DAA 2020: Murphy found house, career path at Sac State

Jenni Murphy

Distinguished Service Award

Ed.D. ’12 (Educational Leadership and Policy)

Dean, College of Continuing Education, Sacramento State


 By Cynthia Hubert 

As a Gold Award Girl Scout and the product of a tightly knit farm neighborhood in Ohio, Jenni Murphy discovered at an early age the significance of teamwork and management.

Those expertise got here in useful when she landed a job in company coaching after school, then grew to become a public servant at Sacramento State.

They are traits Murphy nonetheless leans on in the present day because the dean of Sac State’s College of Continuing Education. Murphy, who has spent practically 20 years at the University, is the recipient of a Distinguished Service Award from the Sacramento State Alumni Association.

“Early in my life, I learned a solid work ethic, responsibility, and community service,” mentioned Murphy. “I discovered the significance of teamwork, and everybody placing their greatest foot ahead.

“I found it thrilling to be at a public institution providing service, not because we needed to make a profit but because it was the right thing to do.”

“At Sac State I found a home and a career path, something that I was both good at and was passionate about.”

The College of Continuing Education’s mission is to offer entry to packages for adults who wish to end a level or earn knowledgeable certificates. The school additionally gives convention and coaching companies to regional employers, and administers Summer Session programs to assist Sac State’s conventional college students graduate on time.

One of the school’s key focuses not too long ago has been incubating Project Attain!, a regional initiative designed to scale back ability and fairness gaps by rising to 60% the variety of individuals within the Sacramento space with a school diploma or certificates by 2025.

The initiative, a partnership with Align Capital Region, brings collectively instructional establishments, community-based organizations, employers, workforce specialists, and different key companions.

The advantages of acquiring a school diploma or certificates are nicely documented. Individuals who achieve this earn more cash over time, are more healthy, and usually tend to assist the tutorial ambitions of their kids, amongst different benefits, Murphy famous. Their progress helps uplift their households and communities.

“We have thousands of success stories every year,” she mentioned. “It’s so rewarding to see people finish what they started.”

Murphy started her career at Sac State after being laid off from a company coaching job in 2000. She had by no means thought of being a school administrator, she mentioned, till she utilized to be program supervisor at CCE.

“I kind of stumbled into it,” she mentioned. “I guess you could say it was the best stumble of my life.”

“I found it thrilling to be at a public institution providing service, not because we needed to make a profit but because it was the right thing to do.”

Murphy found consolation in Sacramento’s agricultural roots and its “small-town feel,” she mentioned. In one other nod to her childhood, she grew to become concerned within the space’s Girl Scouts group when her daughter was in kindergarten. Currently, Murphy serves as board chair for Girl Scouts Heart of Central California.

Between 2004 and 2009, Murphy was CCE’s first director of extension packages. She established the school’s custom-made coaching unit, partnering with employers to develop packages that match their workforce wants.

In 2012, Murphy earned her doctoral diploma in instructional management from Sac State.

She served in a wide range of management positions at CCE, together with interim dean, earlier than changing into everlasting dean in 2018.

Her best pleasure is seeing CCE college students, most of whom are between 35 and 42 years previous, obtain their tutorial objectives.

“It’s hard enough to go to college when you are 18 to 24 years old, and the system is set up for that age group,” Murphy mentioned. “But to do it whenever you’re older and you’ve got so many different issues occurring in your life brings further challenges.

“Many of our learners are employed full time in professional positions, but they are kind of stuck because to move up they need a college degree or a specialized credential. When they meet other adults who are in the same situation, it’s a sigh of relief for them.”

Murphy mentioned she is ceaselessly grateful to Sac State for giving her a chance to assist others.

“I stumbled into a job, and a really found my people and my career,” she mentioned. “To be able to give back and help people realize their full potential; who could ask for more? Everyone should be so lucky.”

Each 12 months since 1972, the Sacramento State Alumni Association has honored achieved alumni and associates of the University with the Distinguished Alumni Awards (DAA). This 12 months’s honorees had been acknowledged throughout a digital ceremony on Oct. 15. For extra info, go to the Alumni Association’s Distinguished Alumni Awards web page.