Jenessa Mae Spears, MA

Learning and Quality Improvement Portfolio Manager

Jenessa is a medical and cultural anthropologist who brings ten years of professional experience with a rich background in mixed methods research with proficiency in both qualitative and quantitative data collection, analysis, and reporting. She is an expert in the design and adaptation of evaluation tools, designing institutional accountability structures, and developing infrastructure to drive equitable impact and foster a culture of learning.

Before working with Consilience Group, she fed her passion for human rights by conducting mixed methods research with National Institutes of Health, Church Health, Uganda Village Project, and the South Memphis Farmers Market to develop strategy and strengthen programming. She stays connected to the discipline of Anthropology and maintains a commitment to praxis by serving as an Instructor, University of Memphis Anthropology Department Community Advisory Board member, and American Anthropological Association (AAA) Nominations Committee member.

Jenessa is a co-editor for an international handbook, “The Routledge Companion to Practicing Anthropology and Design,” in partnership with Chris Miller, Ph.D. of Savannah College of Art and Design, that lifts up the value of qualitative, ethnographic research in service and systems design. Jenessa was awarded the University of Memphis’ Distinguished Alumni Award in Anthropology in Spring 2022. This award recognizes University of Memphis alumni who have made significant contributions to society and whose accomplishments, affiliations, and careers have honored the legacy of excellence associated with the “Memphis Model” of practicing, applied, and engaged anthropology.

She holds a Masters of Arts in Anthropology from the University of Memphis, with concentrations in Medical Anthropology and Globalization, Development, and Culture and an Honors Bachelor of Arts in Psychology from Christian Brothers University.