Alumni Spotlight: Jennifer Kendrick, MSSW ‘11

by Diandre Glover Thomas

Jennifer Kendrick, MSSW graduated from the Kent School in 2011 with a specialization in Marriage and Family Therapy (now Jennifer KendrickCouple and Family Therapy). A self-described voracious reader. Kendrick reads at least one fiction book a week and one non-fiction book every two weeks.  A few more fun facts about Kendrick include her travels to 18 islands in the Caribbean, she trained a therapy dog, and she was also a member of two comedy troupes when in college!  Kendrick is currently employed by Sage Support Services/True North Counseling as a Family Therapist and Positive Behavior Support Specialist. She is also a part time faculty member at Kent.

Jennifer enjoys both of her jobs and the different kind of work she performs in both positions. “In my direct service therapy work, I love that I get to earn the right to be influential in families and help them make positive changes. In my teaching and supervising roles, I love to introduce new ideas to students and watch them become passionate about providing compassionate, collaborative care.”

In addition to her work, Kendrick’s professional awards and accomplishments include being an AAMFT-Approved Supervisor, Board Approved Supervisor for Kentucky, and certified by the Boards of Social Work and Marriage and Family Therapy.  She was also a presenter at the Kentucky Marriage and Family Therapy Conference in 2019 and at the Indiana State Social Work Conference in 2018.

Jennifer chose the social work profession for many different reasons, but she knew it was the right profession for her because of her personal values. “I grew up in a family of teachers and military personnel, so being a conscientious member of my community was ingrained in me early on. My path to social work was long--I was a teacher, copy editor, and had scores of other jobs before I found the right fit at Kent! Once I was here, all the steps I had taken in my winding path came together.”

Kendrick felt well prepared by the Kent School to pursue working as a therapist. “I feel very fortunate to have been able to be part of the MFT program (now CFT), since it is only one of two such programs housed in a school of social work. Doing the dual program prepared me exceptionally well to think systemically through a social work lens.”

While attending Kent, Jennifer's favorite instructors were Dr. Dana Christensen and Dr. Becky Antle. “Dr. Dana Christensen taught me so much about being a professional and about self-care. I also learned a lot about being a quality evidence-based practitioner from Dr. Becky Antle.” Her favorite memory at UofL was the time spent building relationships with her classmates. Kendrick, who served as past vice-president and president of the Kent School Alumni Council, says “I'm still in contact with many of the people I had classes with, and rely on their diversity of experience when making referrals, finding resources, etc. I'm glad we have such a vibrant alumni community in Louisville and all over the world!”

Kendrick’s advice to current and prospective students, “Make the most of your practicum experience, and challenge yourself while you're there. I remember being terrified at my first practicum, but I was fortunate to have great practicum supervisors and faculty who supported my learning. It seems like the program will last forever while you're in it, but it's over so quickly, so take advantage of the ability to grow!”