by Ray Newton
Rodney Jenkins came to Yavapai College in 2017 from Pennsylvania, where he had served as Vice President of University Relations for Lock Haven University from 2012 to 2017. He has a bachelor’s and master’s degree from Myers University in Cleveland, Ohio, where he spent his youth.
He now serves on the leadership team of YC President Dr. Lisa Rhine as Vice President of Community Relations and Student Development at Yavapai College. That role gives him broad influence on the administrative direction of the institution.
Jenkins shared several thoughts with Prescott Living during research about the college and its role in Yavapai County.
Describing how Yavapai College became aggressively involved in the Arizona Israel Technology Alliance (as did Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University), Jenkins said he was fortunate enough to be asked by Leib Bolel, CEO of AITA, to travel two years ago to Israel to learn about the partnering opportunities that existed with that nation.
One result was the luring of Eviation, an all-electric airplane manufacturer, which now is headquartered in Prescott.
A side benefit of that relationship, he said, was developing awareness of CP Technologies, which recently relocated from San Diego to Prescott.
Jenkins also talked about the growing impact of the YC Regional Economic Development Center directed by Richard Hernandez. More than 40 entities across Yavapai County have been involved with the REDC.
Jenkins said, “The college is working intensely with ERAU, Arizona Commerce Authority, the Department of Agriculture, the Department of Education, and with various Arizona congressmen to support regional economic growth and development wherein students will be the beneficiaries of mentoring in marketing, trade skills, high-tech and business certifications and courses.”
With more than 20 years of professional marketing experience, Jenkins has spent considerable time in Washington, D.C., cultivating relationships that bring benefits to the college, the county and ultimately to Arizona.
“What is gratifying to me in being able to work for President Rhine is that we’re changing the culture of the college. We’re going far beyond just providing educational opportunities. We’re in the social and economic development business, and it benefits our constituents.”