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Jennifer Adams

Jennifer R. B. Adams is the Assistant Vice President for Student Affairs at SUNY Polytechnic Institute in Utica, New York. Jennifer oversees the areas of Residential Life and Housing, Student Involvement, Orientation, Student Government and the Care Team. Jennifer is also an adjunct instructor for the College of Business at SUNY Polytechnic, teaching both online and in person courses. Jennifer most commonly teaches business management, organizational behavior and human resource management. She is a frequent presenter for students in the areas of attention management, values identification and leadership, particularly in the areas of stakeholder development and communication.


In addition to overseeing practices common to Care and Threat teams, as Chair of the SUNY Polytechnic Care Team, Jennifer has worked to engage multiple campus teams to improve and establish processes related to accessibility, student withdrawals, medical withdrawals and leaves of absence. She provides campus with leadership in the areas of threat, liability and wrap around support services for students. Jennifer also works to promote the services of the Care Team to all campus constituents by using creative marketing, branding the Care Team to be appealing to students and using multiple social media platforms to reach out to referred students.


Jennifer utilizes the concepts of Community Organizing, One to One Relational Meetings and Public Achievement as she acquired from the Center for Democracy and Citizenship at Augsburg University beginning in the early 2000s. She established the first use of relational meetings by Resident Advisors in a college setting and spoke nationally at NASPA, ACPA and as a consultant, advocating for a changed approach to residential education, prompting intentional conversations to be a common standard in current residential life practice today. Nearly 20 years of teaching, coaching and practicing relational meeting techniques have enhanced her skill in interviewing students for risk and threat, and this one of the hallmarks of threat assessment work she is most confident in executing.


With 25 years of experience in Higher Education and Student Affairs, Jennifer has worked within many functional areas from academic advisement to residential life. She received a Bachelor’s degree in Business from Bloomsburg University of Pennsylvania, a Master of Science in College Student Personnel from Bowling Green State University and an MBA from Heidelberg University. Prior to working at SUNY Polytechnic, she served as Assistant Dean of the College at Colgate University, and as a member of Colgate’s Behavioral Assessment Team. She also worked at West Liberty University, Heidelberg University and Bowling Green State University during and since graduate school.


After 15 years of marriage to a University Chief of Police, Jennifer is also well versed personally and professionally in the integration of student development and campus security. She and the Chief share 4 children, 2 goldendoodles and reside in Clinton, New York. Together, they spend their free time completing home renovation projects and watching excessive amounts of  elementary, middle school AND high school musicals, soccer, basketball, baseball, XC and track and field.

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