Jennifer Ellis-Brunn

Business Management Technology

Portrait of Jennifer Ellis Brunn standing in downtown Newark.

From a young age, Jennifer Ellis-Brunn understood the importance of hard work and the value of education. “I was working in banking while in high school, and I wanted to continue gaining career experience while getting the education I needed to advance,” she explained. COTC’s flexible class schedules allowed her to work full time and also attend classes, resulting in her Associate of Applied Business in Business Management Technology.

The business management courses provided her with a variety of skills, including communications, accounting and more. “An associate degree from COTC is very well respected, and my education combined with my work experience helped me secure an interview with Licking County Job & Family Services.”

Ellis-Brunn has stayed at Job & Family Services (JFS) for over 20 years, working her way up through the agency to her current role as director. From workforce development to protective services to public assistance, JFS touches nearly one in four Licking County residents, and now Ellis-Brunn has come full circle by collaborating with COTC to bring support services to students who need them.

“The goal of our partnership with JFS is to enable those who need help to be able to get it,” said Troy King, director of student success at COTC. “Jennifer has been amazing at organizing this partnership and connecting students with community resources.”
JFS and Ohio Means Jobs work with COTC’s Student Success Center to provide financial assistance, job placement help and social support services so that students can focus on their education and achieve their goals. “It’s hard to focus on your classes if you’re experiencing food insecurity, or if you’re worried about being able to afford basic expenses,” King added. Ellis-Brunn is proud to be helping students access the community services they need, so they can have greater opportunities.

“My degree from COTC really opened the door for me to have a great career, and as I grew professionally, I then obtained my bachelor’s degree and a master’s degree,” she says.

In addition to working with COTC and the wider Licking County community, Ellis-Brunn encourages anyone with an interest in learning to pursue their goals. “Don’t ever let life status or age stand in the way of going to school — it’s the foundation that got me to where I am today,” she advised. “If you work hard and dedicate yourself, there is no limit to what you can accomplish.”