University of Arkansas at Little Rock faculty, staff, and students are familiar with receiving emails from Jennifer McDannold about orientation and additional events to introduce new students to life as a Trojan.
Now McDannold, coordinator of student orientation and transitions, will serve in a more public role as the next president of Staff Senate who will serve her term during the 2021-22 academic year.
“The staff make up a huge majority of the employees on this campus,” she said. “Coming into 2021, my focus is to keep people connected. One of the things we have to focus on is our campus culture. I want to help people feel confident and excited about their campus.”
Some of the projects McDannold would like to emphasize is helping connect staff members with any resources they may need during the pandemic and virtual meet and greets to give staff members a chance to socialize.
McDannold joined Staff Senate in 2019, where she served on the Professional Development and Issues and Concerns committees. She was also elected as the secretary of Staff Senate and secretary of University Assembly.
McDannold has a bachelor’s degree in Spanish and a master’s degree in college student personnel, both from Arkansas Tech University. She worked as an enrollment coordinator at Baptist Health College for five years before joining UA Little Rock in 2019.
“My duty is to get new students connected to campus,” she said. “How do we make people feel comfortable and want to stay on campus? I train the orientation leaders. I work with different offices across campus to collaborate sessions for new students. I keep my eyes open for great things on campus so I can talk about those experiences with new students.”
Outside of UA Little Rock, McDannold is an active member of the Student Affairs Administrators in Higher Education. She volunteers for student career development, has served on the advisory board, and does social media for the organization’s Center for Women Mentor Program. Additionally, McDannold serves as vice president of professional development for the College Student Personnel Association and has held a number of leadership positions for the Delta Zeta Sorority alumnae chapter.
McDannold lives in Little Rock with her husband, Christian, and dogs, Bella and Vanta. In her free time, she enjoys exploring flea markets, camping, kayaking, and traveling.
“Things are tough for everyone right now, and I want to do my best to be there in whatever way is needed for the staff,” McDannold said. “If anyone has any suggestions, concerns, questions, or wants to know how to get involved, feel free to contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org. I want to be approachable, and I want people to feel free to ask me questions.”