Growing up in New York City, Jennifer Jones Cavenaugh earned her BA in Policy Studies from Dartmouth College in 1982, and her MFA in Dramaturgy from Brooklyn College in 1992. After receiving her PhD in Theater History and Dramatic Criticism from the University of Washington in 1995, she served as Assistant Professor of Theater at the University of Denver for three years before joining the faculty of the Louisiana State University, where she earned her tenure and was promoted to Associate Professor of Theater in 2003.
In 2005, Dr. Cavenaugh was named the Winifred Warden Endowed Chair of Theater at Rollins College, where she excelled in classroom teaching and academic research, earning multiple recognitions such as the Best Female professor Awards from the Off-Campus Student Association (2007), Arthur Vining Davis Fellowship (2009-10), and the Professing Excellence Teaching Award (2012). After being promoted to Professor of Theater in 2008, Cavenaugh held a series of administrative positions at Rollins, first as the Chair of the Department of Theater & Dance, and the Producing Artistic Director of the Annie Russell Theatre (2008-2011), then the Associate Dean of Arts & Sciences (2011-2015), and finally the Dean of Faculty of the College of Liberal Arts (2016-2022).
Besides being an effective teacher and administrator at Rollins, Dr. Cavenaugh has actively engaged in professional theater works and academic researches related to American theater history, women's history and cultural studies. She is a proud member of the Actors' Equity Association and has performed and directed for more than 25 years. She has written scholarly essays, presented at academic conferences, and collaborated with Rollins students through the student-faculty summer research programs.
Cavenaugh, Jennifer Jones and Zhang, Wenxian, "Interview with Jenny Cavenaugh" (2022). Oral Histories. 42.