Jessica Pesce, AG08 of Arlington, MA

Candidate to represent the Graduate School of Arts & Sciences and Engineering on the Alumni Council.

STATEMENT: I am excited and humbled to be nominated as a candidate for the Tufts Alumni Council. I received my master’s degree in Classical Archaeology from Tufts (and a certificate in Museum Studies that I completed a few years later). I absolutely loved the experience: translating dead languages, digging in the dirt, working in museums, and meeting fascinating people in multiple countries, none of which would have been possible without the fantastic Classical Studies Department. While there aren’t very many jobs in the field of Classics, my time at Tufts fundamentally shaped my career in a way I never could have predicted. Here’s how.

Graduate school in the humanities is an independent and often isolating endeavor. While I was looking forward to the academics of my master’s program, I knew that I wanted to experience all that Tufts had to offer. I followed some advice from a housemate who had been at Tufts for a few years. She recommended that I join the Graduate Student Council (GSC) so I could meet other students across the university. My department was tiny (my cohort was just five students!), so I relished the GSC meetings, mixers, social outings, and charity events, such as the annual 5K race, we planned. 

Not only did I meet amazing people across various departments, but I also learned far more than I anticipated about how higher education is run. As Vice President of the GSC in my second year, I served as the graduate student representative on Tufts’ Programs & Policies Committee and the Committee on Student Life (CSL). I learned what Deans do, how departments work, and why shared governance is so important in higher education. I worked on issues like graduate student stipends, healthcare, Teaching Assistantships, and program requirements. With the CSL, I helped devise a new transcript notation system for academic and disciplinary infractions, and I was a part of hearings related to student probations. I vividly remember the day President Larry Bacow came to one of our CSL meetings to talk about a specific issue we were working on. I had never realized how complex universities were! I was hooked.

Should I be elected to the Tufts Alumni Council, I will work to accurately and effectively represent the voices of graduate student alumni. As a scholar of higher education, I know that most graduate alumni do not get involved in alumni activities. People are much more likely to volunteer for, donate to, and attend events at their undergraduate alma mater. Therefore, graduate school alumni concerns are not heard often in alumni affairs. I also want to work to make graduate student alumni feel more connected to Tufts. I served on the Tufts Alma Matters magazine board (when it existed); this was a magazine for AS&E graduate alumni that updated them on campus activities and research. While much of that work has gone digital, I know there is more that can be done to help graduate school alumni feel like part of the institution.

As you have probably figured out by now, I didn’t end up becoming a classical archaeologist. But I did end up as a higher education administrator. It turns out my most formative time at Tufts was during my extra-curricular work on the GSC, which prepared me for doing a Ph.D. in higher education and taking on leadership roles at various institutions. Without my Tufts experience, I would never be where I am today, and I am forever grateful.


  • PhD, Boston College, 2015
  • MEd, Harvard University, 2011
  • Museum Studies Certificate, Tufts University, 2010
  • MA, Classical Archaeology, School of Arts & Sciences, Tufts University, 2008
    • Graduate Student Council Service Award
    • Sarah Plummer Memorial Prize
    • Concordia Fellowship

  • BA, Archaeology, Classics, Brown University, 2006


  • Associate Dean for Faculty Affairs, Harvard Graduate School of Education
  • Adjunct Lecturer, Boston University


  • Boston College:
    • Associate Director, Faculty and Academic Affairs
    • Manager, Faculty and Academic Affairs
    • Research Assistant, Office of Provost
  • Research Assistant, Center for Excellence in Learning and Teaching (CELT) at Tufts University
  • Latin Teacher, Matignon High School


  • Visiting Lecturer, "Deconstructing the Ivory Tower," Experimental College, Tufts University, 2018
  • Member, Association of Tufts Alumnae, 2015-2020
  • Board Member, Tufts University’s Alma Matters Magazine, 2012-2014
  • Vice-President, Tufts University Graduate Student Council
  • Graduate Programs and Policies Committee, Tufts University, 2007-2008
  • Graduate Student Representative to Tufts University Committee on Student Life, 2007-2008
  • Secretary, Tufts University Graduate Student Council, 2006-2007


  • Alumnae-i Network for Harvard Women (Boston Chapter)
    • Advisor to the President, 2019-Present
    • President 2018-2019
  • Alumnae-i Network for Harvard Women
    • Resident Agent, 2018-Present
    • President 2016-2018
  • Interfolio Product Advisory Committee, Washington, D.C., 2017-2018
  • Mentor, Women’s Launch Pad, Brown University, 2014-Present
  • Award Selection Committee Member, Mary T. Kinnane Award, Lynch School of Education, Boston College, 2014
  • Brown University Association of Class Leaders
    • Vice President, 2017-2020
    • Member, 2012-2020
  • Member, Association for the Study of Higher Education (ASHE)
  • Docent, Harvard University Art Museums, 2011-2013
  • Student-Alumni Mentor, Harvard Graduate School of Education, 2011-Present
  • Brown University Class of 2006, Co-Vice President, 2011-Present
Jessica Pesce, AG08

Jessica Pesce, AG08