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Jocelyn Willoughby

Tell us a few things about yourself (family, job, things that bring you joy).

I was born and raised in New Jersey. I earned my B.A. from UVA in three years with a major in global studies and concentration in global development. I am currently pursuing my Master of Public Policy in the Frank Batten School of Leadership & Public Policy. In moments where I am not being a student or an athlete (I am a member of the women’s basketball team), I enjoy journaling, cooking and listening to music. There are two things that bring me true joy in life: 1. Seeing people grow and reveal untapped potential 2. Giving other people hope, inspiration and joy. 

How did you decide to come to UVA?

Coming out of high school, I was blessed to have many options for where I could continue my academic and athletic careers. UVA was the final school that I visited before making my decision. I remember wandering around Grounds with my mother and commenting on the beauty and character of the place. There was a warm and inviting feeling that we had just from walking and touring. Ultimately, I decided UVA was the place to be because I felt that it was sincere in its promise that I could be a student-athlete…that I could excel in the classroom, engage in different programs and opportunities on Grounds, while having an opportunity to make history on the court. Most importantly, the people I encountered on my visit let me know that I would be surrounded by coaches, teammates, classmates, faculty and staff that would be invested in and supportive of my endeavors on and off the court. 

Tell us about a woman/women at UVA who inspires you.

I have had the opportunity to be influenced and inspired by many women in my time at UVA. One that comes to mind is our Director of Athletics, Carla Williams. She is a trailblazer in college athletics who models what it looks like to lead with class and grace. It has been utterly impressive to watch her develop a vision for the athletics department and cultivate buy in and mobilize those around her to execute that vision. 

In your opinion, what is the legacy of women on UVA?

Women at UVA have a legacy of being fierce advocates, trailblazers and tireless workers to make the University, and the experiences within it, better for current and future members of the community.

If you could ask a female graduate for one piece of advice, what would you ask her?

I would ask for advice on the initial transition into post-grad life and the best way to search for and land the first job. 

Is there anything related to women’s history at the University that you would like to learn more about?

I’m curious about the day-to-day experiences of women throughout the generations—women in athletics, women in Greek Life, women in administration, women who are professors, etc. I wonder what their experiences were like and how they’ve changed over time.