While in college, Amanda Denny had pretty specific career plans, none of which involved organizing water balloon games, Humans vs. Zombies wars, dances, pizza-eating contests, and other activities for hundreds of college students.
"I was going to be Martha Stewart," Denny said. "I wanted to design. I wanted to decorate."
While studying interior design at Meredith College, the North Carolina native got an internship in residence life where she discovered a passion for planning events, counseling, and working with college-age youth. Denny changed her course, obtained a master's degree in college student development, and became Randolph College's director of student activities in 2007.
She was drawn to Randolph by the feeling she had when she visited the campus for an interview. "It seemed like it was a good, wholesome place," she said.
She also knew she would enjoy the close-knit bonds that can be built at a small, private college. "The traditions, the community building, and the staff here are amazing," she said. "I feel like I have a family within the staff here."
Denny's day-to-day work involves planning co-curricular activities for students. She also advises several student groups, including the Macon Activities Council, the yearbook staff, and the Etas and Gammas, the spirit groups for Evens and Odds.
Denny believes in a philosophy of "loving out loud"- not shouting from the rooftops that you love someone, but sharing your passions and your talents with other people. She spends a lot of time in and outside of work doing just that.
This year she helped the Junior League of Lynchburg organize Day in the Park, a free event for children and families, and she is also finishing her second year as chairwoman of the Young Professionals of Central Virginia. The group helps young adults in the Lynchburg area bond through social, service, and professional development events.
"I believe that giving back to the community you live in is very important," Denny said. "I've always wanted to make a conscious effort to do that. The more I can give back to someone else's cause or someone else's life, the better I think the community will be."