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News & Events

A Model of Leadership: Yolanda Jenkins

Yolanda Jenkins, chair of the School of Human Ecology Board of Visitors (BoV), was honored for her thoughtful leadership and dedicated service during the annual fall meeting of the BoV.

Since joining the board of visitors in 2012, Jenkins has held a variety of positions and led teams aimed at improving the work and effort of the board, including the first board self-assessment, believing the most effective organizations are those that ask themselves “How can we – individually and collectively- do better?”

Community, Collaborations, Connections

The three pillars that defined and drove Jenkins work as chair made an indelible imprint on the SoHE 5-year strategic plan.

“We are all interconnected,” stated Jenkins in her first address as chair at the spring 2017 meeting. “The board of visitors has a critical role in linking the work of the SoHE faculty with the passion of our alumni. Together we support communities across the country.”

Ripple effect of SoHE, board and community

Over the next two years Jenkins brought her brand of thoughtful, collaborative spirit to the work of the board. Under her leadership the board undertook several projects aimed at building bridges in the community; the first was retooling the spring meeting to an ‘off campus’ location for an in-depth visit to the Playing Field, an early learning center and SoHE internship site in Madison. The Playing Field is focused on educating children experiencing homelessness alongside children from more advantaged backgrounds, a mission that speaks to the core of what it means to be a human ecologist.

This same year the board launched a golf scramble aimed at raising funds to support students in the internship program at SoHE. Jenkins understood the tough decisions students were forced to make regarding internships and was keenly aware that experiences with nonprofit organizations like the Playing Field were critical career preparation skills. In its first year the event raised over $20,000.

Picture of Soyeon Shim.“I am grateful for Yolanda’s vision for engaging and elevating the board of visitors,” said Dean Soyeon Shim. “She leads with intelligence and compassion, and I am deeply thankful for her commitment.”

By all measures Jenkins is the keystone of the SoHE board of visitors with innovative ideas, strategic thinking and fostering new relationships that increase the visibility of the School.

Board of visitors chair yolanda jenkins with vice chair barb tensfeldt
Jenkins [L] & Tensfeldt
“My deep and personal thanks go to Yolanda for her leadership,” said Barbara Tensfeldt, vice chair. “She has created opportunities for the board to endeavor in meaningful work, and I am honored to have had the opportunity to serve with her.”

Jenkins will conclude her term as chair on December 31, 2018 and begins her role as immediate past chair for the 2019-2020 year.



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