Q&A with Chris Jenkins
“Q&A with…” is a series dedicated to introducing staff members to the Oberlin community. We are highlighting one staff member each week. Is there someone you’d like to nominate? Please get in touch.
Chris Jenkins serves in various roles on campus: associate dean for academic support; conservatory liaison to the Office of Equity, Diversity, & Inclusion; deputy Title IX coordinator. Jenkins’ work involves assisting students who are struggling academically, socially, or emotionally. He also liaises with groups on campus to bring social justice programming to the conservatory. Before coming to Oberlin, Jenkins was a freelance musician and lived and taught music in the Middle East.
Get to know more about Jenkins in this Q&A.
Describe your role in six words.
Four words: Academic success for students!
Favorite spot on campus?
Is the Local on campus?
Favorite song or musician?
I'm totally into Maxim Rysanov's viola rendition of Bach's cello suites.
Where did you grow up?
New York City.
What did you want to be when you were 8 years old?
I wanted to be a paleontologist.
Favorite place on earth?
Where is truly better than the Oberlin bike path in June?
Favorite class in college?
Music 180 - Chamber Music with the pianist Robert Levin.
What's something we may not know about you?
I have a first-degree black belt in Taekwondo and train in martial arts and self-defense.
Most regrettable fashion choice?
I wore skater pants in the late 90s, mid-sophomore year. Like, really, really, big skater pants.
Who are the most important people in your life?
My dad was a very important role model for me, especially in providing an example of the characteristics and behavior that allow Black men to be successful while maintaining integrity. Other than that, I survive on a daily basis through the inspiration of Associate Dean Mary K. Gray.