Dr. Jill Biden redefines the role of first lady



By Ella Dame, Managing Editor

Dr. Jill Biden will become the United States’ 46th first lady as of earlier this November when Joe Biden became the 46th President-Elect. She will be redefining both the role and characteristics of the first lady; throughout history, the role of the first lady has been to only manage the White House, represent the president at official and ceremonial events and advocate for differing social issues. Jill Biden will fulfill all the traditional roles of a first lady, as well as continue to sustain her job as a college professor —  the first first lady to do so.

Dr. Biden will be representing America with her new role and she will be pushing forward the strong narrative that women’s roles have evolved past what they once were. She will continue to utilize her PhD in Education as she has announced that she won’t stop teaching English when her husband’s term begins.

She teaches college level English at Northern Virginia Community College and may be teaching remote or in-person as the pandemic develops. As she plans to teach, the Secret Service will need to also adapt to keeping her and other students secure once the next school year begins

She began exploring her love for teaching at University of Delaware in 1975 where she earned her bachelor’s degree. After earning her bachelor’s degree, Dr. Biden met Joe Biden and they got married in 1977. A few years later in 1981, Dr. Biden had their first daughter Ashley and began working at the Rockford Psychiatric Hospital teaching English to young adults with emotional disabilities.

While teaching at Rockford, Dr. Biden simultaneously earned two master’s degrees, a Reading masters from  Westchester University and an English masters from Villanova University.

After attaining her second and third degrees, she pursued teaching at Claymount high school for three years and then taught at Delaware Technical and Community (DTC) College as an English professor and writing instructor. During the time she was teaching at DTC College, she earned her doctorate in education from the University of Delaware. In 2009, she began working as an English professor at Northern Virginia Community College; she will continue teaching there throughout her husband’s presidency, according to Biography.

She not only has spent her time working as an English professor but is also a member of multiple nonprofit organizations. She was an active member of Delaware’s Boots on the Ground organization, advocating for families left behind after a member has been deployed, and the Joining Forces initiative with Michelle Obama, which encourages military families to create communities with each other, according to The Obama White House archives.

Her passion for military support has not ended with her nonprofit participation, as she wrote her own children’s book, “Don’t Forget, God Bless Our Troops,” in 2012. The book discusses the effect having a family member deployed can have on children as she wrote from the perspective of her own granddaughter.

Jill Biden will officially be America’s new first lady in January of 2021 and will be changing history as she paves way for a new kind of first lady.