Jhenai Chandler

Associate Director

Jhenai Chandler joined ESG in 2021 to support its postsecondary transitions portfolio. Jhenai’s career spans across both state community college and university systems, beginning in academic advising and multiple leadership roles in public policy, academic and student affairs. Dr. Chandler’s research agenda focuses on broadening STEM participation and creating equitable college pathways for students of all sociocultural backgrounds. Prior to ESG, Dr. Chandler served as Director of the Florida-Caribbean Louis Stokes Regional Center of Excellence, an NSF funded research collaborative to enhance STEM success among underrepresented populations. In this role, she led mixed-methods research and designed faculty training at community colleges and HBCUs to help them develop and model growth mindsets in STEM fields.

Before that, she was the Director of Student and Administrative Affairs for the Florida Department of Education-Division of Florida Colleges, where she was responsible for policies and practices related to academic advising, articulation, dual enrollment, financial aid, and veterans’ affairs for Florida’s 28 state colleges. In this role, Jhenai was instrumental in Florida’s Math Pathways Redesign work with the Florida Student Success Center and other projects related to developmental education reform. Jhenai held a range of other positions overseeing academic affairs at Florida State University and Tallahassee Community College. She has unique experience working with first-generation college students through programs such as Take Stock in Children, College Reach Out Program (CROP), and GEAR UP.

Jhenai earned a PhD in Higher Education Policy from Florida State University, an MS in Leadership in Education and Human Services from Nova Southeastern University and a BS in Food and Nutrition Science from Florida State University.

Why are you in this work?

I am in this work because education was my gateway to endless opportunities and it is my desire to ensure all students have equitable access to higher education. Particularly, I want to inform policy and enhance practices that lead to greater access and affordability of postsecondary education.

Why ESG?

ESG’s focus on access and equity is what excites me the most about joining the ESG team. I am also excited by the warm collaborative community that exists among my colleagues.

Connect with Jhenai

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