JP Tanner, North Rim Apartments RD
Oversees: North Rim Apartments, with Sarah Clayton
Hometown: Chicago and Minneapolis… I split my first 17 years on Earth between the two cities, so I consider both of them my hometown… but I was born in Chicago.
GCU experiences: I graduated from GCU in 2011 with a master’s of arts in Christian studies after completing my undergraduate studies at ASU. This is my fourth year working for GCU. I’ve worked one year as an assistant resident director and three years as a resident director. Before coming to GCU, I was commissioned to design the university’s mascot, Thunder. It still boggles my mind that I see something I designed around campus. If you see the ‘Lopes Up hand on t-shirts or banners along the Promenade, I designed that too. The hand is actually Jacob Page’s from Spiritual Life.
Q: You’re a self-described foodie. What’s your favorite place to eat in the Valley? Any new places you’ve found recently?
A: It really depends on the type of food but my favorite place is Chicago Hamburger Company for a couple reasons. 1) It reminds me of being back home in Chicago and 2) that is where my wife and I named our daughter. Most recently I discovered the Astor House, which just opened a few months ago — best breakfast place I have found in the Valley.
Q: What show on Food Network is must-see TV for you?
A: Hands down, it has to be “Chopped.” I love seeing chefs try to work the most unusual ingredients into their dishes, and try to do it in 20-30 minutes. A close second is “Top Chef.” Those are some amazing culinary artists!
Q: As someone who loves to paint, what piece of work are you most proud of?
A: It was a simple one, but I did a Vespa on a bathroom door for a friend’s studio/gallery. We both love Vespas and so it was great to do a piece in such an unusual spot. I ended up doing my first art opening at the same place. People got a kick out of the Vespa on the door.
Q: What sets GCU apart from other universities where you’ve visited or attended?
A: It’s a much smaller campus than I’m used to. Since I went to Arizona State for my undergrad, coming to GCU was a bit of culture shock; it’s a nice change to walk around campus and know the names of so many people.
Q: Why take a job as a residence director? What’s rewarding about your job?
A: It was a God thing, really. I was an architect for nearly 10 years before becoming an RD, but there has always been a place in my heart for the next generation. So when the housing market crashed and I found myself out of work, I had a lot of time to talk with God and ended up pursuing student development. I have never looked back; I love what I do. I am fortunate to have the opportunity to connect with students, cry with them when they’re sad or rejoice with them when they’re excited, which makes every day worth coming to work.