Student spotlight: Jessica Oynick

Jessica Oynick

Entering her junior year at Washington University, Jessica Oynick, 20, embodies ambition.

A Sarasota, Fla. native, Oynick not only juggles a major in anthropology and a minor in public health but also serves as the vice president of her sorority Pi Beta Phi, works for the Student Health Advisory Committee, maintains an off-campus internship at Project Peanut Butter, and works with Jewish organizations at Wash U to enrich her and her classmates’ Jewish identities.

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“I work with Chabad to do programming and for Hillel as a Senior First Year Students of Hillel liaison (FYSH). I was a FYSH liaison my sophomore year and this year I’m taking on the responsibility as a senior FYSH to work for community engagement geared towards incoming freshman. I’m also co-president of Aviva which links Jewish women involved in Greek-life to a Jewish organization,” she said.

Though Oynick recognizes that some college students lose their sense of Jewish identity away from home, she has taken responsibility for her observance. “You have to make a choice and make it an active part of your life,” said Oynick, a Conservative Jew. “I have become an active advocate for my Jewish experiences and I hope to encourage others to do the same as a leader.

“The key is getting involved early. It’s guaranteed that freshmen are going to get involved in something but it’s a question of what they are going to get involved with.”

With half of her undergraduate studies completed, Oynick looks towards the future with a plan. “If the opportunity presents itself I think leadership in the Jewish community is something that I will always be passionate about and hope will manifest itself in my career.”