Jessica Alexander

A photo of Jessica Alexander

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

School of Communication, Media & Theatre Arts; Office of Academic Service Learning; Jewish Studies

203 and 203D Boone Hall


[email protected]


Jessica 'Decky' Alexander's current creative and scholarly endeavors include:

  • the use of the theatre for faculty development
  • community performance
  • community art and activism
  • 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 more than 8,000 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 and Academic Service-Learning, a 17-year University Investment and 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
  • 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.


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


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


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

Grants, Honors and Awards

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

Professional Affiliations

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

Additional Information