20 Under 40: Jenn Rogers

Jenn Rogers
Jenn Rogers

Age: 38

Business: Abilene Christian University

Job Title: Instructor of teacher education

Why are you working in this industry?

All learners deserve to have a supportive and caring environment conducive to creativity and meaningful learning. I have a strong desire to provide future teachers with community and evidence-based practices that will positively impact the 21st century classroom of diverse learners. As Parker Palmer states in his book “The Courage to Teach”: “Good teachers possess a capacity for connectedness. They are able to weave a complex web of connections among themselves, their subjects, and their students so that students can learn to weave a world for themselves.”

What are three daily habits that have helped you to become successful?

1. Taking the time to study, learn and reflect.
2. Taking time to rest and play.
3. Practicing gratitude and celebrating victories.

What is the best advice you have ever received?

The best advice I have ever received is from my favorite author and speaker Brene Brown. Reading her research taught me I do not have to be perfect to be worthy of love and belonging. “Perfectionism doesn’t exist. It is an unattainable goal.” What I do have to be is authentic. “Authenticity is the daily practice of letting go of who we think we are supposed to be and embracing who we are.”

What was the most significant hurdle you had to overcome to get where you are? How would you address this hurdle today? 

The most significant hurdle I had to overcome was navigating my career alongside motherhood. I always knew I would continue to work after having children. I had no idea how difficult and heart-wrenching it would feel to be pulled in so many directions. I wanted to be the best mama ever. I wanted to be the best teacher ever. I had to give in a little in both pursuits. Now, I am the “okayest” mama and teacher ever.  As a recovered perfectionist, I now realize how important it is to lean into my village as I follow the dream of teaching as well as the dream of being a mama. I can do both, but I do not have to be perfect and I certainly do not have to do it alone. Today I would know that my husband and my village are there ready and willing to help–I just need to ask.

What do you want to be doing in 10 years?

In 10 years I would love to be long done with my doctoral work, writing a book for mamas who feel alone in the trenches of motherhood, and speaking about the importance of collective leadership in the workplace.

Where will we find you enjoying your hard-earned time off?

In Gruene with my sweet husband, eating at the Gristmill or riding our bikes around the cutest little town in Texas.

Describe yourself in one word.

Fierce (confirmed by my husband – ha!)

Community, civic, professional, business, religious, social and other organizations of which you have been a member/and or leader:

World’s Okayest Mom Inc., president and CEO; Southern Hills Church of Christ, campus minister; Rainbow Bible School, board of directors; Interprofessional Education Task Force, ACU and College of Education and Human Services, member; Teacher Education Council, ACU, member.

Your family:

Mark Rogers, husband, daughters Haelyn, 9 and Hope, 8, and son Hunter, 5.

20 Under 40 is an awards program from the Abilene Chamber of Commerce, conducted with the Abilene Reporter-News, to recognize local business leaders under the age of 40 who make a positive impact on the community. We are proud of our alumni who have been recognized for 2019.

Read about the other ACU alumni honorees





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