Jeni Godlesky and family in front of a mural by Koctel (of Madrid, Spain) in Flint, Mich. (Photo courtesy of Michael A. Naddeo)
Godlesky Jennifer 2021

Jeni Godlesky



Jennifer Godlesky MLIS brings professionalism, helpfulness, and high levels of expertise to the Hurley Medical Library, and residents and faculty alike appreciate her educational and research services. She also loves Flint and the Genesee County area and can share a lot about fun things to do in the area. The video shows one of her adventures in downtown Flint in August 2021.


  • Master's degree in library and information science, with a graduate certificate in archival administration: Wayne State University, Detroit, Mich.
  • Bachelor-of-arts degree in history: University of Michigan-Flint, Flint, Mich.
  • High school diploma: Linden Community Schools, Linden, Mich.

Where are you from originally?

Linden, Mich.

About living in the Flint area

When I graduated from high school, I wanted nothing more than to live in the Flint area forever. My family is deeply rooted in Flint and Genesee County, so the thought of living anywhere else just didn't make sense. I attended college of the University of Michigan-Flint with the original plan to become a high school history teacher. At the time, Flint and Genesee County were struggling economically and jobs were hard to find. Especially teaching jobs. Even more so for people interested in history. I knew that I would have to move away if I wanted to be a teacher and I wasn't willing to do that. One day, while in between classes at UM-Flint, I asked Google for job ideas for people with history degrees. That was how I discovered library school! Yes! I actually went to school to be a librarian. Librarianship wasn't a career path that I ever thought of, but when I read about it, I thought that it could be a good fit for me. When I discovered Wayne State University, Detroit, Mich., and the library science and archival program, I applied, spent two years there and the rest is history!

After I finished my master’s degree program, I found myself struggling to find a job (again). The economy in Michigan still wasn't good, so I decided to look for jobs outside of Michigan. While searching, I discovered that Hurley had a job opening. I sent in my application. I had also applied and interviewed for a job in Baltimore, Md. I was offered the job in Maryland, and the following day I was offered a job at Hurley. The choice was easy! I have been working at Hurley since June 2007. So it seems I was destined to stay here forever.

Since grad school and starting my job at Hurley, I met my husband, we bought a house and we've become very involved in the Flint Community. I feel that there is no greater place to live than here! Flint offers the feel of a small town, but with big city amenities. We have a thriving downtown; the Flint Farmers’ Market is wonderful; the Capitol Theatre and the Flint Cultural Center are so close to home! When we want to venture outside of the city, Detroit is about 70 miles away; Lansing, East Lansing and Michigan State University (Go Green!) are about an hour away; and there are lakes all around us! The Great Lakes are close too! We have four very distinct seasons (the winter isn't that bad) and the people here are so nice! Flint (and Genesee County) is a wonderful place to live and work! Finally, while I do love living in Michigan, my retirement plans include spending the winters in the Washington, DC, area where my goal is to be a tour guide at the United States Capitol or the Supreme Court.

What do you like most about your job?

Our residents, fellows and learners are very diverse. Working with people who come from all over the world is such a privilege. I have learned so much about so many different cultures, religions and traditions from years of conversations with learners at Hurley. This privilege is one that I feel so lucky to have.


Nick (husband), Blair (stepson, age 11), Howie (cat), Frankie (cat), Larry (cat)

When you're not working, what do you do for fun?

When I'm not working, you will find me outside! Especially in the spring, summer and fall. I am an avid runner, having raced just about every distance from the mile to the marathon! My favorite distances to race are the 10-mile and 1/2 marathon (13.1 miles). In the summer, I am a group leader for the Crim Adult Training Program and have coached Crim Kids Running clubs (Vehicle City Runners) and Girls on the Run, as well. I am a cyclist, kayaker and runyaker (running and kayaking) too! When people hear that I live in Flint and that I kayak, the follow up question is always, "Where do you kayak around Flint?" My answer: "The Flint River, of course!" Throw out everything you've heard about our water, jump in a boat and paddle! If you want to see bald eagles, turtles, fish, cranes and even fox, you can see them just down the road from Hurley, on the river. My husband I bike-ride on the Flint River Trail and the Genesee Valley Trail. We also enjoy riding in Detroit and Frankenmuth, as well as Northern Michigan. I also love to garden. Our home has a big enough back yard for me to grow tomatoes, eggplant, tomatillos, potatoes, herbs, peppers and more!


Kindness inspires me.


  • Favorite Book: I don't have one. Books that I have read recently and really enjoyed are:
    • Attending: Medicine, Mindfulness & Humanity by Ronald Epstein, MD
    • A Promised Land by Barack Obama
    • The Handmaid's Tale by Margaret Atwood
    • Midnight in Chernobyl: The Untold Story of the World's Greatest Nuclear Disaster by Adam Higginbotham
  • Favorite Music: My husband and are are season ticket-holders to the Flint Symphony and Detroit Symphony Orchestras. I also enjoy live jazz.
  • Favorite Restaurant: Redwood Steakhouse, Soggy Bottom & Churchill's.

Favorite things about Flint

  1. The Crim Festival of Races
  2. Flint Public Art Project: This group has arranged for over 150 murals, by artists from Flint and the world, to be painted around our city. We even have one at Hurley!
  3. Flint Farmers' Market
  4. Flint Cultural Center: Make sure to visit the museums and planetarium, and listen to a performance by our Flint Symphony Orchestra
  5. Capitol Theatre
  6. Flint Art Walk
  7. The people. I am so lucky to live and work in a community with such wonderful people!

Biggest surprise about Flint and mid-Michigan

These things may surprise you, but don't surprise me, about Flint & mid-Michigan:

  1. People are nice. Really, really nice.
  2. Our community is full of really active people! Flint is full of runners, cyclists and paddlers!
  3. Gardening is really common in Flint. Quite a few people have taken vacant land and turned that soil into life. My favorite urban gardens are the Jane Ave garden and the Edible Flint Demonstration Garden (located across the street from Hurley).
  4. Lakes are EVERYWHERE!

Favorite ways to keep work-life balance manageable

In the warm weather months, taking care of my garden is my meditation. I get up before sunrise to garden every day. This activity helps me to have quiet and calm moments before coming into work. In the winter (really, it's not that bad), yoga helps me to de-stress. I run year-round (yes, even in the snow) which helps with stress, too. I also enjoy reality TV and watching Friends. Finally, snuggling my cats, Howie, Frankie and Larry, happens (multiple times) daily.

Photo at top of page: Jeni Godlesky and family in front of a mural by Koctel (of Madrid, Spain) in Flint, Mich. (Photo courtesy of Michael A. Naddeo)

Around town