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Staff Spotlight: Jenn Shingelo

Learn more about Jenn’s journey from Purchase student to becoming an advocate for Purchase students.

Jenn Shingelo is currently the director of student advising and academic support, overseeing the Advising Center, Testing Center, and Learning Center. She started her journey at Purchase as a graduate student studying sculpture. During this time, Jenn also taught sculpture for a year, following in the footsteps of her mother, who was also a teacher.

After graduation, Jenn began working in the School of Art+Design as an advisor where she enjoyed making one-on-one connections with students. An introvert at heart, it was then she realized leading a classroom wasn’t for her. She felt a calling to make a difference in students’ lives, had the skills to do so, and genuinely enjoyed providing guidance.

After spending five years as an advisor at Pratt, she returned to Purchase in 2012 working again in the office of the School of Art+Design and teaching a fiber arts class, while continuing to make her own work. Her ability to balance her interests in art and advising kept her on this path.

Jenn has taken time to grow into her current role, which she finds both rewarding and challenging. As assistant dean of students and enrollment in the School of the Arts, she was unofficially known as the go-to person for guidance for both students and faculty when students were struggling. Since becoming the director of student advising and academic support, she’s taken her abilities to the next level. In addition to working with students, she enjoys continuing to work with faculty. They appreciate her commitment to providing support to students with academic challenges. In turn, she appreciates faculty for keeping lines of communication open, allowing her to address issues before they grow.

Jenn has found she enjoys providing guidance not only to students, but their families too. One of the most rewarding aspects of her job is when she sees her guidance influence the conversations that students and their families have together.

Jenn credits Patty Bice, vice president for student affairs and enrollment management, as her mentor. Patty has modeled her abilities to come to resolutions people are happy with, make fair and ethical decisions without letting emotions come into play, and imagine how it feels being in the parent’s shoes.

Jenn’s approach is what makes her successful in her role. “I like helping students from a different level - the whole student,” says Jenn.

An Aside: Silversmithing

Jenn has recently added silversmithing to her extensive list of artistic endeavors. Though she took classes in Brooklyn 10 years ago, she spent the pandemic watching YouTube videos on silversmithing. Right now she does it for fun, but when she retires, she may turn it into a business. Her interests lie in west and north African art, sculpture, and jewelry.

Her most recent process is to send wax sculptures out, receiving a rough casting back, and then refine it herself. She likes working with wax first because it’s a little more forgiving than working with metal directly. Bonus: silversmithing keeps her connected with sculpture.