Eastern Michigan University
direct edit

Jessica Alexander

Professor of Applied Drama (TIPED), Director of Office of Academic Service-Learning, Faculty Associate of Jewish Studies

Jessica Alexander 203 and 203D Boone Hall




  • MFA - Drama & Theatre for the Young, Eastern Michigan University, 1996
  • BA - Theatre & Sociology, Lawrence University, 1991 

Professional Associations/Memberships

  • Imagining America
  • Higher Learning Commission
  • Michigan Campus Compact
  • American Alliance for Theatre in Education

Representative Courses Taught

  • CTAR 323/657 - Improvisation
  • CTAR 324/504 - Performing Youth Literature & Oral Interpretation of Children’s Literature
  • CTAR 522 - Applied Theatre
  • CTAR 541 - Performance, Text & Context: Narrating the Self
  • CTAR 565 - Studies in Educational Drama: Community Based Performance
  • Academic Service-Learning Seminar


  • Applied Drama, MA & MFA
  • Children’s Literature & Drama/Theatre for the Young, Interdisciplinary BA
  • CMTA Comprehensive, BA - major and minor
  • General Education


Jessica ‘Decky’ Alexander’s current creative and scholarly endeavors include: the use of the theatre for faculty development; community performance; community art and activism, and academic service-learning. She currently serves as EMU’s Director of the Office of Academic Service-Learning, which houses The B. Side (Business Side) of Youth, and CrossTown Theatre Troupe, a program supporting youth voice through theatre.

In 1997, Alexander founded EMU’s CloseUP Theatre Troupe, which performed annually for 8000 plus audience members at multiple universities and colleges, and has been home to over 150 student actor/educators. In 2008, Alexander in collaboration with the Faculty Development Center founded C2 (CloseUP Classroom) a performing ensemble of faculty and students who create theatre for faculty on issues related to teaching and learning.

Recent conference presentations include: Faculty Fellows & Academic Service-Learning, a 17 year University Investment & Exploration MCC, 2012; Theatre for Faculty Development, AATE 2011; (Re)Story: How story can save, shape and illuminate social and public policy, Imagining America 2008; Practicing Equity in the University/Community Partnership, Michigan Campus Compact; Is Youth Voice…Community Voice? A Tale of Two Community Performances with Kate Collins, Imagining America 2009, and Theatre for/with and about Faculty with Jeffrey Steiger for the AATE/ATHE 2009 Conference.

 From 2009-2012, Alexander was the communication coordinator for Institutional accreditation and

Currently, Alexander is coordinating the Carnegie (re) Classification on Community Engagement. 

Alexander is the recipient of the Ronald Collins Distinguished Faculty Award for Service, the 2008 Martin Luther King, Jr. Honor Award, the 2007 Alumni Teaching Award, the 2007 ACLU Washtenaw County- Civil Liberties Champion Award, the 2005 Institutional Values Award for Diversity, Multicultural and Human Dignity, the 2002 Division of Enrollment Services Faculty Award, and the Gold Medallion Outstanding Faculty Award, 1998.