Meghan “MJ” Jaird (she/her/hers) serves as the Associate Director of Student Services and Retention in the College of Education and Social Services (CESS) at UVM. MJ is the Office of Student Services primary program lead for a myriad of student success and retention initiatives. MJ oversees the design of models and integrated strategic delivery of advising for CESS undeclared students, student academic progression planning, student enrichment and success resources, workshops, academic and holistic advising (especially when students may benefit from additional guidance and planning for coordinated care management). MJ coordinates CESS student change of status processes (LOA, Medical, Re-entry), and retention data analysis. MJ serves as a major event planner, leads the coordination of the CESS annual Honor’s Celebration, and co-leads with the Assistant Dean the CESS incident and emergency response services. Additionally, MJ serves on the UVM Student Services Collaborative (SSC), the UVM Sophomore Experience committee, and serves as the primary liaison with Student Accessibility Services.
MJ Jaird’s professional arc has centered on pillars of diversity, social justice, and educational access. MJ is committed to innovative program development, and student-centered recruitment, retention and advising practices. Prior to UVM, MJ served as an Assistant Director of Admission for Saint Michael’s College (SMC) for four years. This position strengthened and refined her established skill sets in student engagement and development, particularly through her leadership in piloted campus diversity and inclusion initiatives and her advisory role on the SMC First Generation Council. MJ recently completed her M.Ed. degree in Educational Leadership at the University of Vermont, with a thesis project focused on the ways in which public, selective U.S. universities message and provide support for neurodiverse undergraduate learners in their website presence.
MJ worked for two years as an Assistant Director of National Service Programs through the Washington County Youth Service Bureau in Montpelier, VT. She recruited, advised, and evaluated over 100 national service members through the AmeriCorps VISTA and National/State programs. The members were placed in education and youth development initiative and organizations across the state of Vermont. Additionally, MJ worked as a collaborative team member to conceptualize, coordinate, and facilitate extensive monthly professional and skill development trainings, rooted in evidence-based leadership development theories.
MJ earned her Bachelor of Arts in Sociology and Anthropology at Saint Michael’s College in Colchester, during which she became interested in non-profit work and community development through her volunteer experiences within the Winooski and Burlington refugee communities. Upon graduation in 2010, MJ embarked upon a unique, year-long experience to create community needs assessments and establish educational and community-based programming in Selma, AL.
Originally from Saint Albans Town, MJ currently resides in Essex Junction and enjoys running, paddle-boarding, traveling, and hiking with her dog, Pace. MJ also volunteers for the Essex Community Justice Center’s Restorative Justice panel.