Jennifer Josenhans

Assistant to the Director of the Ecologic Institute

Bachelor of Arts, 2002

It makes me feel so proud to be a tiny, tiny part of a real energetic attempt to make things better.

When Jennifer Josenhans looks out the massive window in her office in Berlin she sees a large tree. And looking at it, as she researches issues related to climate change and drafts documents for the Ecologic Institute, the same thought often pops into her mind.

“I always think,” she says with a smile, “Tree, we are doing this for you.”

Jennifer is assistant to the director of the Ecologic Institute, an environmental think tank. It’s a job that allows her to follow two of her passions. The first is the environment. She says: “I thought if there was any place I could put my energy it should be into saving this world as much as one can.”

Her second passion is translation and interpretation.

Jennifer’s experience in the Foundation Year Program (FYP) at King’s opened the door to follow them both. “It felt like my world just became massive through the courses and texts and lecturers,” she says.

Her degree in English led her to a second degree – in public relations– from Mount Saint Vincent University. She worked for the Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency in the communications department and volunteered with the World Wildlife Fund and Greenpeace.

But the “massive” world beckoned. Jennifer went to France. She got a job in a bar and began to hone her abilities in French. She took courses at the Sorbonne to improve her fluency. Next stop, Germany. She already had some ability in that language from growing up, but perfected it by taking more university courses.

The business of translation opened up to Jennifer. She became a technical translator for hire and a “language mediator”, finding the words that transmit the intended meaning from one language to another. Differing culture and history, vernacular and metaphors, often means word for word translation does not convey meaning.

“It is implicitly creative,” Jennifer says. “You really think about a word and what kind of feeling that word can provoke in you and then try to look for a word or phrase in another language that creates a similar feeling.”

It’s very much an art she says. And, curiously, the art of language mediation led her to helping with a visual art show that featured ninety multimedia pieces that reflected that other passion, the environment and climate change. A prospective translation client, who had no work for her, suggested she become involved with EnergieWendeKunst. Jennifer went in as a volunteer translator and ended up doing much of the organizing and coordinating.

The heart and soul behind the show was Camilla Bausch, the director of the Ecologic Institute. It wasn’t long before Jennifer was hired as her assistant, and given the office over looking that tree.

“It makes me feel so proud to be a tiny, tiny part of a real energetic attempt to make things better.”

Posted: Mar. 2016

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