At Home at the UA
Jomar Jenkins, Eller Business Economics ’06 and MBA ’12
Senior Director of Corporate Development, Providence Service Corporation
By Liz Warren-Pederson
By the time Jomar Jenkins was ready to weigh his college options, he’d been coming to the UA for years. As a middle school student, he participated in summer programs in departments including optical sciences and astronomy. “Because of that, the university wasn’t so big and scary,” he said. As University High School student, he had opportunities to talk to Ivy League schools. “The interesting thing for me was that I didn’t know what I wanted to do,” he said. “But the UA felt like home. It was always my goal.”
Jenkins spent his first couple years at UA exploring options. “My first year, I was in the architecture program,” he said. It wasn’t a good fit, but he was always good in math and found a home in business economics. “I also joined a fraternity, which turned out to be the same one that my father had been in.” Through his fraternity, he got involved in the Tucson Urban League, an engagement that continues to this day. Jenkins is on the board of directors and serves as treasurer. “It still fulfills my extracurricular involvement and desire to give back,” he said.
At the UA, he also got involved with the burgeoning Africana Studies program, which at that time needed a student ambassador. This year, the program recognized his contributions at convocation by presenting him with the Africana Studies Distinguished Service Award. “Dr. Alain-Philippe Durand is really doing some phenomenal work with the program,” Jenkins said.
After completing his undergraduate degree, Jenkins joined Raytheon. “I started in financial analysis and moved up into contract management,” he said. “At that point, I began looking at what I could do to prepare myself to move up to the next level.” The Eller MBA was the logical step. “I entered the program with Raytheon’s support and finished in 2012.”
There was growth potential within Raytheon, but Jenkins was drawn to another opportunity. “My parents were social workers,” he said, and that mission-driven work was in his blood. He accepted a role with Providence Service Corporation, a national leader in managing social services, collaborative care services, and community transportation for children, families, and the elderly.
Jenkins also finds time to stay engaged with the UA. He’s the new chair of the president’s African American Community Council. “This group works with the UA President, Provost and other leaders to ensure that diverse perspectives are taken into account with regards to UA student, faculty, and staff recruitment and retention as well as to UA policy,” he explained.
He and his wife have two daughters, and Jenkins has been in Tucson for twenty years now. “I love it,” he said, “it’s a great place to raise a family.”
Top photo of Providence Service Corporation’s Tucson headquarters by Dylan Smith/TucsonSentinel.com.