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Marquette University Alumni Association

College of Education Award Recipients

Distinguished Alumna of the Year Award

Newark, Calif.

Janice Jackson’s career has been inspired by words of wisdom from her father, who taught her at an early age that children are worth listening to.

“My father was great with children,” she says. “My friends wanted to hang out with him because he treated everyone like what they had to say mattered. He taught me to cherish the wisdom of children. He taught me to be courageous and compassionate.”

Now the executive director of the Stanford Center for Opportunity Policy in Education, Janice works as an advocate for equity and opportunity for children participating in public schools. She also serves as a mentor for leaders in the field of education, both in the United States and internationally.

“I am proud that over my career I have been unwavering in the fight for social justice,” she says. “My commitment grew out of my own school experience and my personal values that were strengthened during my time at Marquette.”

Previously, she was a lecturer at Harvard University, an assistant professor at Boston College, and a senioradministrator in three large urban school districts and the Department of Education. She serves on several boards for national education organizations.

She began her career as a middle school teacher at Holy Angels Grade School in Milwaukee.

“Many people in U.S. society look down on those of us who have chosen to serve in the field of public education, particularly pre-K to 12,” she says. “I hold high expectations for myself and for those with whom I work. I hope that my behavior models how one achieves and sustains excellence.”

Get to Know: Dr. Janice E. Jackson

Hometown:  Washington, D.C. 

Favorite books:  Like One of the Family by Alice Childress and Kindred by Octavia Butler

Favorite Marquette memory:  Serving as the president of the Marquette Organization of Women.

In grade school Janice wanted to be a first grade teacher.