A Google calendar app links to University of Mary Washington senior Jaylyn Long’s “booking page,” where free slots are hard to find.

A biomedical sciences major with an African American studies minor, she’s Student Government Association (SGA) president and Class of 2024 vice president. She’s a diversity peer educator, R.I.S.E peer mentor and – perhaps most importantly – a senior student coordinator for both New Student Programs and Student Activities and Engagement. And that’s just for starters.

“I know I can’t do it all, but that never stops me from trying,” said Long, the first Black woman to serve in the roles of SGA president and vice president at UMW. “It really wouldn’t be possible without the faculty support and the people who look out for me.”

She brought her “power to the people” personality, as her mom likes to call it, to campus in 2020, amid a global pandemic. Despite social distancing and other restrictions brought on by COVID-19, she plunged into student government, laying the groundwork for priorities like diversity and community values. By the time campus roared back to life, a new passion and career path were sliding into view, thanks to mentors galore.

“Watching people who look like me and thrive in higher education really charted a different course for me,” said Long, who traded medicine for aspirations of a career in student engagement. “I really enjoyed getting into the thick of things and making a difference for my peers.” Read more.