To call Natalya Jenney well-rounded would be the understatement of the century. More commonly referred to as Nata, you’ve probably seen this Family and Human Services major around campus with her camera in one hand and a venti Starbucks frappuccino in the other. Even though she has lived in seven different countries, Nata calls Oregon one of the most beautiful places to live. This girl doesn’t rock because she does one or two cool things around campus - she rocks because she does everything. And I mean everything. She sees everything in the most beautiful and positive light, and that makes her a UO student to look up to.
When I asked Nata the organizations she has been a part of here at UO, her answer was not short. Her leadership roles alone would make for an impressive resume; she has held leadership positions in her complex government her freshman year, has been a team captain for several IMLeagues teams, is the president of Rotaract club, and is on the board of the Campus Planning Committee. She is a member of numerous student associations from the International Student Association to the Multi Ethnic Student Alliance to DuckCorps. She is service driven and is always looking for projects and organizations that give back to Eugene and promote equality and acceptance.
It is not only Nata’s involvement that shows her dedication to making UO a better place, but also her genuine attitude that shows how much she seriously cares about her surroundings. “I am invested in making sure I understand and am part of the community I am in. The people here are unique, talented, and kind. I will say that having traveled across the globe and having lived in seven different countries has made me far more culturally sensitive. It has helped me realize that everyone is unique and wonderful, and that spending the time to get to know strangers leaves you with friends. And that is a beautiful thing.
Nata views UO as being an accepting, helpful, and beautifully unique community. She captures this essence by taking hundreds of photographs a week, and believes that her pictures will capture and expose the qualities in the people around her in a way that will preserve them forever. She loves everything about UO - the people, the nature, and the sense of community.
“How often is it that you see a man riding a bike that is 6 feet tall or a man riding a four foot tall unicycle? How often is it that you see a community that accepts people of all sexualities and shows school spirit no matter what race the athlete? How often is it that you will see a group of college students collaborate together to figure out how to fetch a cat that is stranded up in a tree despite the early hour in the day? All of these things are incredible and we are all so blessed to get to experience these things in our college experience here at the University of Oregon.”
Photo courtesy of Natalya Jenney
- - -
Marissa Tomko is a sophomore at the University of Oregon, and is originally from Salt Lake City, Utah. She is majoring in Journalism with a minor in Women’s and Gender Studies. Always full of energy, she enjoys being active, dancing, laughing at everything, drinking copious amounts of coffee, and spending time with friends. She has a lot of plans for the future, including becoming a scuba diving instructor, traveling, and fulfilling her dream of working for a magazine. If you ever try to say hi to her on campus and she doesn’t respond, don’t feel bad - her music is just up way too loud. Follow her on Twitter @tomkoiscool.