Favorites ()
Apply

Jayne Sommers

Assistant Professor | Program Director

Educational Leadership

  • Education
  • BA, Psychology, Gustavus Adolphus College
    MA, Women's Studies, University of Sussex
    MA, Leadership in Student Affairs, University of St. Thomas
    PhD, Organizational Leadership, Policy, and Development, University of Minnesota

  • Expertise
  • Higher Education and Student Affairs

  • Research Interests
  • My research focuses on increasing access to and equity within higher education, for educators as well as students. I am also interested in developing principals of trauma-informed educational practice.

As an educator, Dr. Jayne K. Sommers skillfully weaves threads of inclusion, social-justice, theory-to-practice, and leadership into her approach to teaching and facilitation. She utilizes engaged learning pedagogical approaches to help individuals apply theory effectively in their professional work and personal lives. Jayne guides others through the process of self-discovery related to social identity and systems of power and privilege as well as the identification of meaningful action steps toward justice unique to one’s professional and personal circumstances. 

Jayne is a thought leader in the field of trauma-informed education. She has been a key player in the development of the Minnesota Institute for Trauma-Informed Education (MITIE) at the University of St. Thomas. She also co-authored a continuing education course entitled Becoming Trauma-Informed: A Primer for Educators.

Jayne earned her undergraduate degree in Psychology from Gustavus Adolphus College, then received her MA in Women’s Studies from the University of Sussex in Brighton, England. Upon returning to the states after living and studying abroad, she began to explore her true calling as an educator. She spent the subsequent decade serving as a student-facing professional at a number of Minnesota institutions of higher education, developing crisis response, facilitation, and supervisory skills. She is a trained sexual assault advocate and experienced coach with an interest in the development of holistic wellbeing in the lives of caring professionals.  

Jayne also earned an MA in Leadership in Student Affairs from the University of St. Thomas and her PhD in Organizational Leadership, Policy, and Development from the University of Minnesota. Jayne now serves as an assistant professor in the department of Educational Leadership at the University of St. Thomas and director of the Leadership in Student Affairs MA program. 


Sommers, J. K., Reile, L, Henry, G, & Thomas, J. (2020). Living in the explore house: A major and career exploration-focused residential learning community for undecided students. Learning Communities Research and Practice, 8(1), Article 10. Living in the Explore House: A Major and Career Exploration-Focused Residential Learning Community for Undecided Students.

Student Affairs NOW podcast (2020, October 9). Navigating Trauma and Burnout.

Sommers, J. K., & Fofana, A. (forthcoming). Undocumented in student affairs. In S. P. Gold (under contract). Instructional scenarios of multiple identities in higher education. NASPA. 

Sommers, J. K., & Riley, M. A. (forthcoming). The cost of coming out. In S. P. Gold (under contract.). Instructional scenarios of multiple identities in higher education. NASPA.

Nelson, Q. K., & Sommers, J. K. (forthcoming). Undocumented and unafraid: The true story of one student’s dream for freedom and education in the United States. In S. P. Gold (under contract). Instructional scenarios of multiple identities in higher education. NASPA.  

Beardsley, A., & Sommers, J. K. (forthcoming). Complicated conduct. In S. P. Gold (under contract.). Instructional scenarios of multiple identities in higher education. NASPA.