My Simmons

Jennifer Eckert Center for Leadership & Engagement

The Jennifer Eckert Center for Leadership and Engagement has a mission to to enhance leadership development opportunities for a diverse and engaged student body by empowering students to practice Everyday Leadership, social responsibility, and mutual respect.

Our vision is to strengthen competency, foster equity, and work to close the opportunity gap for students through collaborative programming, leadership development, and enrichment opportunities.  

This center and its programming are made possible by the philanthropy of Simmons alumna and trustee Jennifer Eckert ’08 MSW. At its core, the center will enable Simmons to more explicitly and intentionally embed leadership within a student’s experience from the moment they’re accepted, furthering the university’s work as one of Boston’s premier leadership institutions.

Initiatives supported by the Eckert Center include a fellowship program that enables graduate students to lead projects on diversity, equity, and inclusion while receiving professional leadership coaching; the Simmons Bridge Program, which enhances incoming first-year BIPOC students’ opportunities to connect and thrive in the Simmons community; and opportunities for undergraduate students to engage in community service, citizenship, and leadership development throughout their time at Simmons.

Meet Julia Hvoslef, Director of the Center for Leadership and Engagement

Julia Hvoslef (she/her) is the Director of the Center for Leadership and Engagement at Simmons University. As Director, she oversees First Bite Orientation, Welcome Week events, Parent and Family programs, First-Year programs, undergraduate student organizations, and the Simmons Student Leadership Institute. She organizes events and programs designed to foster belonging and build community for all students. Julia holds a B.A. in History from Quinnipiac University, and an M. Ed. in Higher Education Administration from the University of Massachusetts Amherst. Her masters research focused on the impacts of service learning and community engagement on community partners.

Learn a little more about Julia!