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Staff Spotlight: Sarah Jenkins

As Mentoring Coordinator for the Women’s Center Young Women Leaders Program, Sarah Jenkins has helped shaped the professional and personal lives of women in the UVA, Charlottesville, and around the world. She’s funny and stylish and quick and curious. And she owes it all (not really ALL) to the impact of – which musical artist? To find out, read more about our wonderful Sarah Jenkins:

Tell us about your path to UVA, to where you are now and the work you’re currently doing for the Women’s Center.
I was born and raised in Florida, and from a relatively young age I was interested in feminism and women’s issues. I went to UNC Chapel Hill for undergrad where I majored in Women’s and Gender Studies. I graduated in 2008, at the beginning of the recession, so meaningful work was scarce. I worked some odd jobs for a few years but finally decided I wanted to go back to school. I got my masters in Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Studies at Florida Atlantic University. Almost immediately after that I was offered the position of Program Coordinator at the Ohio University Women’s Center, where I worked for three years before joining UVA’s WC last May as the YWLP Mentoring Coordinator.

Whose work (musical, artistic, professional, or personal) inspires you to work harder or think differently?
OK, many authors, including Chandra Talpade Mohanty, Gloria Steinem, bell hooks, Patricia Hill Collins, and Henry Giroux. During this time of uncertainty, many comedians are helping me feeling grounded. The Daily Show, Steven Colbert, and Samantha Bee make me laugh and keep me from hiding in a pillow fort all day.

Musically, I don’t think any one artist has had more of an effect on me than Ani DiFranco. I discovered her in high school, off the movie soundtrack for Better Than Chocolate (which also had a major effect on me). She was the first musical artist I had heard who sang about political issues and sexual orientation. She made a huge impact on me and was one of the things that got me through rest of high school (which was generally a crappy time).

Who would you most like to meet (living or dead) for coffee?
My grandparents. We grew up very close, and they passed away when I was in my teens. I would love to talk to them about what I’m doing now and get their advice… and hugs!

Who would you most like to meet (living or dead) for an after-work drink?
Kate McKinnon. She always makes me laugh, and we could share cat stories.

Who would play you in the movie of your life?
I want to say either Kate McKinnon or Rebel Wilson. They both strike me as irreverent and goofy, but still passionate about important things. They also both make me laugh, and I make myself laugh. So it’s the perfect match.

What’s your most unpopular opinion?
I guess that I don’t like adult cartoons (like Bob’s Burgers, Archer, or The Family Guy). I just think they’re kind of mean and everyone in them seems to be yelling all the time.

What’s something you do that you know you do differently from most people?
I always want to put my creamer in my cup before I pour my coffee in. I often mess up the flow of traffic in line to get coffee, all because I’m trying to avoid using a stirrer.

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