Position title: Lumen Systems Administrator and Trainer
Jen always knew she loved science and data. She graduated from North Central College in 2000 with a BS in Biological Sciences and no idea what she wanted to be when she grew up. So, naturally, she went to graduate school! Jen graduated from UW-Madison in 2002 with a MS in Veterinary Sciences where she studied caloric restriction and its impact on muscle mass and function with age. She worked for a year doing research in a lab on campus and decided the thing that she really loved about science was teaching. So she went back to school during the evenings, and in 2005 earned her secondary education teacher certification in Biology, Chemistry and eventually, Alternative Education. Jen funded this adventure by teaching Anatomy and Physiology labs at Madison College, where she had her own teaching cadaver! She taught at Madison College for seven years, six of which overlapped with her time at DeForest Area High School where she taught in, and then ran, their alternative program for some of the best students she has ever known. In 2014, Jen transitioned to a role as an advisor in the College of Engineering, where she worked with amazing budding engineers and managed the timetable for several departments and helped CoE get their Guide pages up and running. Those experiences, and a drive to work more often with data, led her to her current position in the Office of the Registrar where she works with and manages curricular data from all across campus. Jen is an integral part of a campus-wide team that produces Guide, and she makes sure that programmatic data is correct so that students can apply to, declare, and then graduate from the programs they desire.
Throughout her educational journey, she has changed careers several times, moved, been a returning adult student, gotten married, and become a mom. And she realized that in order to do all of those things, she’s relied on a support system that she built. Her advice is to get to know your advisors, find a mentor (or several) on campus, go to your professors’ office hours and ask questions – not just about homework, but about how they got where they are. And remember, professors and people who work on campus are people first! Who knows? They might be a huge Badger fan, love to bake and decorate cupcakes, be a budding gardener or a huge science nerd, just like she is!