Video by Zack Eagles
I Am Vanderbilt celebrates the people of Vanderbilt and the unique talents and contributions they bring to their work at the university each day.
With both the city of Nashville and Vanderbilt on skyrocketing trajectories, the university finds itself competing with a host of global organizations for the best workforce possible. Yasmine Mukahal, diversity recruitment manager in the Department of People and Business Services, says Vanderbilt offers potential employees something more.
“What’s unique about Vanderbilt is we’re mission-driven. We have a culture of trust and transparency and truly giving back, whether it’s to our students, our staff members or our faculty,” she said. “We want people to know that if they come to Vanderbilt, we are committed to their success.”
Mukahal understands the demands of a corporate workplace. She came to Vanderbilt in 2018 after a dozen years working in recruitment for Gaylord Opryland, Dell and HCA.
“What I love about this campus is its diversity,” she said. “Coming from the corporate world, I didn’t always see a lot of people who looked like me, but at Vanderbilt, I see myself reflected in the community. As a Muslim, a Palestinian and a single parent, I feel like I fit here.”
Mukahal has put her insight and experience to use serving on the Interim Chancellor’s Diversity Council and the Staff Women’s Advancement and Equity Council, for which she chairs the Professional Development Subcommittee. “Our goal is to address what our staff members need, how we can support them, and how we can retain them,” she said.
She also serves in the Nashville community on the boards of the Faith and Culture Center and the YWCA, and volunteers with Friends of Children’s Hospital, the Tennessee Immigrant and Refugee Rights Coalition and the Islamic Center of Nashville, among others.
“I love to serve—it’s my passion. At Vanderbilt, I’m able to serve and I have the support of my leaders to truly excel at what I’m good at.”
“Yas is our networker,” said Erik Smetana, executive director of People and Engagement at Vanderbilt. “When we think about how we can be most effective in building and sustaining new relationships in the community, she’s the person on the front lines making those introductions.
“To borrow from Interim Chancellor Wente’s motto of ‘trust, transparency and teamwork,’ Yas brings those qualities to her work every day,” he said. “It makes her not only a great colleague, but also a great representative of Vanderbilt.”
“I love to serve—it’s my passion. At Vanderbilt, I’m able to serve and I have the support of my leaders to truly excel at what I’m good at,” said Mukahal, who finds balance with work in connecting with people and spending time with her daughter. “I’ve recently been focusing on practicing self-care so that I can be the mother, employee, community partner and friend that I want to be.
“If one is very lucky in life, they get to be part of a community like Vanderbilt,” she said. “Vanderbilt has limitless energy and is full of the smartest people I’ve ever met. I’m surrounded by so many inspiring people, and I feel that we all have one goal in mind—to change the world for the better.”