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Meet Imagine Grinnell: Jennifer Latham

 

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Years with Imagine Grinnell: 2

 

Are you a Grinnell Native?  Where did you grow up, and how long have you lived in Grinnell?

I was born in upstate NY and lived most of my childhood in New Hampshire on a small 60 acre organic farm. My family came to Grinnell in the summer of 2014 and are loving life here.

 

What is your educational background?

I have a Bachelor’s degree in Russian Language and a Master’s in Slavic Languages and Literatures. I’m currently enrolled in a Master’s of Divinity program through Church Divinity School of the Pacific.

 

What is your favorite thing about Grinnell?

I love that it’s easy to get around by bike and walking and that there are so many interesting things happening here.

 

What attracted you to working with Imagine Grinnell?

The first weekend I was here I ran the Second Saturday 5k and was so impressed to meet Imagine Grinnell board members and find out that there is an organization in Grinnell that combines many of my interests: recreation, community building, and sustainable living.

 

Tell us a little about your career.

Most of my career has been working in administrative posts both in educational and non-profit settings. I spent 4 years working for a small Episcopal Church in NY as the Parish Administrator, then 4 years at Fordham University’s Graduate School of Arts and Sciences as the Director of Academic Programs and Support. Finally, I was Assistant Vice President for International Programs at Fordham for two years, managing both incoming and outgoing student programs.

 

What is your favorite part of working with Imagine Grinnell?

I like the programs that Imagine Grinnell tackles and the community development aspects of the organization. One of my favorite things is making connections between people to work on a common problem, so it’s been great to meet so many people through working with Imagine Grinnell.

 

If you could improve any one thing about Grinnell, what would you change and why?

I would help people understand how great Grinnell is by making them go live in an over-crowded, not walkable town in a greater metropolitan area. Grinnell is AWESOME!

 

Any memorable moments from your time with Imagine Grinnell?

I really enjoyed working on the Summer Street Park project. It is amazing that you can start with nothing but a grassy hill and end up with a really fun place for kids to play.

 

If asked “why should I become a member of Imagine Grinnell?” what would you tell them?

Imagine Grinnell is an organization that touches people every day – by supporting programs and projects that improve the quality of life for people living in Grinnell. These include things like improving the “bikeability” of Grinnell, working on recreation projects, providing Community Garden support, and promoting sustainable energy like personal solar power installations.