moving forward into its second century. The Lancaster site already contributes greatly to the influence and visibility of EMU. I’m looking forward to expanding on that.”
Creation of the associate provost’s position was recommended by a five-member task force formed in the fall of 2013 to research new administrative structures for the growing site and its programs. The task force included two representatives of the Harrisonburg and Lancaster administrative staff, and three additional members appointed by each of the academic programs in Lancaster. David Brubaker, professor of organizational studies at EMU’s Center for Justice and Peacebuilding, served as a non-voting facilitator.
“This new position will allow EMU to enhance its presence in the region and strengthen collaborative ties between Lancaster-based offices and the main campus in Harrisonburg, Virginia,” said Provost Fred Kniss.
Siegfried named director of operations
A second administrative position, created on the recommendation of the task force, has also been filled. Julie Siegfried, MA ’15 (organizational leadership), former office manager for EMU at Lancaster, moves into revised and expanded duties as director of operations. She will oversee the office and physical plant, technology, human resources and finances at the site, located in the Greenfield Corporate Center, off U.S. Route 30 in Lancaster.
“Any of the thousands of students who have taken a class through EMU Lancaster will remember Julie’s significant behind-the-scenes work,” Kniss said.
In her present position at Bethel Seminary since 2013, Jensen has been responsible for a wide variety of administrative tasks associated with the seminary’s St. Paul and San Diego, California, campuses, and distance learning programs, including academic affairs, faculty hiring and supervision, curriculum alignment, assessment and improvement, and budget planning.
“Her experience and expertise in grant writing and program development, as well as in managing organizational relationships at a distance will serve EMU at Lancaster well,” said Kniss.
At Lancaster, Jensen will provide strategic leadership and enhance collaborative support processes for programming; pursue growth opportunities by growing enrollment in current programs and developing new programs to serve regional needs; and strengthen the communication and supportive relationships between EMU Lancaster and the main campus in Harrisonburg.
Jenson in higher education since ’90
Jensen earned an EdD in organization learning and development from the University of St. Thomas in 2010. She entered higher education in 1990, working at John Brown University in Siloam Springs, Arkansas, as a coordinator of residence life. She then entered their master’s in counseling education program, working as a therapist in the university’s counseling center while earning her degree.
In 1997, she moved to Minnesota to become associate dean for relationship education at Bethel University. From 2000 to 2013, she was the program director for marriage and family therapy at Bethel Seminary.
In 2007, Jensen was a visiting professor at the Kiev Mohyla Business School, Kiev, Ukraine, which offers MBA and master’s programs in leadership, banking and finance, as well as corporate training. As a consultant, she also conducted a needs assessment and provided recommendations which resulted in the establishment of a grant development department at the school.
Jensen has considerable teaching experience in psychology, psychotherapy, and spiritual formation, as well as several years of academic consulting in non-profit, K-12, and higher education on the topics of leadership coaching, faith-work integration, organizational change, and cultural competency.
She has conducted more than 40 invited presentations in academic, professional, community, and church settings on range of topics including leadership, intercultural competency, relationships, parenting, communication, sexuality, work-life effectiveness, and formation.
A native of Minnesota, Jensen earned her bachelor’s degree in music education at Northwestern College in 1984 and taught for four years at Waukegan Christian School in Zion, Illinois.