October 27, 2020 News & Features » Cover Story

Favorite

Jenilee Stanley-Shanks, 39 

Director of Government and Community Outreach, College of Engineering, Virginia Commonwealth University

click to enlarge feat44_jenilleshanks.jpg

Scott Elmquist

For most fifth- or sixth-graders, the leap between elementary and middle school to high school and college is hard to imagine, not to mention a career in engineering or a related field. But Stanley-Shanks uses her well-honed skills and passion to acquaint students, parents and teachers in our region with high school curriculum tracks that can prepare youngsters for careers in engineering or technology.

“These are professions and fields in which we still don’t have enough people in Virginia for needed positions,” she says. In addition to work at Georgia Tech before coming to Virginia, Stanley-Shanks believes that her experiences gleaned from undergraduate studies in theater and a master’s degree in public policy enhance her personal communication with people and constituent groups.

“You have to be vulnerable,” she says of actors and directors. “You need to drop your walls and have a high tolerance for failure. That is also true for engineering students.” With the pandemic, Stanley-Shanks is connecting with area schools via Zoom. “If you can’t see it, you can’t be it,” she says.  Adds a colleague: “She is an unrepenting engineering geek.”

Back to the 2020 Top 40 Under 40

Correction: The print version misspelled Jenilee's first name. Style regrets the error.

Favorite

Tags:

Latest in Cover Story

Comments


Comments are closed.

Connect with Style Weekly

Most Popular Stories

  • Richmonder of the Year

    Richmonder of the Year

    After a global pandemic stopped everything, Dr. Danny TK Avula was the right person at the right time.
    • Dec 29, 2020
  • Cars, Horses and Children

    Cars, Horses and Children

    A Valentine exhibition uses the work of amateur photographer Edith Shelton to shine a light on Richmond neighborhoods of the ’50s through the ’70s.
    • Jan 19, 2021
  • Cajun Adventures

    Cajun Adventures

    Former Richmonder Ann Savoy publishes her second major work about Cajun, Creole and zydeco music.
    • Jan 12, 2021
  • Demolition Crew

    Demolition Crew

    RRHA moves into 2021 facing increased calls for transparency.
    • Jan 19, 2021
  • More »

Copyright © 2021 Style Weekly
Richmond's alternative for news, arts, culture and opinion
All rights reserved
Powered by Foundation