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Board member profile: Serena Wright

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Serena WrightSerena Wright, UMCF Conference Chair
Director of Events
College of Education and Human Development Office of Communications
wrigh103@umn.edu
612-624-0430

About my role at the University
I am currently Director of Events for the College of Education and Human Development Office of Communications. I started at the University of Minnesota in 2000.

Favorite place on campus:
Overlooking Northrop mall from the Campus Club Terrace.

What I like about working at the U:
I love engaging with our students, staff, and faculty. Creating an environment where all of these constituency groups have a sense of community, feel safe, respected, and know there is a place that they can call there home away from home. I look forward to Fall semester when all of the campus is a "buzz" with excitement.

Students are my first priority at the college and making sure that our college and the dean shines in the absolute best light. I think of myself as an ambassador of CEHD.

A person at the U whom I admire:
I have several people that I admire and two of them have retired, but remain a tremendous force and support in my life. Josie Johnson (former Regent and civil rights activist, extraordinary gifted woman) and Jeanne Lupton (former dean of General College and a trailblazer).

Both of these women were firsts at everything they did. It takes a tremendous amount of courage to be first when you are not sure the others will follow. I have always admired that in both of them. My mother was the same and I have in many situations that I have been the first. Speaking up for others who cannot speak for themselves. It is also an attribute that I'm most proud of too.

Some of the coolest projects I've worked on at the U:
Well this is difficult for me because there are so many cool projects that I've have and continue to work on at the U. Each project had its own uniqueness. Situations were different for all of them.

For the 30th Anniversary for the MLK Concert sponsored by the Office of Equity and Diversity and the School of Music I was hired to plan that event.

Two years later I was asked to emcee this event. Stepping outside of my comfort zone but was up for the challenge and was surprised that I enjoyed it as much as I did.

Also, having less than 5 weeks to plan the grand opening for UROC, Urban Research Outreach Center. Dr. Robert Jones asked me to step in an take over and it was an absolute AMAZING event. His reputation was on the line because this was a partnership that took 5 years in the making between the University and the Northside of Minneapolis. The attendees included, the mayor of Mpls RT Rybak, the Board of Regents, legislative representatives, internal and external communities, the media, (TV, radio, newspapers, etc). Now that I think of this, it truly was a remarkable event with over 800 attendees who walk through the doors.

More about Serena

My hometown:
Plainfield, New Jersey | view it on a map

Accomplishments I'm most proud of:
Making the transition from New Jersey and New York City to Minneapolis. Very different places, different culture, but making a home for me and my husband, having some amazing friends, I'm like a tree. I planted myself, my roots took hold, my branches always expanding and reaching up and out to the sky and my leaves continue to grow and I always have flowers blooming. I have people in my life who have nurtured me from the time I step foot on Minnesota soil. This is a very good thing!!!! I have an amazing life in Minneapolis.

Paper book or e-book:
Paper
 
Favorite source of inspiration:
Elders in a community. In particular women elders.

Favorite words:
Respect and courage

Word that makes you cringe:
When people are uncouth.

What I do for fun:
I love to do the following: play tennis weekly, frequent the theatre (plays), listen to "old school" and jazz music.

Love to dance and sing. Love to cook and entertain friends at home. Lover of great food and wines.

Travel, travel, travel anywhere and everywhere with my husband, family, and friends. Antique shopping, love old movies of all genres.

Fashion has always been a part of my life and creating my own style is important to me. Love television programs related to animals...my favorite which are Silverback gorillas and horses. Love science and nature shows.

Love to be surrounded by beautiful things so I have my doll collection in my office. Flowers on my desk and home and lovely aromatic scents. I also have an extensive perfume bottle collection. Both the dolls and perfume bottles have been acquired from my travels and gifts from around the world.

I most enjoy spending time with women elders. They have an amazing amount of wisdom and are generous in spirit. I just love them!!!!!!!!!!! I love volunteering.

My dream jobs (besides the one I have!):
To plan events and travel with Oprah Winfrey. To play professional tennis with Serena Williams.

1 Comment

Hi Serena,
I hope this email finds you well.
I can't believe a year has passed since I last saw you at the Mcnamara.
I would love to get together.
Feel free to contact me on my cellular at 612-963-6880.
I am not at The Woman's Club of Minneapolis.
Hugs!
Darilyn

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