How long have you been at SPU?
Tell us about a memorable day at work.
One of my favorite memories from my time at SPU was when we were working to roll out EMS for room management on campus.
It was a chance to get to know many people around campus better, solve interesting problems, and build something that makes it easier for students and employees to find space on campus.
How does your faith impact your work?
In my role, I get to be involved in a lot of big changes to how various offices do their day-to-day jobs. I take that role very seriously and am constantly looking to the Lord to help me find the insights needed to make something work well and to give me the wisdom in which route to go. All so that the end result serves the people using the system, the departments involved, and the University at large in the best way possible.
Tell us the piece of your life journey that brought you to Seattle Pacific?
My family has a lot of ties to SPU. Both my grandpa and dad served as pastors in the Free Methodist Church. My grandma, mom, brother, and many other relatives graduated from SPC/SPU. When I came to campus as a high school senior to preview campus, though, it was the community that convinced me to apply and enroll.
After graduation, I went out into industry in firmware engineering, and that (SPU) community was the biggest thing I missed. When my company decided to downsize its operations in 2009, my old boss from when I was a student worker told me that, while he’d happily provide an excellent reference for me, he had a position open that I might be interested in. I took him up on the offer and have never looked back. earned my undergraduate degree from Judson Baptist College, which closed shortly after I graduated due to financial difficulties. Several of my friends had transferred to SPU and when I earned an MEd in higher education/student personnel a few years later, I had hoped to someday work at SPU.
Years passed as I worked in fundraising and marketing for nonprofit orgs. I was feeling God’s nudge to shift my career. This led me to apply for my current role. In the busyness of life as I supported and raised my family, I had actually forgotten about my dream to work at SPU but God hadn’t!
What is your favorite thing to do when you’re not at work?
I really enjoy the new board and card games that have come out in the last 10 years or so. We have a group of people here at SPU who get together to play games once a week over lunch in our conference room. I also have two monthly game-nights with different friend groups. When it comes to board games, I can’t get enough. love hiking and, since moving to Seattle from Bainbridge Island three years ago, have enjoyed “urban hiking” with my best friend and husband, Al, as a way to get to know different neighborhoods. A perfect day for us would involve “hiking” to a coffee spot where the barista does not ask “what size?” when we order our cappuccinos, lingering over a good book, lunch in a scenic spot with lots of walking to, from and between destinations.
What’s something that few people know about you?
I’ve recently started dabbling in baking. It’s pretty much exclusively breads at this point (nothing too fancy). A love of hearty breads was instilled in me by my babushka at a young age, so that’s driven me forward, and I find that I’m never at a loss for finding an appreciative home for a loaf when I end up baking too muchI’m good with animals … one example is that I taught my cat, Pelly, to walk on a treadmill.
What’s your favorite part of your job?
Helping people. At the end of the day, that’s what brought me to this role. I want to be able to help people do their jobs and do them better. The biggest reward for me is when we finish resolving a problem, or implementing a system, and others can get back to doing what they do best, hopefully in a better and more efficient way than before. Interacting with SPU students is my favorite part of my job. I love hearing about the great things they are doing and planning to do. I am inspired and energized by conversations with them.
In connecting SPU supporters with the students who receive the scholarships they support, I routinely ask students to write thank you letters, share about their lives, and attend gatherings with donors. I am astounded by the gracious response of students as they agree to add more to their already overflowing schedules. The quality of students at SPU is remarkable.
What’s the most important thing that you’d want people to know about you?
I’m a people person. I’m not naturally outgoing, but love meeting people and getting to know them. So, don’t hesitate to come up and introduce yourself if you ever see me around campus. I’d love to meet you and would be happy to talk about your department, baking, board games, or anything that comes up!
Anything else you'd like to share?
I love that I get to work with, and commute to SPU with, my wife, Kristi (SOE); we have lunch together as often as our schedules allow. We have two sons: Caleb (3) and Daniel (1).
Please join Staff Council in congratulating Josh Kanehen as the July 2018 Staff of the Month!