Employee Profile: Jennifer Claydon
Why did you want to work at Fairfield?
As an alumna, being able to work at Fairfield feels like moving home. I know the layout, remember many of the professors, and understand that working here makes me a part of the community that I fell in love with as a senior in high school. The campus is beautiful, the work is important, and the people are supportive, all in an environment that is intellectually stimulating.
What do you like best about your job?
Working in Disability Support presents both opportunities and challenges. The best part is the time I spend with students, observing them as they develop their academic skill set while balancing their disability. Much of my job involves problem solving, finding innovative ways to think about classroom assessment, and working with faculty to bring awareness to different learning styles. I like the collaboration my office has with not only faculty, but other offices in student affairs on campus. Disability support involves the entire campus community to bring equal access to all students, and raising awareness and providing training is always interesting and exciting.
What is a memorable moment you’ve experienced at Fairfield?
I have many memories from my time as a student. As an employee, a memorable moment has been as a mentor for the Creative Life Residential College for sophomores. Students answer deeper questions of ‘Who am I?’ as they go through their sophomore year at Fairfield, and as a mentor I get to facilitate that question, and the discussion that rises from it. It allows me time to observe the cognitive and emotional development of the students and be a part of their support system as they develop their sense of identity and greater purpose for their lives. It is truly inspiring.
Do you have a hobby?
At this moment, gardening and working on the yard at my new home takes up most of my spare time. My mother is an avid gardener, and I am trying to learn all the tips of when to plant what, how to rip out poison ivy without getting it (this is impossible, and I did get it!) and which plants like sunny or shaded areas. If all the yard work were done, reading fiction would be my hobby. Once the weather gets colder, reading a good book on the couch will be where you could find me.
If you could ask for any one talent or skill, what would it be?
Remaining calm in the face of chaos would be an incredibly helpful skill.
What is something you have always wanted to try?
I have been very blessed in my life to try many different activities both at home and abroad. One thing I have yet to do is to travel on a retreat for mindfulness or meditation. Either an ashram in India, or a monastery in Italy, or a yoga retreat in the states, somewhere to digitally detox and find balance.
Favorite place to eat:
I really enjoy cooking and having family and friends in my house. I think my favorite place to eat is at home, at the dining room table with a big meal, surrounded by people laughing and enjoying being together.
Favorite vacation spot:
I married my Fairfield sweetheart last fall and for our honeymoon we spent a week on Maui, Hawaii. While the plane ride was incredibly long, the island was absolutely spectacular. We hiked through bamboo rain forests, swam in the sacred pools at a black sand beach, snorkeled with sea turtles, biked down a volcano, kayaked with monk seals and reef sharks, ate sushi every day, and relaxed in the sunshine. I have only been once, but I can’t wait to go back.
I sang in the Glee Club at Fairfield when I was a student here, and my love for music makes this question impossible to answer! There are too many great songs out there!