Jennifer Purcell


Dr. Jennifer W. Purcell is an Associate Professor of Leadership Studies in the Department of Leadership and Integrative Studies at Kennesaw State University.  She is a leadership scholar whose research explores capacity building for community engagement in higher education.  Specifically, she explores strategies for developing community-engaged scholars and educators and developing organizational infrastructure, including related policy, to support reciprocal campus-community partnerships.  The purpose of Purcell's research is to advance universities’ community engagement agendas in order to fully realize the public purpose of higher education and its contribution to the common good.

Purcell's scholarship has earned university and national recognition.  Most recently, Purcell was recognized with KSU's 2018 Outstanding Early Career Faculty Award.  Previously in 2016, Purcell received the prestigious AASCU John Saltmarsh Award for Emerging Leaders in Civic Engagement.  In the same year, she was also recognized with the Kiesler Service Award, which honors student-centered teaching and service.  In 2015, Purcell received the University College Faculty Development Award in recognition of her promising research agenda.

Purcell serves in multiple leadership roles at the national, university, college, and department levels, including service as the Program Chair for the Emerging Engagement Scholars Workshop, an Associate Editor for the Journal for Higher Education Outreach and Engagement, the KSU Faculty Senate President and multi-term member of the Faculty Senate Executive Committee, the former AAUP@KSU Vice-President, a member of the University College Faculty Committee, and Chair of the Leadership and Integrative Studies Strategic Planning Committee.  Purcell also served as a member of the Executive Committee of the Graduate Policy and Curriculum Committee prior to being appointed by The Graduate College Dean to serve as the inaugural Graduate Faculty Fellow and Interim Graduate Program Coordinator for the Graduate Certificate in Leadership and Ethics.

Previously, Purcell served in a variety of professional and administrative roles in higher education and the nonprofit sector that supported leadership development and community engagement.

Purcell earned an Ed.D. in Adult Education with foci in leadership, learning, and organization development from the University of Georgia, an Master of Public Administration with a concentration in city management from Valdosta State University, and a B.A. in Sociology and minor in Business Administration from Mercer University.

Purcell is Georgia native and resides in Kennesaw with her husband, Matthew, their son, and Golden Retriever.  She enjoys family adventures, international travel, kayaking, and birding.

For additional information, Dr. Purcell may be reached via email at  She can also be reached via a variety of social media platforms, including those linked below.