Featured image (above): Jennie Rothenberg Gritz in Ireland on an assignment for Smithsonian magazine

With fellow MUM students on a trip to Quebec, Canada, in 1995

MUM alumna Jennie Rothenberg Gritz is a senior editor at Smithsonian magazine. When she started her job in 2015, her employer was quite familiar with MUM, since the magazine featured Fairfield as one of the 20 best small towns to visit in 2013.

“It was wonderful to start a new job and realize I didn’t have to explain Transcendental Meditation,” said Jennie. “People see it as an asset in my background that makes me better suited to handling stress and coming up with creative ideas.”

Jennie with her children, Zander and Sophie, and husband, Jonathan, in the fountain at the National Sculpture Gallery, Washington, D.C.

Jennie grew up in Fairfield and earned a major in literature and a minor in writing at MUM in 1997. She loved learning about the world through storytelling. After completing the Transcendental Meditation® Teacher Training Course, she went to graduate school at UC Berkeley in journalism.

In 2006 Jennie started working at The Atlantic magazine as senior editor. She was instrumental in developing the online version of the magazine and turning it into a robust Internet publication. Now she writes and edits articles for the print edition of Smithsonian, which satisfies her curiosity and thirst for knowledge. “The whole driving force behind the magazine is knowledge and the excitement of learning new things,” she said. “It’s great to be part of that.”

Playing the guitar with her daughter, Sophie

Jennie lives in Washington, D.C., with her husband, MSAE alumnus Jonathan Gritz, and two small children. In her free time, she enjoys singing and playing the guitar. She also makes sure to visit Fairfield regularly.

“TM helps me work better under pressure, be happier inside, and have more clarity,” said Jennie. “Just like at any job, we have deadlines; we have things that don’t turn out the way we expected. Meditating makes it easier to stay focused and do my job well, but not take success or failure too seriously.”