Alumni Leading Our Community

  • Deb Jenkins

    Owner, Deb’s Corner Foods & Catering
    Founder, Celebration of Women and Their Music
    Nurse, Southeast Human Services
    Singer, Deb Jenkins Band
    Nursing, 1992

    "The greatest leadership challenge is making sure you are meeting the needs of everyone you work with, listening to their needs, and giving all you can to them without exhausting yourself."

    What experience at MSUM had the greatest influence in transforming your life?

    Without a doubt, the honor of receiving the MSUM Distinguished Alumni Award has been transformational. It was extremely special because my family came up from Minneapolis to attend the ceremony.

    Was there a faculty/staff mentor who inspired you? If so, tell me how he/she inspired you.

    Dr. Lora Bertelson worked in Women’s Studies when I was in school and she was definitely someone I found inspiring to be with and learned a great deal from.

    What professional experience has had the greatest influence in shaping you as a leader?

    I’ve never really considered myself a leader, but working in the field of nursing for more than 25 years has definitely influenced who I am and has empowered me to feel that I can effectively lead.

    What is the greatest challenge of leadership in today’s work force?

    The greatest leadership challenge is making sure you are meeting the needs of everyone you work with, listening to their needs, and giving all you can to them without exhausting yourself.

    What do you enjoy most about being a leader?

    If you have a purpose you want to spread and know you can’t do it alone, find the right people to help you, because it will happen. I started Celebration of Women and Their Music 21 years ago, and it’s going strong because of the people I’ve surrounded myself with who believed I can lead them.

    As a leader, what is the most important thing you do every day?

    Stay informed.

    What advice would you give someone striving to improve their leadership skills?

    Know why you are in that role and make sure you want to be.