Jess lived a life of service, advocacy, positivity, and strength. She grew up in New York City and Branchburg, N.J. At age 16, Jess suffered a massive heart attack during her senior year at Somerville High School. Nine months later she received a heart transplant, and shortly thereafter began her freshman year at Princeton. At Princeton, Jess sang in Chapel Choir and was a member of the Tigressions. She was also a member of the Cloister Inn. During this time, Jess was awarded Glamour magazine’s “Top 10 College Women of 2002.” Jess majored in psychology, graduating with high honors, and was awarded Princeton’s Allen Macy Dulles Award for Service to the Nation.

Jess moved to New York City and established herself as a leader in communications, health education, and community and employee engagement in the healthcare industry. Besides her full-time career, she was a professional motivational speaker who was passionate about helping others fulfill their greatest potential.

Jess was a founding member of Harboring Hearts, a nonprofit supporting cardiac patients and their families; a fierce advocate for organ donation and those who are physically challenged; and a national patient spokesperson for the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society.

She lived for 20 years with her transplanted heart. She was a three-time cancer survivor and a leg amputee. Despite all her adversity, she lived life to the fullest and was an inspiration to many, earning her the nickname “Wonder Woman.”

Jess died Sept. 25, 2019, awaiting a second heart transplant and a kidney transplant. She was 37 years old. She is survived by her parents, Ellen and Thomas, and her brother, Matthew.

Undergraduate Class of 2003