Expedition Team

Kellie Jensen - W-168


I grew up in a small Indiana farm town not too far from Chicago.  As kids, my sister and I spent almost every weekend climbing the sand dunes and attempting to the ride the waves of Lake Michigan and so began my love affair with water.  My spring breaks mostly revolved around family trips to Florida, where my cousins and I would spend every waking minute submerged in water.  We didn't discriminate.  Rivers, pools, oceans, ponds.  We loved them all.

I spent the summer following my freshman year at Middlebury College, in Bequia, St. Vincent and the Grenandines.  I was a member of six-person oceanographic research team.  If I wasn't battling mosquitos, I was counting fish about 20-30 feet below the surface in the Caribbean Sea and I loved every minute of it.  Shortly after returning to Middlebury, I found Sea Education Association and knew I'd found the perfect program. 

I left the freezing winter of Vermont for Woods Hole, MA during my sophomore year to join SEA Semester class W-168 aboard the R/V Westward.   SEA provided an unbelievable educational experiencethere is no better classroom than the aft section of a 134-foot sailing ship on the open water.  I spent one additional semester abroad, this time in Samoa.  I thought I'd give the Pacific a try and found equal beauty and greater isolation.  Samoa defines the word remote.

After graduating from Middlebury in 2002, I spent a year in AmeriCorps where I had the opportunity to travel the northeast with my team of 12 incredible Corps members.  My commitment ended in late 2003 and the presidential race was just heating up.  I moved to the 'Land of Enchantment' (New Mexico) and soon became a political junkie.  I traveled the country over the next few years working in various congressional campaigns as a fundraiser.  Yes, the money I raised went to pay for the ads that you yearn for every two years.

After Hurricane Katrina, I decided it was time to work on disasters of a different kind and I left the world of politics and entered into the field of national disasters.  I earned a master’s degree from University of Chicago in Threat and Risk Management while living in Germany where my husband was stationed with the Army.  When he deployed to Afghanistan, I returned to the States and began yet another educational program, this time at the University of Michigan Ross School of Business.  Michigan's summer internship component led to me Seattle, where I interned at Boeing and lived in Ballard (home of the boats of the Deadliest Catch).  For those fans of the Deadliest Catch, you might recognize the boat in my picture.  It's the Northwestern! 

I'm now a global commodity manager, which means I utilize all of my degrees from Middlebury (psychology and sociology), Chicago (risk avoidance) and Michigan (supply chain management) to ensure that the technology products you love make it to you on time.  I live in northern California with my partner in crime (3-year old Rhodesian Ridgeback, Kuni).  Kuni loves the beach... just not the water.  We’re learning to compromise.