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Jacqui DeFelice

Smith Staff

Office of Alumnae Relations and Development

Director of International Alumnae Relations and Development

What brought you to Smith?
This is my fifth year at Smith College. I came here because of its global reputation as a center for leadership, empowerment and change.    

How would you describe what you do here at Smith?
I identify and create avenues for alums from all around the world to connect with each other and with Smith in ways that are meaningful to them and to the mission of the college.

Please share something you are proud of about the impact of your work at the college.
Over the past few years we have been working with alums from all around the world, sometimes in places where there might only be one or two alums in a country. When we find them and tell them that we would like to amplify what they are doing in the world, it can be very powerful to witness their reconnection with Smith and the realization that partnership with Smith is lifelong.

What’s your favorite spot on campus?
One of my favorite spots on campus is the Japanese Garden beside Paradise Pond. Rather than being a traditional Japanese garden, this garden incorporates elements of traditional Japanese design in the context of a New England setting.

How has your background prepared you for your current job at Smith?
I have lived on three continents and know what it is like to be from somewhere else. Whether I am connecting with alums who are American and now living overseas, or are from overseas but came to study at Smith and went back home or to a third country, I know how important feeling connected and belonging is.

When you’re not working or traveling for Smith, what are you most likely to be found doing?
I love mountain biking and road riding. I can be found most weekends spring through fall in the woods or bike paths of western Massachusetts. I also love to travel—yes, even though I travel so much for Smith—and I will seek out adventures in new places.

What are you reading/watching/digging into these days?
I love audio books. Most recently I have been on a Ken Follett binge. I love the way he writes, and I have learned so much about the history of humanity and civilizations through his writing. I also consume a lot of news, and recently just keeping up with what is going on in the world and with democracy is pretty much a full-time job!

If you could travel anywhere in the world, where would you go?
I have never been to North Africa; I would like to visit the pyramids. The unfathomable size and genius required to construct them has always amazed me.

What’s a project you are passionate about?
I love to bring people together. Whether in my personal life or my professional life, I like to create spaces where people can share authentically about themselves and their experiences, and where they can make meaningful connections with each other.

What’s a fun fact about you?
I used to work with the Dalai Lama.

Favorite Smith tradition?
Global Illuminations

Which do you prefer: Bulb Show or Mum Show?
Bulb Show

About Jacqui

Pronouns: she/her