Teaching & Advising

Experience

Freshman Adviser
Harvard College
(2004-present)

  • Use extensive experience working with undergraduates to advise a cohort of first-year Harvard students on course schedules, extracurricular activities, and areas related to social and emotional growth
  • Use knowledge of College resources to counsel on career exploration and graduate school

Instructor of Medicine
Harvard Medical School and Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center
(2014-2017)

  • Teach biostatistical considerations for research to anesthesiology faculty; mentor and tutor a senior biostatistician in debugging computer programs and building statistical models
  • Guide anesthesiologists in grant writing, research design, and all aspects related to publication of their manuscripts and grant proposals

Project Mentor
Harvard TH Chan School of Public Health
(2016)

  • Mentor and instruct teams of graduate studentsin design and evaluation of behavioral interventions targeting diet and physical activity

Senior Proctor
Harvard College
(2014-2016)

  • Mentored and counseled over 450 first-year students in a residential setting to support their academic, personal, and social well-being as they transition to college; developed one-on-one relationships with students; created community within proctor group by hosting weekly study breaks and other group activities
  • Collaborated with the Resident Dean of Freshmen on serious issues involving mental health and behavioral concerns, including irresponsible drinking behaviors, rooming disputes, suicidality and eating disorders
  • Contributed to sub-group committees on revising proctor training; helped Resident Dean of Freshmen with first-year rooming assignments; mentored new proctors; presented at Proctor meetings on issues that included suicide and study abroad

Lecturer and Co-Principal Investigator in Self-Care Study
Harvard/Culinary Institute of America’s Teaching Kitchen
(2012-2013)

  • Lectured on nutrition and research-related topics as part of a health intervention study
  • Co-created a study to research the intervention’shealth outcomes

Teaching Assistant in Nutritional Epidemiology
Harvard TH Chan School of Public Health
(2008-2009)

  • Taught multiple sections; created and graded homework assignments, midterms, and final exams; responsible for course grades
  • Lectured on epidemiological and biostatistical methods for collecting and analyzing nutrition-related data

Teaching Fellow in Quantitative Reasoning
Harvard University
(2008-2009)

  • Taught multiple sections; created lesson plans; helped write problem sets, quizzes and exams; graded assignments; determined final course grades
  • Offered one-on-one advising to students and provided referrals to College resources to ensure the best possible outcomes

Mental Health Researcher
Johns Hopkins School of Public Health
(2002-2003)

  • Counseled groups of World Trade Center disaster first responders in New York City with regard to mental and physical health concerns
  • Created questionnaires and implemented a study to document their experiences after the 9/11 bombings

Student Testimonials

Having Jen as my advisor, helped reduce the unbelievable amount of pressure that a first generation college student has. She not only helped me pick my classes, but she went out of her way to make me feel at home, from having dinner with me to even telling me the best places to get a haircut. She was with me every step of the way.
-Benjamin Velez, Class of 2021

I couldn’t imagine my freshman year without Jen’s constant support, responsiveness, and pragmatic advice. Having her as an advisor helped shape my mindset towards my academic aspirations, and gave me a role model in the community to look up to.
-Indrani Das, Class of 2021

Jennifer Massa was my freshman year proctor and academic adviser last year and she is truly one of the most caring people I have encountered in my life. During freshmen year, at times when I was having problems transitioning to college, Jen was always there to give advice and guide me through it all. Jen’s easygoing and calming personality truly made it possible for me to speak to her about anything – academic or non-academic. She is a great communicator and was always very swift in responding back to me or any other student with any help they needed. I am really glad to have had someone like her my freshmen year and it has been an absolute pleasure to have started my time here at Harvard with a dedicated proctor and adviser like her.
-Ahilya Khadka, Class of 2019

Jen was a wonderful proctor and freshman advisor to me. Every single time after we met, I felt relieved of some invisible burden even though nothing had yet changed in my situation. She was a wonderful listener and was kind and caring. Any student would be lucky to have her rooting for them.
-Theodora Mautz, Class of 2019

Jen was passionate and concerned for her students. She genuinely wanted the best for everyone in our entry way and was very understanding and supportive. While Jen was not even my adviser she was always happy to speak with me and go over my class choices and academic concerns. I really appreciated the comfort and ease with which I could go over any issue I might have been facing.
-Vladislav Sevostianov, Class of 2019

Making the move from Los Angeles to Cambridge was a critical transition for me. As my freshman year proctor, Jen created a safe space and helped me manage a balanced schedule. She encouraged my participation in student organizations like Black Men’s Forum and the Bach Society Orchestra. I knew I could reach out to her with any problem free of judgment.
-Nader Shayegh, Class of 2018

Jen brought the comfort of home to my freshman entryway. Beginning my education at Harvard was fast-paced and exhilarating; there were limitless things to do and nearly full autonomy in picking them. However, being thrown into such a new situation also came with challenges. It was difficult to find an adult with which I could discuss my ideas, thoughts, and concerns. I didn’t feel close enough to my professors, administrators, or advisers to discuss personal challenges. Jen was the adult at Harvard that brought me the feeling of comfort and security. I knew that if anything came up, she was there to listen, to help, and to be on my side. She was an invaluable part of my freshman year and made Harvard truly feel like a home.
-Samarth Gupta, Class of 2018

In my freshman year, as an international student from Cape Town, South Africa, Jen Massa was a light. Her incredibly personal and intentional manner of mentoring taught me so much. It humbled me to accept that independence and asking for help are not mutually exclusive – that alone has gotten me through the years to senior year, let alone the inevitable application of this lesson to life after school. I have deep respect for her and her compassion is apparent in the way in which she moves through the world. She loves with all she has and treats her perspective with a sense of fluidity that encompasses, respects and learns from the myriad of perspectives that surround her. I am proud to know and grateful for her love and compassion when I needed it most.
-Gigi Kisela, Class of 2017

Jen Massa is a great asset to the Harvard community. Her and her husband warmly welcomed me into their home three years ago, helping me with my suitcases up three flights of stairs, and assuaging my parents’ fears about dropping their youngest child off. I remember in particular walking over to the Barker Center for the first time during Opening Days. I was focused on one of those basic conversations you have with your entryway mates when you get here, and we were following Jen like loyal ducklings follow their mother. I placed complete faith in her on that walk, and I continued to over the course of freshman year. As I was finding my bearings, she counseled me over which classes to choose, and she really cared. She always made me feel like my decisions were important, and that I was an actor with consequential actions. That’s really important for freshmen specifically, but for people in general. Freshman year was easier because of Andrew and Jen – their presence in Grays Middle made me feel safe and cared for. Since then, whenever I see Jen or any part of the family, it has been a joy, specifically because I’m reminded of my amazing freshman year and why I love Harvard.
-Hannah Leverson, Class of 2017

Jen was a great freshman year proctor. As an international student, I felt so far away from home when I first arrived at Harvard but Jen helped to create an environment where I felt welcomed and safe. What I really appreciated was how Jen treated us as adults. She was reasonable, fair, and respectful of our space while also being a resource for help.
-Victoria Basedow, Class of 2017

I can definitely say that Jen had a large impact on my freshman year. Especially going into second semester, I felt lost after taking courses in my first semester that I didn’t enjoy. Jen encouraged me to step outside my box and take a look into areas I had never considered, while continuing to take the math classes I enjoyed. Even though she had a busy household herself, she made it clear that she was always there if/when I needed her, and it was so nice having that being so far from home for the first time.
-Karly Zlatic, Class of 2017