Measures of Success: Jenna Zack

By John Grennan

Almost everyone on campus has crossed paths with junior Jenna Zack at one point or another.

On fall afternoons, she and her cross-country teammates are returning to Madigan Gym from practice runs on the trails. On Sunday evenings, she’s in the Chapel singing in the choir at the 8 p.m. Mass. She’s a regular volunteer at school-sponsored service projects and works with the Lasallian Collegians, a student group that promotes the College’s mission through events such as De La Salle Week.

“She’s soaked up everything Saint Mary’s has to offer,” says Brother Michael Sanderl, the dean of mission and ministry.

You’ll even spot her leading groups of high school students and parents around campus through her job in the Admissions Office.

“It’s really fun to get to meet prospective students,” says Zack, who has a Saint Mary’s East Bay scholarship. “I like having the chance to help them get acquainted with the place.”

Zack is an ideal ambassador for the College. She wanted to attend Saint Mary’s since she was a kid growing up in nearby Pleasant Hill. Her involvement in so many different campus activities makes her an expert on the College.

“I really like the atmosphere of being at a small school,” she says. “And the Catholic tradition and community service was a big part of the appeal.”

An anthropology major, Zack has thought about a career as a researcher or professor. She also likes working with children, and was helped organize the spring Carnival 4 Kids for grade-school children from the area’s lower-income schools.

“People tell me I’d make a good teacher,” she says. “I like interacting with kids and know how to be patient.”

Juggling the responsibilities of schoolwork, a Division I sport, volunteer service and a work-study job can be daunting at times, but Zack enjoys the challenge.

“It’s important to keep a balance — getting things done in advance, making sure to get enough sleep, and keeping grades up.”