For most architects, carving out a career like the one Jens has would be accomplishment enough: Jens has a nationwide reputation for developing new healthcare delivery models, operational concepts, clinical care models and the facilities to support them. He was instrumental in developing a new graduate healthcare architecture program (one of the few in the U.S.) at the University of Detroit Mercy, and is a frequent lecturer, author and juror. Yet Jens also takes to heart his role as a mentor. "I love sharing my experiences in ways that empower young architects and engineers with the self-confidence to find their own paths," he remarks. "(Our work) provides myriad opportunities for exploration and personal advancement. I had those opportunities; now I'm paying them forward." Careers aren't the only thing Jens likes to grow. He tends a collection of orchids—a passion he inherited from his father—and an heirloom apple orchard in northwest Michigan.
Jens embeds himself within the communities that his clients serve. He has enabled community development on the south side of Chicago, helped inspire a pediatric orthopedic hospital in Ghana and sponsored numerous programs for at risk children throughout the Midwest.