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GPSA Presidential Election Profiles: Rachel Jenks

UNM student Rachel Jenks says she has sound judgement, is skilled at solving problems and would make a good GPSA president.

“When I take on a responsibility, I’m very committed to it,” she said.

Jenks said she is ready to become a facilitator of communication between graduate students, UNM schools and the administration.

She said she would like to create a networking community for student organizations to increase the communication between different graduate departments and students on campus. Jenks said the community would act as a referral system for organizations to show what they had to offer. She added that the system could lead to collaborative projects and new employment positions.

“What happens is a momentum starts and you feed off of each other,” she said.

Jenks said she wants to make sure that the $100,000 that the Legislature gave to fund graduate research is invested in the community. She added that more progress reports to the Finance Committee from student organizations receiving GPSA funding would help the groups stay caught up with their projects and goals. She said she gained financial experience when she moved to Albuquerque to work for her mother’s peach walnut salsa business.

Jenks grew up in Philadelphia and was the student president of her junior high school. She continued her studies at the University of California at Los Angeles, where she got her Bachelor’s degree in psychology, conducted AIDS research and managed a tax-consulting firm.

Jenks is now a student faculty representative at the Law School and has been reelected for her position next year, though she may have to pass it up if she becomes president. She said she would like to see more women in leadership roles at UNM. Like the other GPSA candidates, she is in her second year of law school.

“I saw that it would apply to a lot of different areas,” she said of her decision to pursue a law degree.

Jenks said she is not involved in GPSA now but has been going to the meetings to learn more about the group.

Jenks said she often chats with students when she is looking for the best places to hang her campaign signs. She said she was able to change one student’s views about GPSA just by listening to his concerns.

She said traveling to more than 30 countries has helped her listening skills and that sometimes have to you let a piece of yourself go to understand something new.

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She enjoys foreign films, creating works of abstract art, and hiking.


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