In this episode, we talk with Jessi Znoski who is a biologist, administrator and the event coordinate for a Women in Philanthropy Summit at Longwood University. Jessi naturally has a positive attitude and that spills into her work life. The Women in Philanthropy Summit was a way for alumni to encourage students to pursue their passions to make the world a better place. Each student created their own mission statement and brainstormed what their passions are that they can do. Jessi credits her upbringing for giving her empathy for the local public school system, of which she is a part of a group of parents improving their community. Her best advice is to listen to people, be open-minded and listen to your inner voice. She also doesn’t want to you neglect your own mental health, because this world is a struggle especially in a pandemic! Listen more to what she advises us to do.
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Hello, my name is Jessi Znosko and I am a cell biologist turned academic administrator for the Cormier Honors College for Citizen Scholars at Longwood University. I was born in San Francisco, grew up in the Poconos, earned my Bachelor’s degree in Biotechnology at Rochester Institute of Technology, and my Master’s from Chatham University (with a brief 1 year stint in a PhD program at Pitt). Before becoming the senior director of the CHC, I was a project manager/vaccine scientist for a large pharmaceutical company, with expertise in cell culture. I took my logistical, goal-oriented, and efficiency skills and brought them to academia with me. There, I was able to help grow the honors college from 180 students to 380 students in four years. Using my personnel management skills, I advise undergraduates in their educational journey. In addition to advising students, I teach interdisciplinary honors courses ranging from an international Social Innovation course to a City as Text series, where students explore and read a city like a textbook. Finally, I wear an event planning hat where I help to organize and execute our honors leadership retreat in the fall for all first-year honors students and our Preview Day for prospective students in the spring. I enjoy motivating people which is why I am also a fitness instructor, sports nutrition certificate holder, former D1 assistant Cross Country coach and a personal trainer. I think one of my biggest strengths is connecting people to one another to accomplish a goal. I’m a Wooer at heart, what can I say!
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