Jessica Rodriguez-JenKins, PhD, LICSW (she/her/hers/ella) is an Assistant Professor in the School or Social Work. She joined PSU in 2017 after receiving her doctoral degree in Social Welfare from the University of Washington’s School of Social Work in Seattle, Washington.
After receiving her MSW degree, Dr. Rodriguez-JenKins worked for over 10 years as a social work practitioner across several areas of practice including as a community mental health child and family therapist, early childhood mental health consultant, perinatal medical social worker, and owned her own private practice. During her doctoral training she was a NIMH Prevention Fellow and a CSWE SAHMSA Minority Fellow. Dr. Rodriguez-JenKins has advanced training in mixed methods research.
Dr. Rodriguez-JenKins engages in practice-informed qualitative and quantitative research centering on how to best support vulnerable Latinx families and illuminating within-group differences among Latinx communities. She is committed to research that includes partnerships with community providers to develop sustainable, culturally responsive interventions. Dr. Rodriguez-JenKins’ work focuses on supporting multi-level factors that affect parent-child relationships particularly among those served by the child welfare system and other public agencies to decrease the alarming extent to which Latinx children and families experience social and health disparities throughout their childhood.
Dr. Rodriguez-JenKins has experience teaching across the social work curriculum, both undergraduate and graduate courses. The courses she teaches includes the generalist practice sequence, introduction to privilege and oppression, and field seminar. Her pedagogical approach is grounded in social constructivism and critical race theory, centering the voices of minoritized communities.
In her research, teaching, and service Dr. Rodriguez-JenKins is dedicated to advancing the field of social work in a way that gives voice to the history, politics, culture, legacies, and the current urgent needs of both Latinx communities and all marginalized peoples.
When not working, Dr. Rodriguez-JenKins loves spending time with her fierce children, playing video games, exploring the city, and traveling.