Student Spotlight: Jennifer Patten

Jennifer Patten_IDPhotoJennifer Patten graduated from Boston College with a B.A. in English and Music. She also holds an M.M. from Northwestern University’s Bienen School of Music. Prior to joining the Arts Administration program, she served in the pilot Rhode Island Teach for America Corps and was hired as the founding 7th grade humanities teacher at the Trinity Academy for the Performing Arts (TAPA) in Providence. Emerging as a teacher-leader, Jennifer led arts integration initiatives with fellow academic instructors and artists-in-residence, crafting the trajectory of the school’s curriculum. After two years in the classroom, she became the Director of Curriculum Integration, formalized the school’s approach to arts-integrated education, oversaw all curriculum development, and lead the school as a member of the administrative team.

Jennifer is an avid cellist and serves as a freelance performer and tutor.  Also trained in contemporary, modern, and jazz dance, she has led after school programs in the Providence area.  Passionately dedicated to the arts and education, she actively seeks to intertwine these disciplines in both her life and professional philosophy.  At Teachers College, Jennifer continues to research novel approaches to audience engagement and educational outreach and currently holds a Graduate Assistantship in the Art and Art Education department, actively contributing to the development of a Creative Technologies Concentration project.  Ultimately, Jennifer aims to pool her diverse experiences in performance, curriculum, integration, scholarship, and teaching to innovate educational and community initiatives in the arts.

What attracted you to the Arts Administration Program at Teachers College, Columbia University? Teachers College, Columbia University presented me with an unparalleled opportunity to explore my two great passions in the arts and education. I was drawn to the program in Arts Administration because of its situation within a leading graduate school of education, location at the heart of the arts and entertainment industry, and its approach to the program curriculum. With opportunities to study at the Columbia Business School as well as cross register in the university network, I knew my education at TC would be rich and comprehensive. Furthermore, the ARAD program’s emphasis on learning in the field through internship experiences was compelling. My internship at the Martha Graham Dance Company has allowed me to see a direct application of my academic studies to further enhance my education in the field. I also found TC’s faculty and students inspiring, enthusiastic, and supportive, and that community played a large role in my decision to enroll.  

How are your studies helping to advance your career goals? Prior to enrolling at TC, I learned a great deal through experience as an administrator at a public charter school. Learning on the job, although a tremendous education in and of itself, can be limited, and upon commencing my studies at TC I was able to contextualize my previous experience through a new lens. My studies thus far have provided me with the comprehensive training to informatively make decisions as an administrator in the arts. Analyzing different case studies, accessing an elaborate network of arts organizations, and learning the nuts and bolts of arts administration are invaluable and have already served to enhance my prior knowledge. I feel equipped with the confidence to successfully enter the field thanks to both my prior work experience and my academic studies.

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