Sandy Jiles, BSBA ’93
While attending Rockhurst University, a visionary president and an outspoken professor changed the life of Sandy Jiles. Originally on the path to becoming an accountant without much interest beyond her family, Jiles has since committed her life to service, social justice and giving back.
The late Fr. Thom Savage, former Rockhurst President, had a great influence on Jiles.
"Father Savage's involvement in the community inspired me to want to be a part – not just let things happen," Jiles says.
For Jiles, Fr. Savage epitomized leadership through his active participation in shaping our community. Sr. Genevieve Robinson, professor of history, also stimulated Jiles’ commitment to social justice.
"Sr. Genevieve taught me to listen to what is being said by our leaders. We need to know what is going on, and if we don’t like it, we can do something about it," Jiles says.
Jiles has been involved with the League of Women Voters for nearly 20 years, helping to conduct voter registration drives and moderating candidate forums. As a member of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc., Jiles chairs her chapter's Connections committee where she continues her involvement with voter registration and the political process. She has also served as chair of the Jackson County Board of Services for Developmentally Disabled and volunteered for several nonprofit organizations. Because of her passion for social justice, she decided to mirror her work life to her volunteer efforts by earning her Masters of Public Administration. Jiles now works as a funding specialist for the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services in the Division of Medicaid and Children's Health.
Jiles believes her community-minded focus is a direct result of her Rockhurst education, and she wants others to share this experience. In 2005, Jiles established a scholarship fund to assist African-American accounting students. "I've been blessed to have been able to complete my education. It is my obligation to give someone else an opportunity to have a Rockhurst experience. 'For unto whomever much is given, of him shall be much required.'" (Luke 12:48)