What I do here: My role as a Product Manager for the innovation team is to develop and manage new tools centered on student success. The main objective is to help improve retention, engagement, money management, career planning and many other non-academic barriers that impede college completion.
My experience: I’ve been in the student achievement industry for more than 20 years. Most of that time was spent in the scholastic marketing industry for class rings and graduation products.
I enjoy: Working out and reading in the sauna. I am also a tennis fanatic! I love to watch and play.
Why I work in higher education: I enjoy seeing people succeed and helping them reach their goals. I believe the mind really is a terrible thing to waste.
Education: B.A. in Art, Huntingdon College; M.S. in Management, Troy State University
What I do here: I manage the Product Advisory Boards, consisting of stakeholders and students. I also develop content for training to ensure understanding of our products, both internally and externally.
My experience: I’ve always worked in very customer-focused jobs. I also spent my college years learning about design and creative problem-solving, both hand-based design and technology-based.
I enjoy: Design in all its forms (interior, architectural, landscape, etc.), traveling, spending time with nature, music, dancing, learning languages, food with friends and family and a great piece of literature.
Why I work in higher education: Sometimes life happens, and if you don’t have the right support or resources, especially in college, you have to stop what you’re doing and regroup. While earning my college degree, I got stuck in a “work to survive” cycle, unable to get back to my education. Luckily, with the help of people who were able to connect me with the right resources, I was able to go back and finish my degree. I want to be that person that makes a difference for someone else.
Education: B.G.S., Ball State University
What I do here: I manage and support default prevention solutions and new product development. This includes development, enhancements, pricing and support of new and existing tools and services.
My experience: I’ve been in the higher education industry for 27 years in a variety of roles related to student financial aid. During this time, I have managed the application process, student status and default prevention. I have chaired multiple industry efforts related to the exchange of student loan application data, default prevention initiatives and creating standards for the many different partners in the student loan arena with the goal of simplifying the educational process.
I enjoy: Gardening, working out and spending time with my family.
Why I work in higher education: I landed in the industry while attending college and it became a passion. I never realized my passion would be helping students succeed, but I love it! I’ve had the privilege of working in various roles, which affords me a holistic view of the student loan life cycle. As the parent of three daughters attending college, I feel passionate about our mission because I truly recognize the value of the work we do to help students become productive citizens with the ability and willingness to give back.
Education: Undergraduate Studies, Indiana-University-Purdue University Indianapolis
What I do here: I manage the development and overall strategic vision for Student Connections’ financial literacy and college success program for students.
My experience: I’ve worked for more than 10 years supporting products and services that provide financial education and support campus-based default prevention efforts.
I enjoy: Bird watching with my husband, the City by the Bay, “Doctor Who,” cartoons and spending time outdoors.
Why I work in higher education: When I was in college, I was the kid who did everything wrong financially. I took out loans regardless of whether I needed them; I changed my major three times; I spent what little money I had unwisely; and I maxed out multiple credit cards when I couldn’t afford the payment, completely wrecking my credit. That’s what makes coming to work exciting to me — the fact that I’m working on tools that will mean fewer students go through what I went through.
Education: B.A. in Journalism, Ball State University
We’d love to discuss your institution’s student success goals and share with you how we are impacting the lives of students every day.