Dr. Jarvinen's Story
Dr. Jarvinen is our founding CURCA Director, having joined Westfield State in March 2018. She has been involved in research since her undergraduate days as a Biology Major at the University of Michigan-Flint. She received her M.S. in Veterinary Pathobiology from Purdue University School of Veterinary Medicine, focusing on vaccine development and delivery systems. Her deep interest in how immunological cells mediate whole organ transplantation tolerance led her to Dartmouth’s Geisel School of Medicine where she obtained her Ph.D. in Molecular and Cellular Immunology. As a post-doctoral fellow of the University of Michigan Medical Center, she worked on developing immunological strategies for prolonging whole organ transplantation tolerance through the use of viral gene therapy and adult mesenchymal stem cells.
She is dedicated to the liberal arts study and to working with undergraduates across disciplines. She has developed innovative approaches to science teaching, using 17th Century works of fine art to help students understand and apply the process of science and further collaborated on innovative ways to elevate student potential through the use of technology. She has been a pedagogical researcher on National Science Foundation grants and has worked as a consultant in the private sector, providing program evaluations and curricular approaches to science, technology, engineering, art, and math (STEAM) for K-12 and colleges.
She is excited to be part of the Westfield State community and to working with students, faculty, and staff across disciplines. She is available to support students and their mentors in many aspects of research and creative activity in and out of the classroom. Contact her with any questions or for assistance.
Leading up to her graduation from Westfield State University in 2022, Grace had been involved with CURCA throughout her academic career at both the undergraduate and graduate levels as a distinguished member of the English Department.
Grace was first introduced to CURCA through her creative writing contributions to the Wall of Words: an annual showcase of work displayed by students and faculty from various English courses during both the Fall and Spring Celebrations. In the summer of 2021, Grace was selected as one of CURCA's Student Summer Undergraduate Research Fellows (SSuRF) participants, where she expanded on her research regarding the complexities of new motherhood through the lens of Elisabeth Kubler-Ross's "5 Stages of Grief." Following the completion of her SSuRF project and a polished 150-page manuscript, Grace remained a part of CURCA throughout the duration of her academic career at Westfield by then planning and organizing the Wall of Words, a task she still takes great pride in to this day. She is dedicated to helping members of all disciplines across campus showcase their creative work, and serves as a devoted advocate for cross-disciplinary research and collaboration among students and faculty.
She is honored to be able to remain a part of the Westfield State University community through an organization she is so passionate about representing. Through CURCA today, Grace is now able to serve as a mentor for both current and prospective students--traditional and nontraditional alike--to help them understand the incomparable opportunities that Dr. Jarvinen and the CURCA Committee are able to provide.