MOOREFIELD, W.Va. – Following a career working with a variety of nonprofit organizations in roles that focused on meeting needs for individuals and communities, Jennifer Rexroad is now applying those skills to higher education in the Potomac Highlands as Title III advancement services specialist at Eastern West Virginia Community and Technical College.
The advancement services specialist is a newly created position funded by the college’s federal Title III – Strengthening Institutions Program grant, and Rexroad believes that one of her primary tasks is building relationships among the college, its nonprofit foundation, and the communities in the college’s six-county service district. “In the brief time that I’ve been here,” she said, “I’ve been impressed that so many people in different areas want to support Eastern.”
Rexroad, a resident of Davis, had previously worked for Garrett County Community Action Inc. (GCCA), first as a financial aid counselor and later as a director of asset development. She had transitioned into work with nonprofit agencies like GCCA after time spent as an elementary teacher in the Washington D.C. area, where she recognized that many needs in her neighborhood were not being met, particularly as they related to housing. She later moved back to West Virginia to be closer to family and started working with GCCA, based in nearby Oakland, Md., where she said her communication skills and willingness to “meet people in the space where they were comfortable,” helped her succeed when assisting GCCA clients.
Rexroad said she applied for the advancement services specialist position at Eastern because she believed her skills would fit, and the job provided her with opportunities to work on projects benefiting West Virginia residents. One aspect of her job is providing administrative support for the federal Title III grant at Eastern, while the other has her assisting Robert Burns, Eastern’s director of non-profits, with administrative support for the Foundation’s administrative functions and donor relations, as well as database management and event management.
“I am keeping my ear to the ground,” she said. “[The Foundation] wants to build support for scholarships and student services at Eastern. At the end of the day, our goal is to get students in and see that they have a good experience and are equipped with what they need to succeed.”
Rexroad’s hiring in April was in the closing months of preparation for the college Foundation’s Farm to Table fundraising event, held at the end of June, and Burns and Megan Webb, dean of advancement and continuing education at Eastern, quickly turned to Rexroad to coordinate many elements for the dinner. With one successful Foundation dinner under her belt, Rexroad is already working on the 2023 dinner, as well as assisting with Potomac Highlands Creative Economy and Ag Innovation Showcase events this fall.
Rexroad acknowledged that some challenges are magnified because of the size and rural nature of Eastern’s service district, but she also believes the college and its staff have been nimble and flexible in meeting those challenges. “This institution has all the ingredients that are necessary to be successful – it has programs, it has facilities, and it has tremendous community support.”
Rexroad’s office is at Eastern’s campus in Moorefield, and she can be reached at Jennifer.Rexroad@easternwv.edu, by phone at 304-434-8000 ext. 9258, or by cell phone at 240-354-5406.