Jessica Fields

Jessica Fields
Vice-Dean Faculty Affairs, Equity & Success


Professor Fields has a Master’s in English and a second Master’s in Sociology, and a PhD in Sociology, all from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. She joined San Francisco State University in 2001 and was tenured in 2007. Her research focuses on sexuality education. She has received several grants for her research including a Ford Foundation major grant, and two Social Science and Humanities Research major grants. Her past administrative experience at San Francisco State University includes Graduate Studies Director of Sexuality Studies, Interim Director of the Public Research Institute, and Acting Director of the Center for Research on Gender and Sexuality. While at San Francisco State, Professor Fields was an advisor to Project Rebound, which provides academic and social supports to formerly incarcerated students integrating into a university setting.

Through the National Institute of Mental Health-funded Career Opportunities in Research Program, she also trained and mentored undergraduate students of colour preparing for doctoral programs. She joined U of T Scarborough in July 2019 as the inaugural Director for the Interdisciplinary Centre for Health & Society and since then has seen it through governance approval as the newly created Department of Health & Society.

Recently, as Special Advisor to the VP Dean on the Transitional Year Program, she lead related, campus-wide programming, assisting in the development of a long-term plan to ensure ongoing excellence in this area at U of T Scarborough. She worked closely with colleagues in the Department of Community Development & Engagement, the Registrar's Office, the Academic Advising & Career Centre, and Student Experience &Wellbeing on various access strategies. In addition, she held the role of Interim Vice-Dean Faculty Affairs, Equity & Success, before her appointment.

For administrative matters pertaining to the Vice-Dean's portfolio, including scheduling a meeting with the Vice-Dean Faculty Affairs, Equity & Success contact: Suma Philip, Executive Assistant to the VIce-Deans.


7 Questions with Vice-Dean Faculty Affairs, Equity, & Success, Professor Jessica Fields

  1. What can you tell us about a project you are currently working on?  Our office has declared 2023-24 the Year of Mentorship. We’re working with the Mentoring Excellence and Diversity (MEAD) advisory committee to amplify the mentorship opportunities already in place though our office and to identify additional opportunities. We hope faculty and librarians will participate in writing groups, seeking out academic coaching, join workshops for academic administrators, and bring their ideas to us. The aim is to support faculty and librarian success and to give us all a chance to connect with and support one another after a challenging few years.
  2. If you had to define yourself in three words, what would they be?  Loyal, collaborative, grounded
  3. What do you enjoy most about your role?  I appreciate the opportunity to advocate for faculty members and librarians on a campus with an explicit and demonstrated commitment to addressing histories of exclusion and injustice in university education. UTSC struggles with those histories and we have plenty of work to do, but that commitment is an invaluable starting point.
  4. Why U of T Scarborough? That commitment makes all the difference to me. In my research, teaching, and service and drawing on the work of educators like Paolo Freire and bell hooks, I’ve approached education as a place of liberatory possibility. I see that possibility at UTSC.
  5. What important lesson have you learned in your current role?  To lean on and learn from the talented colleagues surrounding me.
  6. What is the one thing people likely do not know about you?  I carry a deck of cards in my bag, just in case anyone’s up for a game of cribbage or euchre.
  7. Which movie, book, or show makes you laugh the most?  Community