Jennifer Boender, University Lecturer

  University Lecturer
  708-235-7339 ext. 7339
  Office Location: G317
  College: COE

Academia is a rewarding field in which to belong. The encouragement of continued learning brings about personal motivation for growth and development, but beyond personal benefits, the greatest reward of working in higher education is the opportunity to be involved in the growth and development of others.  Engaging in shared learning empowers those involved to recognize the value in what they have to contribute. Regardless of a person’s defining characteristics (i.e. race, age, ability, sexual orientation, religious affiliation, etc.) everyone has something to contribute to the learning process through the sharing of experiences and perspectives. I find the most rewarding aspect of academic work is the opportunity to continually learn about and with others.  I have a B.A. degree in Psychology from Calvin College in Grand Rapids, MI. I earned an M.A. degree in Counseling with a concentration in Marriage and Family Systems from Governors State University. Currently, I am enrolled in an Interdisciplinary Leadership doctoral program with a concentration in Higher Education Administration at Governors State University. I have work experience with inpatient mental health services and private counseling practices. In addition, I have over seven years of experience teaching in higher education in the Departments of Psychology and Counseling.     

Aside from my work obligations, I value helping to empower others to be successful in their life’s journey. I contribute to this through the mentoring of students (middle school through college-aged) in both religiously affiliated settings and at Governors State University. 



 Milliren, A., Yang, J., Wingett, W., & Boender, J. (2008).  The “Home Page.”  Journal of Individual Psychology, 64(1).  


  • Bachenberg, M., Boender, J., Thraen, T., & Kendrick, A. (2014). Religious and Spiritual Beliefs: How does this affect your client’s sexuality? American Counseling Association. Honolulu, HI.
  • Bachenberg, M., Boender, J., & Thraen, E. (2013). Religious and spiritual beliefs…How does this affect your client’s sexuality? American Association of Sexual Educators, Counselors, and Therapists Conference. Miami, FL.
  • Boender, J., Henderson, A., & Smurzynski, B. (2012). The courage to have fun with couples in session. Illinois Counseling Association Conference. Springfield, IL. 
  • Bachenberg, M., Boender, J., & Dermer, S. (2011). Sex: What does counseling have to do with it. Illinois Counseling Association Conference. Skokie, IL.
  • Robey, P., Boender, J., Henderson, A., & Smurzynksi, B. (2009). Helping couples work together through an optimistic experiential approach. Illinois Counseling Association Conference. Springfield, IL.
  • Boender, J., Dermer, S., Dunham, S. (2008). Let’s talk about sex: Or our clients won’t. Illinois Counseling Association Conference. Tinley Park, IL.
  •  Dermer, S.B., Boender, J., Malvestuto, M., Smith, S. (2007). Utilizing creativity in multimedia to engage counselor education students. Hawaii International Conference on Education. Honolulu, HI.
  • Dermer, S.B., Boender, J., Malvestuto, M., Smith, S. (2007). Let’s talk about sex: Creating a sex therapy course to help counselors become more comfortable discussing sexual issues with clients. Hawaii International Conference on Education. Honolulu, HI. 


I love the learning process! I enjoy being the facilitator of learning opportunities, and the participant in learning opportunities. Through my experiences I have come to recognize how learning in the classroom is a collaborative process between the students and the instructor. Instructors need to dispense information as well as receive information, and students need to do the same. While instructors hold deeper and broader knowledge on the topic of the course, students bring knowledge to the classroom from their life experiences. Student experiences are valuable sources of information that enhance the learning of all participants in the class (including the instructor!). Through opportunities for discussion and sharing, I strive to create learning environments where students and the instructor collaborate in deepening their knowledge.  

Courses taught: 

  • Love: What everyone needs to know
  • Sex: What everyone needs to know
  • Lifespan developmental issues
  • Family systems theory
  • Introduction to family dynamics
  • Principles of peer leadership


  • Chairperson for GS2U (Summer 2013 – current)
  • Search Committee Member for Tenure Faculty Position (Summer 2013)
  • Committee Member for Blackboard User Group (Spring 2013 - current)
  • Faculty Panel Member for New Student Orientation (Spring 2013, Summer 2013)
  • Mentor for Student Leadership Institute (Spring 2013)
  • Volunteer at New Student Orientation (Fall 2012)