Jennifer Boender

Dean, Dykhouse Center for Academic Excellence
Ed.D. (Interdisciplinary Leadership), 2016, Higher Education Administration
M.A. (Counseling), 2009, Governors State University
B.A. (Psychology), 2005, Calvin College

Dr. Boender joined Olivet’s full-time administrative faculty in 2018 as dean of the newly created Dykhouse Center for Academic Excellence. One of her greatest joys is walking alongside students, empowering them to reach their full potential. 

In 2016, she came to Olivet as director of the Academic Coaching Center and academic affairs liaison. In 2017, she began working with Learning Support Services, overseeing disability services. Dr. Boender has also served as an adjunct professor in the Department of Behavioral Sciences. 

She began her career as a licensed counselor in private practice and specializing in work with couples and families. Her background in education includes teaching courses relating to counseling, family therapy, psychology and leadership. For six years, she taught undergraduate psychology courses and graduate counseling courses, both online and in the classroom. Dr. Boender was also involved in the development of curriculum for a new first year course, has chaired faculty search committees, and was actively involved in campus committee work for various academic units and areas of student support. 

While a graduate student, she was selected as the student speaker for her commencement ceremony. This honor recognized her academic success, participation in scholarly work and involvement in university life. As a faculty member, she received an Exemplary Course Award for developing an online course in psychology and was nominated for a faculty excellence award.  A university grant helped support her doctoral research on college student mental health.

Dr. Boender’s professional publications include five book chapters and a journal article. She has given 10 presentations at state, national and international professional conferences and has been an invited speaker at churches across the area. She is a member of AHEAD (Association on Higher Education and Disability), ACA (American Counseling Association) and CRLA (College Reading and Learning Association).

She and her husband, David, share a love of travel. They have set a goal of exploring and learning the culture of each of the 50 states. Her personal goal is to visit all seven continents, to witness the beautiful diversity of the Creator.  

Friends since childhood, she and David enjoy looking back at the way God has woven their lives together, empowering them each to be kingdom workers in their home, church and careers. They are the parents of two sons, Caleb and Nolan. Their family time involves travel, bike riding, Bible study, popcorn and root beer floats.   

Micah 6:8 is one of her favorite Bible verses: “He has told you, O man, what is good; and what does the Lord require of you but to do justice, and to love kindness, and to walk humbly with your God?”