Tuesday, November 15, 2022

Jen Rumping has proven to be an invaluable staff member in the College of Engineering, where she has worked since 2007. 

As administrator in the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, Jen works with undergraduate and graduate students as well as faculty. Sometimes it means putting on a sleuth hat and digging through decades of academic history in order to help a current or former student.  

“Sometimes my job is to be a figurative firefighter where I’m working to help a student through a crisis of some sort,” Jen said. “These are my favorite moments, helping students through a tough situation and making their day or semester a little better.” 

Rumping was among the finalists for the UI Outstanding Staff Award. The Staff Council has been highlighting nominees to recognize the great work and contributions of staff at the University of Iowa. 

Interacting with students brings the greatest job satisfaction, she said.  

“Knowing that I can be part of the process that helped a student out during their time here is a great feeling, especially when they go off into the world and do great things,” Jen said.  

Jen’s efforts do not go unnoticed.  

Colleagues describe Jen with words such as a team player, dogged innovator, mentor, includer, and a role model who displays exceptional character and leadership. Jen is a friendly face who jumps in where needed and a key contributor to efforts such as commencement.  

“Under Jen’s cheerful and energetic demeanor lurks a fearsome ability to find creative solutions to difficult problems,” colleagues wrote in a recent nomination letter for a staff recognition award.  

Allen Bradley, professor and department executive officer of Civil and Environmental Engineering noted, “What impresses me most about Jen is that every day she goes above and beyond to help anyone in need, regardless the person — undergraduates, graduate students, faculty, staff, or members of the public. Jen goes out of her way to help solve their problems, and she won’t stop until the situation is resolved.” 

The Iowa City native was a first generation college student at UI, who graduated with a degree in Asian Languages and Literature, and spent a study abroad year in Nagoya, Japan. Jen joined UI as the graduate coordinator for the Departments of Mechanical and Industrial Engineering before moving to Civil and Environmental Engineering in 2011. 

Outside of work, Jen can be found at Anderson’s ATA Taekwondo in North Liberty where she is a third-degree black belt and an instructor.