SSW Staff Profile: Jen Canapp


Every other week during the semester we showcase one staff member. This week we get to know Jen Canapp, an Academic Services Specialist. (shown here on left with her husband Wayne)

How would you describe yourself?

Married to husband Wayne, mother of two children, Jake (16) and Chloe (12), and two fur babies, Moose a Yorkie and Sugar a Golden Retriever. Born and raised in Baltimore, and now living in Anne Arundel County. I am a people person, love to spend time with family and friends going out to dinner, playing games or spending time outside. I also love to take pictures- hoping to take a photography class at some point.

When did you join the SSW and what is your day-to-day role?I joined the SSW on February 14, 2012 and I remember this day clearly because one of the PhD students was defending her Dissertation that afternoon. It was wonderful to witness such a meaningful event for the student, her mentors and her family. I was really impressed by the supportive environment here at the PhD program. My day to day role involves providing assistance to the current students, answering questions, helping with administrative issues. I respond to inquiries about the program for prospective applicants. I also help manage the admissions process, receive applications, send them out for review, process paperwork. I help the Program Director, Dr. Charlotte Bright to coordinate events for the students from Orientation to Professional Development Seminars. I also keep chocolate at my desk for emergencies- very important!

What skills are needed for your role?

My role requires good listening and communication skills so that I can provide the best support to our students. It also requires organization and problem solving in dealing with administrative matters.

What's the most rewarding and challenging part of your work?

The most rewarding aspect of my job is helping the students on their PhD journey from the application process to graduation. Getting to know them and watching their progress is wonderful, but then it is also hard to see them go.

What would you be doing if you hadn't followed this career path?

I would have most likely returned to the restaurant business as either a Human Resource manager or a bartender. Before having children I worked for Phillips Seafood for 17 years. I started there as a waitress/bartender and moved on to Restaurant manager and Human Resource Manager. Working at Phillips I got to meet a lot of celebrities including David Letterman, Will and Jada Smith, Johnny Unitas, Cal Ripken and Eddie Murray.

How do you relax when you're not at work?

When I am not at work I am usually driving one of my teenagers to a sports practice or game, or a band gig, but if/when I do get to relax I enjoy spending time on the water or at the beach. Since its too cold for that now, I relax by watching a Netflix series like Stranger Things on the couch.

What's playing in your car right now?

Usually the radio is set to 100.7 the Bay, classic rock but my daughter is in the school play- The Sound of Music- so that CD is playing so she can rehearse her songs.

What would you most like to tell yourself at age 13?

If I could tell my 13 year old self something it would probably be "be confident in yourself- use your voice" and also- don't wear those legwarmers....you are not Madonna.

You're happiest when.... I am happiest when I am with my family, usually watching one of my kids at a sporting event or playing music. I love watching them do what they enjoy and it makes me very proud.

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