Yale University, BA in English with a concentration in creative nonfiction, cum laude with distinction. Winner of the 2018 Rubin Prize in Music Criticism, a $10,000 award granted by the nation’s top music critics for “outstanding promise” in the field; the Paul J. Block Summer Journalism Fellowship; and the Richter Summer Fellowship in support of reporting in the Balkans. Stony Brook University, MM in Violin Performance, Doctor of Musical Arts (in-progress). SAT 2330; 800 on SAT Math II and US History; 5 on AP English Language and Literature, AP Psychology, AP World History, and AP US History; National Merit Finalist; National AP Scholar.
Jennifer Gersten is an educator, writer, and violinist from Queens, New York. Having attended Townsend Harris High School and the Juilliard Pre-College Division, a Saturday program for elite young musicians, Jennifer can attest firsthand to the challenges of balancing emphatic pursuits in a competitive city. While at Yale, Jennifer served simultaneously as the editor of the Yale Daily News Magazine and as the co-concertmaster of the Yale Symphony Orchestra. On Yale fellowships, she worked as a journalist in both Toledo, Ohio and Belgrade, Serbia, and also served the Yale Daily News as science beat reporter. During her senior year, she won finalist standing in the Norman Mailer Four-Year College Writing Awards for an essay from her creative final thesis.
Since college, Jennifer has worked as a freelance writer and editor. Her reporting, profiles, essays, and classical music reviews have appeared in The Washington Post, NPR Music, Guernica, Harvard Magazine, and The Kenyon Review (online), among other publications. In February 2019, she was invited to appear on the PBS NewsHour’s “IMHO” segment hosted by Judy Woodruff as an on-air essayist and violinist.
Jennifer is pursuing a Doctor of Musical Arts in violin performance as a full-scholarship recipient at Stony Brook University, from which she also received her master’s. She has performed across the country at prominent summer classical music programs, including Aspen and Kneisel Hall, and in collaboration with members of the Emerson, Ying, Jupiter, and other acclaimed chamber ensembles. At Stony Brook, she has served as a teaching assistant to the undergraduate orchestra program. Outside of school, she teaches violin lessons to students of all ages on the Lower East Side.
From 2015 on, Jennifer has tutored the ACT, SAT, ISEE/SSAT, and SHSAT, as well as the college essay and academic writing, and has worked both privately and via agencies throughout New York City. She delights in helping students defuse academic challenges through conscientious, empathetic collaboration. For Jennifer, the excitement of tutoring lies in helping her students realize new curiosities.
When she is not working, Jennifer enjoys solving her friends' sartorial snafus. She also regularly impresses herself with her ability to solve a Rubik's cube.