Jennifer Purcell

Dr. Jennifer W. Purcell is Associate Professor of Political Science in the School of Government and International Affairs. Prior to July 2020, she served as an Associate Professor of Leadership Studies in the former Department of Leadership and Integrative Studies at KSU. Purcell is a leadership scholar whose research explores leadership capacity building in organizational contexts. Her research to date focuses on organization development within higher education through institutions and professional and research associations. To better understand cross-sector partnerships in higher education, Purcell and her research team explored the role of boundary-spanning leadership among university employees as well as the institutional infrastructure to support these collaborations.

Purcell's scholarship has earned university and national recognition. Most recently, Purcell received the 2020 Excellence in Scholarship and Creative Activity Award from the University College. Purcell was previously recognized with KSU's 2018 Outstanding Early Career Faculty Award. In 2016, Purcell received the prestigious AASCU John Saltmarsh Award for Emerging Leaders in Civic Engagement which is awarded through the American Democracy Project. 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 jwpurcell@kennesaw.edu.  She can also be reached via a variety of social media platforms, including those linked below.

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