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Employee Profile: Jennifer Plumb

Photograph of Dr. Jennifer Plumb with words in the corner that read Employee Profile

November 20, 2023

Written by: Sarah Greer


In a recent interview, Dr. Jennifer (Jen) Plumb a distinguished professional in the field of social work, shared insights into her remarkable journey, from her childhood in Philadelphia to her current role at the A.J. Drexel Autism Institute. Her story is one of passion and a commitment to making a positive impact in the field of autism. Let's delve into the key aspects of her background, daily routines, personal interests, and aspirations for the future of the Autism Institute.

Background and Professional Journey:

Jen began her journey in the heart of Pennsylvania. Her commitment to social work led her to Temple University for her bachelor's degree, followed by a master's and a doctorate from the University of Pennsylvania. The turning point in her career came during a fellowship for her master's program, where she delved into the field of autism. Subsequently, she joined the Child Development Program at Children's Hospital of Philadelphia (CHOP), spending a decade there before transitioning to Drexel University.

Passions in the Field:

When asked about a particular area of her job that she feels especially passionate about, Jen highlighted her interest in social justice. Her passion for autism and social justice involves both personal and systemic advocacy, driven by the belief that everyone, regardless of neurodiversity, deserves respect, understanding, and the chance to reach their full potential. Jen strongly believes that individuals with autism should have equal access to opportunities, services, and a voice in decision-making processes.

Daily Habits for Productivity:

While Jen wishes for more daily rituals, she emphasized the importance of planning. Mapping out her month helps her stay organized, ensuring she meets deadlines and is well-prepared for meetings and commitments.

Personal Interests:

In her personal time, Jen enjoys a guilty pleasure that most of us do – watching reality TV. This simple yet cherished pastime serves as a way to unwind and escape from the demands of her professional life.

Memorable Team Events:

Reflecting on her time at Drexel, Jen shared two memorable moments. The first memory was of Meredith and Jen going to the vertex for an Eagles Autism Foundation event and Meredith dressed up as Mario the dragon. Jen noted she has pictures of them in the dressing room at vertex with Meredith in the costume and it was just so funny. The second was enduring a challenging weather situation during the Autism Eagles Challenge, illustrating the team's ability to navigate any challenge together.

Influences on Professional Growth:

In a light-hearted moment, Jen mentioned her affinity for true crime podcasts, showcasing the diverse sources of inspiration that contribute to her professional growth.

Valuable Life Lesson:

Flexibility emerges as a central theme in Jen's philosophy. Recognizing life's inherent unpredictability, she advocates for adapting to change, adjusting perspectives, and embracing the opportunities that come with flexibility.

Advice for Young Professionals:

Jen encourages aspiring social workers to "soak it all up and put yourself out there." This advice reflects the importance of embracing learning opportunities and actively participating in the professional journey.

Hopes for the Future:

Jen played a pivotal role in the strategic planning committee for the Autism Institute, contributing to the development of mission, vision, and values statements. Her hope for the institute is clear: to continue making impactful changes in communities, both locally and globally.