Monday, February 26, 2018

Meet Lily Mirjahangiri

Assistant Coordinator, Academic Support Centers

Did you grow up in Richmond? If not, when did you come here, and what brought you here?
I am originally from Tehran, Iran. After completing few projects for UNICEF and U.N., I came to Richmond in July 1999 to pursue my education in Business, Information Systems, and Curriculum Design @ Reynolds and VCU. My uncle (mom’s youngest brother) brought me to Richmond and helped me find opportunities to pursue my academic and career goals.

How long have you worked at Reynolds?
Ten years, seven months, and some change and I still haven’t felt like I have worked a day! I am very lucky and beyond blessed to do what I love to do for living at a workplace which affords me opportunities to grow, and platforms to be a “voice.”

What do you like best about working at Reynolds?
The amazing team work and sense of community! Also, Reynolds has the most diverse body of faculty, staff and students which makes me feel I travel the world and seven seas day in, day out!

What is your favorite part of your job?
My job at the Academic Support Centers positions me to stay focused on researching and exploring best practices of retention and student success. The most favorite part of my job is exploring: “knowing about knowing”, “thinking about thinking”, “higher order of thinking” (metacognition) across disciplines.

You won the Reynolds Multicultural Enrichment Award, are involved with the International Student Club, and just a few weeks ago you were active in the school supply drive for Lakeside and Westover Hill Elementary Schools. You are passionate and involved. What motivates you?
My motivation is rooted in the unconditional love and respect I have for all. These activities keep me in the human circle of love and help, make me be a better citizen of a culturally diverse society to move towards a hate-free and inclusive community.
  • Reynolds Multicultural Enrichment Council’s (MEC) promotes diversity education/multiculturalism through engaging and fun events open to Reynolds and our surrounding community. MEC afforded me the opportunity to work with an amazing team of faculty and staff to plan various events throughout the academic year raising awareness on multiculturalism and promoting inclusiveness both inside and outside our classrooms.
  • I love and fully enjoy working with our international student population. I learn so much from every one of them, and I also have a chance to help them find resources to achieve their academic goals.
  • The school supply drive is one of my most rewarding experiences at Reynolds. All credit for this community service project goes to my dear colleague, Mrs. Carol Rodi, who leads this project every year and helps us support teachers and students at these two local elementary schools. As a former middle school teacher, I know and can relate to the challenges of teachers and students in need of school supplies.
What is your favorite thing to do in Richmond?
Dining out with friends and family (specially when there’s a Manchester United vs Barca (Barcelona) soccer game).

If you had three wishes, what would they be?
  1. Move to Geneva, Switzerland and work at U.N.’s main office where I can be involved in policy projects making education tuition free globally: promising equal access to education for all children!
  2. See Alabama winning the 18th Championship next year: Roll Tide!
  3. Go to a Cowboys game in Dallas, TX, and run the field with the entire team.
Who is your hero or heroine?
 My mother who has been my cheerleader all my life, and always reminds me of:
“Right now is the oldest you’ve ever been and the youngest you’ll be ever again: live your life, take chances!”