Fundraising Profile: Jessica Gelin

photo of Advancement employee

Jessica Gelin, Director of Development
College of Medicine

“I never imagined I would love Columbus this much.”

Jessica Gelin, Director of Development for The Ohio State University College of Medicine, was living in Washington, D.C., before she came to Ohio State to become a development officer. She was drawn to Columbus by the opportunity to focus her career on individual giving—and by her fiancé. But now that she’s lived here for two-and-a-half years, Jessica has fallen in love with the city she proudly calls home.

“If you love great food, the arts, local music, sports, there’s always something going on.”

The city’s rapid growth and diverse opportunities are reflected in Ohio State’s culture. She has attended conferences, participated in individual coaching, and received fundraising training from internal and external experts in the field.

“I came here as a ‘jack of all trades,’ but I’ve been able to find my niche. Ohio State’s size is one of its greatest assets as an employer. You can truly follow your passion.”

Jessica’s passion is connecting people to meaningful giving opportunities. Her favorite Ohio State Advancement moment is the College of Medicine’s annual white coat ceremony. Alumni sponsor the white coats, and a donor’s name appears on a card inside the coat pocket.

“When students pull that card out and see the name of the person who sponsored their white coat, you can see the emotion on their faces. They realize they’re part of a tradition. Not only are friends and family rooting for them, but the doctors who’ve come before them —complete strangers — are supporting them and cheering them on. It’s an honor to play a role in that moment. Sure, Ohio State is a big university, but it’s made up of thousands of little experiences that feel significant and deeply personal.”

Jessica is planning for a long-term career at Ohio State, and is confident that her time here is beneficial no matter what the future holds.

“My resume has more value every day because of the experience and expertise I’m gaining. I never expected that moving to Columbus, Ohio, would be the move that propelled my career to the next level, but I’ve learned to expect remarkable things here at Ohio State!”