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Student Spotlight: Jordan Smithson

Fourth Year
Major: History
Hometown: Richmond, Virginia


1.    What brought you to the Women’s Center?

As a transfer student, I’ve been interested in involving myself with organizations that help me to feel more connected to my community, as well as programs that can teach me more about social issues, systemic inclusion, and community development. The Women’s Center provides an environment that not only facilitates connection within our UVA and Charlottesville community; it also allows huge opportunities for personal growth and professional development. When I was applying during my 3rd year, my program director (interviewer at the time) showed such warmth and compassion to me, and made the Center feel like a nurturing and inspiring place where I belonged. Ultimately, the immediate sense of connection and belonging is what pulled me towards the Women’s Center and towards the Engaged Scholarship program. 


2.    What other organizations are you involved with at UVA?

Other organizations that I’ve been involved with here on grounds include the University Guide Service, the University Judiciary Committee, Blueprint Emerging Leaders Program, Transfer Advisory Board, and First Year Players.


3.    If you could describe your intern team in 3 words, what would they be?

Diligent, creative, and curious


4.    What is your favorite memory of UVA thus far?

My favorite memory from my UVA experience thus far is the summer I spent in Charlottesville between second and third year. As an intern and tour guide for the Office of Undergraduate Admissions, I was able to connect and share my story with so many prospective students as they navigate the college admissions process. Additionally, I was lucky to spend every day with close friends who encouraged me to step outside of the “UVA bubble” and experience the many exciting aspects of Charlottesville that go overlooked and under-appreciated during the school year. That summer made UVA and Charlottesville truly feel like home!


5.    What does leadership mean to you?

I believe that leadership is about prioritizing the well-being, equity, and growth of others and is most effective when pursued with empathy and open-mindedness.


6.    What is your guilty pleasure?

I don’t even feel that guilty in saying that my “guilty pleasure” is and always will be both Mamma Mia movies.

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