Dean of Work

Jennifer PayneJennifer Payne

Email: jpayne@sterlingcollege.edu

Phone: 802-586-7711 x126

The responsibilities Jennifer Payne has as the Dean of Work encompasses many aspects of a student’s curriculum during their time at Sterling College. In the classroom, on internships, and in the Work Program, Payne sees her role as a facilitator of learning opportunities and adventures. From introducing students to the resources and services of the Career Resource Center in their first weeks of classes to conducting chat sessions with those same students as seniors in their last few weeks of school to everything in between, she loves to watch students grow and develop their passions and interests. From working with students who can barely fill a résumé their first year to editing it down to a two page résumé their senior year; from seeing students enter with little work experience and emerge as a supervisor of their peers, a campus leader, and a colleague of the faculty, Payne enjoys the role of a cheerleader as students gain skills and confidence. Watching students passions being ignited on an internship or a campus job and then discovering their professional niche is what keeps her coming to work every day on the Sterling campus.

The college campus is a familiar community for Payne as she has worked in Residence Life, Student Activities, Greek Affairs, Outdoor Adventure and Athletics at SUNY Geneseo, Western Illinois University, Georgetown University, and New England College as well as Semester At Sea. Circumnavigating the globe on a floating college campus was a unique community she was part of for two Semester At Sea voyages.

A former Outward Bound instructor and summer camp director, she is a veteran world traveler (all 50 US states, 7 Canadian provinces, and 25 countries). She is an active member of the Association for Experiential Education, recently serving on the Board of Directors. (Many Sterling students and faculty attend the Association’s regional and national conferences every year.) She is also an American Red Cross first aid, swimming and lifeguarding instructor, a certified Professional Ski Instructor of America, and a connoisseur of chocolate. Some of her favorite past times are gardening, swimming on a Master swim team, canoeing, and watching sunsets with her son, Luke and her husband, Woody.


M.S., Recreation, Park, and Tourism Administration (Concentration in Outdoor Adventure Education), Western Illinois University, 1995
B.A., Psychology (Minor in Organizational and Occupational Behavior), State University of New York, Geneseo, 1988


Association for Experiential Education Servant Leader Award – 2004
American Red Cross Volunteer – 25 Year Pin – 2010