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Student Spotlight: Craig Wendelken

Get to know Craig Wendelken, a big brother with our Men's Leadership Project!

Year: 3rd
Major: Mechanical Engineering, Biology
Hometown: Charlottesville, VA

1. Why are you passionate about your program at the Women's Center?
The Men’s Leadership Project is a great program because it is a meaningful way of engaging young men in order to develop future leaders in the Charlottesville community. I attended Albemarle County Public Schools growing up and looking back, I wish that I could have been part of a mentoring program like MLP. Volunteering as a mentor is a way to give that opportunity to the next generation of students.
 
2. Where do you see yourself in 10 years? 
I would like to continue my studies in graduate school and go into a scientific field of research. I have always been fascinated by marine biology and would love to get involved in a related discipline.
 
3. What is your favorite memory of UVA thus far?
Taking a class on fish field biology at the Mountain Lake Biology Station last summer has to be one of my favorite memories at UVA. We had a lot of fun wading through rivers and streams and I’ve always been really into fish. The field station was laid back but everyone was really involved when it came to the weekend activities like the boat race and mini-triathlon. Overall this was an incredible experience and I’m very grateful to have taken part in this opportunity.
 
4. How has a mentor impacted you? 
The many role models in my life have had a great impact on my development as a person. These have included my parents, professors, high school cross country coaches, and close friends. They’ve helped guide me when the path was unclear and that has made all the difference.
 
5. What other organizations are you involved with at UVA? 
I am the incoming president for the Marine Science Society and an undergraduate research assistant for Professor Reidenbach in the Department of Environmental Science.
        
I have also started to sell prints of my art through a non-profit that I recently started called Jefferson Artwork. The money that is raised goes towards programs at the Women’s Center such as MLP and YWLP. This past spring, Jefferson Artwork was able to make a $450 contribution to the Women’s Center during one of their fundraiser campaigns. This has been in large part due to all the support that I’ve received from my family and friends, for which I am very grateful. If you are interested in checking out the art store you can visit https://jeffersonartwork.com or follow me on Facebook or Instagram.

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