August Alumnae Spotlight, Jennifer Hayes Bubrig, Sioux of 1993

In what ways did your Ursuline education prepare you for the work you’re doing now?

Having an Ursuline education is an absolute privilege. I did not realize how privileged I was to be part of such rich tradition and academic excellence until my freshman year of college. For many years, I was touched and inspired by educators who had a genuine care and concern for my education, future and most importantly, my spirituality. The faculty and staff went above and beyond to ensure that I was being nourished mentally, emotionally, and physically. In my work in teacher preparation, it is my duty to inspire and lift my teacher candidates to do the incredible work of touching and saving lives by being an educator. I have such distinct memories of instruction time, Masses, retreats, Rally Nights, productions, Father/Daughter dances, being part of the dance team all four years and of course, Sioux sisterhood. Dody Nolan had a significant role in my confidence and ability to now be able to present and publicly speak. This is critical in my current role as I am often presenting and speaking of my research and work. I remember the impromptu speeches, and ironically my role as Priscilla Presley for my senior monologue. The irony lies in the fact that I have now been a Memphian for almost 15 years. My life was forever changed once I read F. Scott Fitzgerald’s The Great Gatsby in Lisa Taylor’s class. Her passion and fire are what I pack when I need teaching content for my education courses. The patience that Sister Elizabeth Susan exhibited in my algebra instruction was a perfect example of how patience, grounded in love, is essential not only in education but in our relationships and interactions with others.

Please describe the most significant value you learned from Ursuline Academy.

Servant leadership. Simply put this was emulated each day by the Ursuline Sisters and lay faculty and staff. Servant leadership was shown in the love and respect in their teaching, the need to respect diversity and differences in others, putting others first, and cultivating an environment of trust. We knew, as Ursuline girls, we were being called to go out and make a difference in our world as servant leaders in our communities. Today I teach, coach, and mentor my teacher candidates the way I hope they will teach their students in their future classrooms, leading by example. I often tell my students/teacher candidates that I learn just as much from them as they learn from me. It has been such an honor to be part of their lives at such a critical time and an even bigger blessing to have them come back to say thanks at the end of a semester or years later. The reward is so great. While I may only have some of my students for one semester, it is my job to challenge and change them even if it is just 15 weeks. Servant leadership means leading and loving with a heart that serves all…being a leader even when it is tough. I still have a vivid memory from our 1st Mass as Ursuline incoming freshmen where the verse "to whom much is given, much is expected" (Luke 12:48) was discussed and explained. That moment left a powerful impression on my future. Then fast forward to our graduation, I reflect on our diverse class of 98 girls and our readiness to be a force of change in our world.

Describe Ursuline in one word. Explain.

Transformative. The privileged education that I received from 6th through 12th grade transformed me into the woman I am today. Being able to be part of a rich culture and the many traditions of the Ursuline family has had a profound impact on my life. The love and service shown by the Ursuline community is what drives me in my life both personally and professionally. I will be forever grateful for my Ursuline family and for the servant leadership that will forever live inside of me.


Jennifer Hayes Bubrig, Sioux of 1993, holds a Bachelors of Education and Masters in Special Education from the University of Mississippi. Currently, Jennifer is pursuing her doctorate in Instruction and Curriculum Leadership at the University of Memphis. After extensive classroom experience as a teacher in several local schools both in Oxford, MS and Memphis, TN, her career turned to teacher preparation. She began her journey as a teacher educator as Adjunct Instructor and Student Teacher Supervisor at Peabody College at Vanderbilt University. She was then a Residency Supervisor for the Office of Clinical Based Practice in the College of Education at the University of Memphis. She has mentored, supervised, and evaluated many residency candidates in various county schools and municipal districts. In 2015, she was appointed as Clinical Assistant Professor and Site Coordinator in the Department of Instruction and Curriculum Leadership in the College of Education at the University of Memphis. Jennifer currently teaches teacher preparation courses and supervises both residency and pre-residency teacher candidates in Shelby County Schools in Memphis, TN. One of the most fulfilling parts of her work is to see her former teacher candidates now as mentors for her current teacher candidates. This spring, she was nominated for the 2018 Excellence in Service Award for her college for her extensive work in building school partnerships in Shelby County schools. In May, she was awarded the Chair’s Excellence Award for the 2017-2018 academic year for her Department. Jennifer has presented nationally on her work, including the 2017 annual meeting for the American Association of Colleges for Teacher Education (AACTE).
Jennifer is a member of several professional organizations including the National Association for Multicultural Education. In 2017, she was inducted into Delta Kappa Gamma, International Honor Society for Women Educators. Currently a Dominican Associate, Jennifer spent a year of discernment, prayer and preparation to become an Associate member of the Dominican Sisters of Peace in 2013. She has been a longtime Extraordinary Minister of Holy Communion for her parish, St. Louis Catholic Church. Jennifer is also a Sustainer in the Junior League of Memphis. She currently serves on the Board of Trustees for St. Agnes-St. Dominic School. She has been married 20 years to Jesuit High School New Orleans graduate, Eric Bubrig. Together they reside in Memphis, TN and have 3 children, Aubrey (14), Ann Hayes (12) and Eric Jr. (7).