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Jen Olenizcak
JEN OLENICZAK is the founder and lead teacher of The Engaging Educator. After realizing the education field lacked the ‘how you say it’ training, she decided to combine her loves of improv and teaching – cue The Engaging Educator. Jen has given two TEDx Talks on the power of improv at TEDxCortland in 2013, and on embracing failure in the workplace at TEDxMelville in 2015.

Jen is an improviser turned educator and vocal coach, with training in Theatre and Voice from Marquette University, Art History at the City College of New York and her current pursuit of an MA/BCBA in Autism Education at St. Joseph’s University. She’s worked with many NYC institutions as a museum educator and teaching artist, most recently with Guggenheim Museum, Queens Museum, and Community-Word Project.

As an actor and improviser, Jen has toured and trained nationally, and can still (sometimes) be found onstage. She can always be found tweeting about life behind #improv and #museumed at @TheEngagingEd.

Entries by Jen Olenizcak

Doing Something: Life Lessons From a Month of Improv

(1) Comments | Posted August 10, 2015 | 10:08 AM

This past month, I taught over 150 hours of improv to over 100 students. Between summer camp with teens that want to be actors, to adults working on presentation skills, communication and confidence, to museum professionals looking to better reach visitors, I've watched people grow, cry, quit, succeed and fail,...

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How to View Art: However You Want to

(0) Comments | Posted October 6, 2014 | 5:43 PM

After reading art critic Philip Kennicott's article in the Washington Post this weekend, I felt like I was being punked (does that still happen?) Someone is actually telling people how to view art? And chastising them for incorrect behavior like making plans in museum walls? As a museum...

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Are Spanx Causing Vocal Fry?

(0) Comments | Posted June 16, 2014 | 10:44 AM

I've been teaching presentation skills to professionals and educators in NYC consistently for the past few years. During every class my students need improvement in all of the same areas -- and in efforts to stop things like the "youth hip" and vocal fry, I've summed up these three major...

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Improv(ing) on the Autism Spectrum

(1) Comments | Posted May 8, 2014 | 2:21 PM

It's no secret that I feel that improv makes for better teachers, better museum professionals and all-around better people. But in the past few months I've been thinking about the connection between the benefits of improv to students on the autism spectrum, specifically when it comes...

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It's Ok to Snap That Selfie

(0) Comments | Posted December 19, 2013 | 7:50 PM


Smartphones are everywhere. Take a look around -- people are texting, reading, writing emails and taking photos. It happens on the subway, on the streets during rush hour and in cultural institutions. Everyone wants to snap a photo by Starry Night, the Temple of...

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How Improv Can Improve Your Teaching

(0) Comments | Posted August 21, 2013 | 4:02 PM

Every conversation is an exercise in improv - and conversation is the core behind every improv scene. We never are 100% sure what someone is going to say next. Now, many of us have either willingly been to an improv show or dragged to an improv show - or seen...

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