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Kimberly Jackson

Kimberly Jackson headshot

Affiliation: Alumna
Program: Accelerated EdD, Higher Education
Dissertation: A Program Evaluation of Faculty Satisfaction and Commitment to Graduate Student Advisement in a Multidisciplinary Studies Program

Kimberly Jackson could have commuted 10 minutes to a nearby university while earning her doctorate in higher education. Instead the Buffalo resident drove twice, sometimes three times, a week—often through inclement weather—to Warner because of an interaction she’d had with Assistant Professor Logan Hazen after an information session.

“We were putting our coats on and he came around the table to introduce himself,” she recalls. “He said, ‘I understand you’re from Buffalo. I just want to spend some extra time with you to make sure I answer all your questions.’ He ended our conversation with ‘We want our students to succeed.’ Bells started ringing. I knew at that moment that this was the right place.”

Now an alumna (‘10) and assistant dean for strategic and enrollment planning at The Graduate School at Buffalo State College, Jackson connects her early career in social work—and her childhood enthusiasm for helping others—to her current job responsibilities, which include managing the enrollment and retention of graduate students, developing policies and practices, overseeing academic probation, and helping students navigate through a complex educational system. Effective listening is one of her greatest assets.

She knew she had found her niche when she made the transition from social worker to college undergraduate admissions officer in 1995.

“I was still helping people—just in a different venue,” she explains.

Jackson had moved on to recruiting graduate students when she was tapped as enrollment director for graduate students at Buffalo State College. Immediately, she recalls, her colleagues were urging her to pursue an EdD.

“They said they saw my potential,” she recalls, “and that I needed to move further in my thinking and skill base.”

She enrolled at Warner, and two years later was promoted to her present position.

Over the next few years, Jackson, who also serves as program coordinator of The Graduate School’s Multidisciplinary Studies Program, hopes to continue the research she began for her dissertation, which focused on faculty satisfaction and commitment to that program’s graduate student advisement services. Sections of her dissertation were published in the Fall 2010 edition of the Journal of Inquiry and Action in Education. Buoyed by that recognition and her zeal for improving academic opportunities for graduate students, she ranks herself as a member of the next generation of higher education leaders.

“My passion is public education,” she says. “Like one of the missions at Warner, I want to help people make informed decisions about their careers and goals so that they can reach their highest potential.”