April 2021 Spotlight
Jennifer Jablonski, ‘93
Bachelor of Arts, Journalism
This month, in preparation for Give4Garnet where we are celebrating the centennial of the Marching Band, we have a guest alumni spotlight. And even though our guest alum majored in Journalism, music played a huge part in her time at Carolina and continues to do so.
Our April spotlight is Jennifer Jablonski, Assistant Dean for Enrollment Management here at the School of Music where she oversees the admissions, audition, and scholarship process for undergraduate music applicants and directs national recruiting for the School.
Affectionately known as “JJ” to her colleagues and friends, she is a graduate of the University of South Carolina Honors College, where she studied journalism and music (saxophone), performing in UofSC’s Symphonic Band, Wind Ensemble, Left Bank Big Band jazz ensemble, the Carolina Marching Band and the UofSC saxophone quartet. During her time at Carolina, Jennifer performed at the North Sea Jazz Festival and the Montreux Jazz Festival in Europe with a jazz ensemble that included several UofSC students. She was also part of the UofSC Symphonic Band that toured Europe in 1989. She also has a Master of Arts in Education with a specialization in Higher Education Administration from Louisiana State University.
Jennifer has become a national leader in music admissions as one of the founders and facilitators of the Music Admissions Roundtable, a collaboration of music admissions colleagues at North American higher education music institutions to create a professional networking group that offers regular roundtable meetings/conferences to promote professionalism and share best practices in music admissions.
Former employers include Radford University and Virginia Tech, where she served in roles in higher education administration, public relations, journalism, and marketing. During that time, she performed with the Riverboat Ramblers, Big Dog and the Fat Cats, Wohlfahrt Haus, Blue Ridge Swing Revue, the Richmond Symphonic Winds, Summer Musical Enterprise, and the Blacksburg Community Band. She has also served as a music instructor and adjudicator in South Carolina, North Carolina, and Virginia.
Jennifer was named the 2008 winner of the University of South Carolina First Year Student Advocate Award, an award given to UofSC faculty or staff in recognition of positive impact on new students' lives. She is an Honorary Member of Kappa Kappa Psi, national honorary band fraternity; adviser and "Friend of the Arts" member of Sigma Alpha Iota, international music fraternity; and an alumna of Tau Beta Sigma, national honorary band sorority. She is the co-founder/academic partner of the UofSC Music Community, an on-campus residential area for music majors and minors. She is a past president of the Carolina Alumni Association's Southwestern Virginia club and the Columbia area club (Richland/Lexington counties), and she sat on the Richland/Lexington club's Board of Directors for 15 years.
She co-presented the session “Recruitment and Retention: Establishing Pipelines, Managing the Cohort, Stemming Enrollment Decline” at the National Association of Schools of Music’s 95th Annual Meeting in November 2018 in Washington, DC. She presented along with Fred Peterbark, Assistant Dean for Enrollment Management and Student Services for the Chicago College of Performing Arts at Roosevelt University.
Jennifer has studied saxophone with UofSC Professor Emeritus Doug Graham, Professor James Houlik, Professor David Widder, and Dr. Paul Bro. She now performs with the Uptown Sax Chicks, an all-female, all-UofSC alumni saxophone quartet she founded in 2018.
As you can see, the School of Music is an important part of JJ’s life and her pride and love for the Carolina Marching Band led her to want to leave her own legacy at the School by becoming a planned gift donor. Watch her talk more about the impact of music on her time at Carolina in the video above.