Jen Gerdes, Assistant Vice President, Early Childhood Mental Health
Jen’s focus is on the Rooted in Relationships Initiative where she works with state and community partners to develop systems of care that support the social and emotional well-being of children birth through age 8. Jen comes to this work from her previous roles at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, Extension and the Nebraska Department of Education, Office of Early Childhood. She also served as a co-lead of the Together for Kids and Families Mental Health Work Group, a subgroup of the Nebraska Early Childhood Comprehensive Systems (ECCS) work for 6 years. In addition, Jen has more than 10 years of experience working in a variety of community-based early care and education settings with children birth through age 12. Jen holds a PhD in Education & Human Sciences with a specialization in Child, Youth, and Family Studies from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln and a State of Nebraska K-3 Teaching Certificate.