In our monthly newsletter we would like to introduce you to the people who make the College work in an invisible way. You may have heard their voice on the phone, answered questions in an email, and met them briefly in a hallway at the school. The staff at CCA is the backbone of the College and we would like you to get to know them a little. Why? Because without our staff, CCA wouldn’t be what it is.
What is your name? My name is Jenny Michael and I am the Enrollment Manager & Student Support for the California College of Ayurveda.
What are your responsibilities at CCA? My role encompasses the full range of responsibilities which include providing complete information to all prospective students, assisting them through the enrollment process for the level one program and I also provide student support for active CCA students and graduates.
How long have you worked at CCA? I have worked at CCA since December 4, 2006. I am coming up on my 5 year anniversary!
What first attracted you to CCA and what is it like to work there? I’ve known Dr. Halpern and his wife Kristen for many years now, and 5 years ago when I was seeking transition from my work as a Booking and Promotions Manager, I crossed paths with Kristen one day, and well…here I am! Working at CCA is truly a wonderful experience. Everyone here is like family, and we all really support and look out for one another. It is so rewarding to be part of a harmonious team that helps to promote Ayurveda in the world.
One of my favorite parts of this job is speaking to people from all over the world who are interested in studying Ayurveda. Their stories and the reasons they are on the path of Ayurveda is as varied as the individuals I speak to, and it’s so fascinating. And helping students to enroll, observing their growth during their education, and many times being the ear or the shoulder they need, I often feel very much like a parent to them, and have been known to get teary at their graduations. Which is why I am often referred to as “Mama Jenny”. A title I wear proudly.
Can you tell us a little more about you: what are your hobbies, forms of entertainment, favorite people, etc.? I have lived in Nevada City for 25 years, and really love this community. At the heart of my passion is music. I grew up in southern California, and going to as many concerts as possible was absolutely my hobby. That passion led me to becoming a broadcaster nearly 20 years ago for community radio station KVMR fm in Nevada City. It is there that I have hosted my own music program bi-weekly for 18 years. My son Jake, now 22, learned how to engineer the board in the studio by the time he was 7, and at age 10, began hosting his own segment on my program showcasing his love of the Beatles. He did that for 10 years and now he hosts his own show.
When not listening to music, I enjoy watching films, experiencing live theatre, reading books, walking, going to the ocean, being humbled by nature, spending time with family and friends and laughing. It is my belief that music and laughter are a universal language and absolutely the best medicine.
Jake and I experienced a profound loss 3 ½ years ago when my husband and his father passed away suddenly. That experience has deepened our bond and our belief that, life is a precious gift, and we must do our best to remember to embrace joy and love at every opportunity…
Would you care to share your favorite quote(s) with the rest of us? That’s like trying to pick a favorite song or film! But one that has always resonated with me, not surprisingly, is from a line in the lyrics of a song by John Lennon which is, “Life is what happens to you while you’re busy making other plans”.
Which segues nicely to…