Jennifer Johnson Gilnett
Jennifer Gilnett, a former English major at Seattle Pacific, loves her English trifle, has enjoyed frequent trips to the English countryside and might gladly invest in a first-edition Agatha Christie mystery novel. Would it be any other way when your favorite beverage is tea and your husband is named a Kiplingesque "Kim"?
But Gilnett's feet are firmly planted on local soil when it comes to her other passion -- producing the hundreds of publications that keep SPU before its several constituencies. As the "gatekeeper" for campus publication requests, she assigns projects to various members of the University Communications (UC) staff, while taking personal oversight of two of the most extensive publishing programs: student recruitment materials and Response.
"She brings intelligence and a strong sense of professionalism to her work," says UC Director John Glancy, who has worked with Gilnett for more than a dozen years. "She is an experienced grammarian with excellent editing and writing skills. She has such a good sense of shades of meaning."
Colleagues note too her infectious laughter, her grace and wit under fire, and how she hones their professional skills by demanding unswerving excellence in her own. She balances her responsibilities with other campus roles, including past service on the Board of Student Publications and current involvement with the Webmaster and University Traditions committees.
It is that ability to grasp a myriad of complex details and forge them into something easily understood that has made Jennifer so effective an editor of Response. Among the dozens of issues she's produced are several favorites including one highlighting the role of women in SPU history and one showcasing students who've gone on to graduate school.
"This is not just another job to Jennifer," says Glancy. "It's a labor of love."
"If there were a 'fruit of the spirit' award, Charlene Herman would be tough to beat." So say her colleagues in the Career Development Center (CDC), where Herman performs her work as program assistant with commitment and integrity. When another position was recently left unfilled due to budget constraints, she so efficiently assimilated the duties of the vacant job that further hiring was no longer required.
"Charlene is incredibly well-organized," marvels Lesli Corthell, a career counselor. "Not only can she create a system that runs smoothly, but she very graciously handles many people all asking different questions. It's very comforting to know when she's in charge."
"Hardly anything falls through the cracks with Charlene," echoes Kevin McMahan, assistant director of career development. "She is so good with details and helps us find efficiencies we didn't know we had."
Meeting the needs of students is one of the areas in which Herman excels. When one student who had struggled with grades turned a corner and graduation at last became a reality, no one cheered harder than Charlene. Wedding bells recently rang for that same student and Herman was seated with the friends of the bride.
Whether advising job-seeking students, managing student interns or supporting four other staff members, Herman routinely goes the extra mile. "I ask, 'How can I improve this process and make it better?'" she says.
But if she ever finds she's lost the service attitude and slipped into a "tasky" mode, she walks around campus or goes for a lunch workout at the gym. Other pressure relievers in her life include running after work or Bible studies with friends.
Also active in the singles ministry at Westminster Chapel, Herman loves to laugh, sing and "let go" with her lively 1-year-old niece, Laura.