Jenny McArdle

Director of Service Strategy

As the Director of Service Strategy, Jenny guides MCAN's efforts to leverage service to increase college access and success across the state of Michigan. Jenny provides guidance to the AdviseMI program and the College Completion Corps, and seeks to maximize the potential of service opportunities to advance the work of MCAN, LCANs, Promise Zones and other partner organizations to achieve Sixty by 30.

Jenny has worked in Michigan's nonprofit sector since coming to the state in 2011. After graduating from Coe College (Cedar Rapids, IA) with a multidisciplinary degree in Global Development, Jenny completed graduate work in International Development Studies at Ohio University (Athens, OH) with a focus on women & gender and sport for development. Jenny lived and worked abroad in South Korea before coming to Michigan and serving two terms as an AmeriCorps VISTA in Jackson and Lansing. After managing Michigan Nonprofit Association's state-wide VISTA Program, Jenny became Civic Engagement Manager at the United Way of Genesee County and Chief Service Officer for the City of Flint. In this role, she led the Flint National Service Accelerator, a place-based initiative to grow the number and effectiveness of national service members in the greater Flint community. Jenny helped launch four AmeriCorps and VISTA Programs, engaged more than a dozen AmeriCorps NCCC teams, and grew the number of service members from 25 to over 200 annually. Then, as Director of Community Impact for the United Way of Genesee County, Jenny coordinated county-wide civic engagement opportunities, from youth service projects to national service to days of service and corporate social responsibility, and oversaw community impact grantmaking for the organization. She is pleased to leverage her experience in strategic service to help Michigan achieve Sixty by 30.

With both parents having careers in higher education, college was the clear next step for Jenny after graduating from high school. She had tremendous mentors — teachers, coaches, family — who helped her find her path, including choosing a college, applying for scholarships, selecting a major and even navigating extracurricular activities and on-campus employment. Realizing the power of mentors and financial aid to help her access postsecondary opportunities, Jenny is committed to helping other students find and excel on their own path.

Jenny serves as a mentor with Big Brothers Big Sisters and has been a board member (and athlete) with the Lansing Area Women's Soccer. She enjoys cooking, gardening, crossword puzzles, reading the entire Agatha Christie canon, and outside adventures of all types. Most of Jenny's time is now spent learning how to be a mom to her wonderful daughter. 

Coe College Bachelor of Arts, Global Development Studies
Ohio University Master of Arts, International Development