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2024 Ivory Community Leadership Award

Jennifer Rodela is the 2024 Ivory Community Leadership Award.

The Office of Undergraduate Studies is thrilled to announce that the winner of the 2024 Ivory Community Leadership Award is Jennifer Rodela. Throughout her time at the University of Utah, Rodela has demonstrated exceptional leadership and a firm commitment to service by working to ensure that students at the U have access to the resources they need to be successful.

Rodela joined The Basic Needs Collective as a programming intern during her first year at the U and quickly proved herself to be a dedicated, thoughtful, and conscientious student employee. Her exceptional contributions led to her promotion to the role of Basic Needs programming lead in July 2023.

Among her many accomplishments, Rodela organized and led a winter clothing drive in December 2022, which successfully collected over 100 articles of clothing for students in need. This initiative has since evolved into the Basic Needs Thrift Pop-up Shop, which provides a rotating variety of gently used donated items that are always free.

Rodela’s innovative work in developing a resource database has resulted in the addition of many community partnerships, including local thrift stores and childcare providers. As a result, the database now contains almost 700 campus and community assets, furthering The Basic Needs Collective mission to educate and connect students with the necessary resources to meet their basic needs.

Rodela exemplifies the university’s mission to improve the lives of Utahns and deliver societal impact. Basic Needs Director Sarah Elizabeth Garza-Levitt describes Rodela as an invaluable addition to the university and the broader community and someone who actively seeks to create a positive influence on the world around her. “Jennifer embodies the qualities of an engaged and compassionate undergraduate student.”

The Ivory Community Leadership Award was established by Clark Ivory, former chair of the University of Utah Board of Trustees, and seeks to enhance the undergraduate experience, encourage student involvement, and promote leadership. The award includes a $2,000 prize and $10,000 to invest in programs/efforts led by the recipient.