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August 20, 2018 Class of 2018

40 Under Forty: Jessica Morris, 36

Photo | Erika Sidor Winners of WBJ 2018 40 Under Forty award (from left): Jessica Morris, Jared E. Gentilucci, Jennifer Caron, Mark A. Borenstein.

Senior associate dean of students

MCPHS University, Worcester

Lives: West Boylston

Birthplace: Boston

Colleges: Bryant University, Boston College

As a first-generation college student, Morris made it a point in her career to help students navigate the college experience. That's exactly what she does at MCPHS, overseeing a broad array of nearly anything a student might struggle with in or out of the classroom: residence life, counseling services, disability support services, diversity and inclusion, and student conduct. It's a job more complex and challenging as MCPHS has expanded to 17 buildings in the city, and Morris has advocated for additional resources and staffing changes in the student affairs office. She's the deputy on campus for Title IX, the federal statute ensuring gender equality in funding for college activities. Morris has been at MCPHS for five years, and spent six years prior as assistant director of residence life at Clark University. Between those two jobs, she's spent more than a decade in Worcester after having moved from the Boston area. She's become a champion for the city since her arrival and is retail store Worcester Wares' best customer. Morris serves on the boards of the YWCA of Central Massachusetts and Mechanics Hall. She co-chaired the Stand Against Racism Committee at the YWCA for the past four years, and co-chairs Mechanics Hall's Modern Mechanics Guild, working to increase involvement of young professionals.

From 40 Under Forty judge Michael Arnum: “Is there anything that Jessica hasn't done? Her work on the job and in the community has built a testament to inclusion and fairness.”

What TV character is most like you? Olivia Benson from “Law & Order SVU.” She is a strong female leader advocating for justice.

Who is responsible for your success? My parents. They are down-to-earth people who taught me the value of hard work and treating people with respect.

Read about the entire 2018 Class of 40 Under Forty

Michael Alden - Ascentria Care Alliance

Che Anderson - City of Worcester

Victor M. Archila - VMA Electric Inc.

Allison Beckler, DO - YOU, Inc.

Sam Bitar - Webster Five

Mark A. Borenstein - Seder & Chandler LLP

Kate D. Campanale - Massachusetts House of Representatives

Derek Canton - paerpay

Ryan Canuel - Petricore, Inc.

Jennifer Caron - Body Therapeutics

Danielle J. Clark - Clark Career Coaching

Heidi Cooper - Cooper’s Hilltop Farm

Matthew M. Copeland, P.E. - Copeland Building Envelope Consulting

Pat Davis - The DAVIS Cos.

Efua T. Dufu, MSW, LCSW - Ellite Event Planning

Grace Elton - Tower Hill Botanic Garden

Ursula Furi-Perry, J.D. - Becker College

Jared E. Gentilucci - Nitsch Engineering

David Gilchrist, MD, MBA - UMass Memorial Health Care

Alvara Gjylapi - Santander Bank

Erica Grinkis - The GazBar Sports Grill

Meredith Harris - Marlborough Economic Development Corp.

Erin Jansky - Worcester Housing Authority

Ben Jones - Boston Scientific Corp

Alexis Kelleher - Crust Bakeshop; North Main Provisions

Bert LaValley - Sustainable Comfort, Inc.; deadhorse hill & simjang restaurants

Jennifer Leger - Fidelity Bank

Brian Lemerise - Quiet Logistics, Inc.

Tom Lubelczyk - The Worcester Jazz Collective

Laura Marotta - Creative Hub Worcester

Ryan Matson - Small Business Insurance Agency

Michael P. McDonough, CPA - McDonough, McDonough & Corsini, LLP

Madeline Mendoza - NewVue Communities

Jessica Morris - MCPHS University

Nathan Oriol - Oakdale Rehabilitation & Skilled Nursing Center (Oriol Health Care)

Nicholas Pelletier - Pelletier Properties at Keller Williams North Central

Courtney E. Pelley - Edward M. Kennedy Community Health Center

Lilian Radke - Unic Pro Inc.

Blaine Schnare - Harrington HealthCare System

Bonnie J. Walker - Worcester Polytechnic Institute

Learn how the winners were picked on our judges' page.

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