Jean Dahlgren is shattering glass ceilings.
Class of 2001
After completing her terminal degree from Marywood, Jean Dahlgren ‘01 left equipped to face challenges she never expected. The Master's with the Masters program, created for working professionals who wish to gain their MFA, helped Dahlgren push her limits and prepare for an unanticipated career path.
The Master's with the Masters program provides working professionals with the opportunity to further their education through a low-residency MFA program. This program gathers artists and designers from across the country to complete independent work, tour studios, and complete short-term residential course work.
“Marywood...introduced me to the possibility of a bigger professional life that I hadn’t imagined for myself…[I]t helped me to push my boundaries way outside of my comfort zone.”
While working as an associate professor at the Sage Colleges in Albany, New York, Dahlgren received notice that the Delaware College of Art and Design was looking for a new president. Dahlgren heard about the job posting in an email from one of her colleagues and immediately assumed it was a joke.
“I opened the attachment and at the top, it said, “president” and I just immediately closed it. And I wrote back to her; I said, ‘That's funny, you're hilarious.’”
Despite having initial doubts about her ability to fill such a daunting role, Dahlgren is now the first female president of the Delaware College of Art and Design. In the time that has passed since that first joke of an email, Dahlgren is able to reflect on the ability of self-doubt to halt an opportunity.
It was “a classic case of...somebody sees something in you that you didn’t see in yourself.”
Now, as an impactful educator, Dahlgren recognizes both the immense responsibility of educators as well as the role they play in the lives of their students.
Even though Dahlgren is no longer a teacher per se, she says the importance of her role is “working with teams...and trying to ignite excitement and...talk about the magic of what happens in the classroom.”
Dahlgren says, “It’s a dream come true.”
Photo Courtesy of Delaware College of Art and Design