The smiling face of Jennifer Kasse-Wanzer, the administrative assistant to Dean Amy Takayama-Perez, greets people entering the Office of Admissions at George Mason University.
Her work can be challenging, but Kasse-Wanzer, George Mason’s August Employee of the Month, finds balance in her busy schedule. Her calm presence and selfless nature in handling almost any situation amazes her peers and colleagues.
“She’s the glue that holds the office together,” Takayama-Perez said. “I admire her patience because she has had to juggle multiple priorities and always does it with grace.”
Kasse-Wanzer is also the mother of two children ages 2 and 5, and is a student at Mason, where she is pursuing a bachelor’s degree in communication.
“I respect her so much not only as a member of our team, but she is a testament of being a working mom, a student, and a full-time employee,” Takayama-Perez said.
In their nomination letters, Kasse-Wanzer’s colleagues describe her as a “superwoman” and the “backbone of the organization.” On any given day, Kasse-Wanzer assists the office’s senior leadership, plans and coordinates internal events, and is the point of contact for stakeholders across the university.
Even so, Kasse-Wanzer said she was surprised to be named Employee of the Month and expressed appreciation to her colleagues.
“They are truly hardworking individuals who give 110 percent in everything they do,” she said. “Being recognized by them and the university is an honor. I’m really happy and feel blessed to be a part of an amazing team.”
Kasse-Wanzer said it is her children who inspire her to excel.
“I try to live in a way that supports everything that my husband and I are trying to teach them,” she said. “Our goal is to raise our kids to be kind, strong and positive individuals who pursue their dreams and help others along the way.
Kasse-Wanzer has been with the Office of Admissions since February 2013. Before that, she worked for HBO communications.
“While it took some time to adjust, I’m very happy to have switched my path,” she said. “The Admissions team is composed of many amazing individuals who love Mason and care deeply about the mission. More importantly, we really care about each other as professionals and individuals.”
At 10:30 a.m. on Tuesday, Aug. 1, Kasse-Wanzer will be formally presented the award by Mason President Ángel Cabrera in his office on the fifth floor of Merten Hall. Those who are unable to attend can watch the livestream on Facebook at www.facebook.com/workingatmason.