Tell us a little bit about yourself.
I graduated from the U of L as a political science major in 2002. My time as a student at the University was absolutely transformational and I was astounded at how my entire post-secondary experience changed who I was for the better. Being a uLethbridge student opened up experiential opportunities for me that were beyond my wildest imagination. After graduation I became a recruitment officer at another institution and promoted the values, benefits and transformational opportunities of higher education. I couldn't believe how lucky I was to have a real grown-up job that was to help future students achieve their goals and I quickly became inspired to learn more about student development theories and enrolment management. I had the opportunity to take on a variety of meaningful roles, including being and academic adviser and leader for a number of student services before joining the U of L as the director of enrolment and recruitment.
Now working here, I am reminded almost daily of those experiences inside and outside of the classroom which, honestly, bring even more joy to my work life and inspire me every day to continue doing what I love.
How long have you been at the U of L and what do you do here?
I started working at the University in 2013. As the director of enrolment and recruitment, I had the opportunity to work with and build an extraordinary team of student affairs professionals. These teams are responsible for some incredible activities including, convocation ceremonies, our orientation and transition programming, student success, recruitment, student engagement and student marketing and communications. More recently I have taken on the exciting role of executive director of strategic enrolment management & registrar. In this position, I support many of the same teams, but with the exciting additions of our dedicated colleagues in the Registrar’s Office including admissions & transfer, records & registration, scheduling & timetabling information centre, and our student information system teams. I don't think enough people really know how passionate and dedicated all of our Student Enrolment & Registrar Services (SEARS) team members are when it comes to the work they do. Our job is to support students through their entire academic journey and I see every day how impactful our colleagues are on our students and their success. I have been extraordinarily lucky to work with such dedicated and student-centred teams.
How is registration looking for the fall?
The last two years have been extraordinary from an enrolment-management perspective quite honestly. I think what I love most about SEM is that it positions us well to understand far in advance what our enrolment looks like for each intake and gives us insights into where we might need to take steps to address potential challenges. COVID has blown a hole through that over the last two years as student behaviour has changed so much. Our enrolment for fall 2021 looks good right now and I expect us to hit our registration targets, as well as our head count targets. This is no small feat as many institutions in Canada are not seeing this same success. The University is an incredible institution with a great culture; our enrolment success is attributed to every one of our colleagues across the organization. Our current students have been supported by faculty, teaching assistants, tutors and mentors, Residence Life, advisers, IT, Health Centre, Facilities and Caretaking — you get the picture. Our current students are successful and stay because of the daily interactions they have with every one of our colleagues. The spaces we create, the experiences we support and the pep talks we offer are truly what sets our student experience apart. In terms of the incoming class of students, I can't help but brag about our recruitment, admissions & transfer, and orientation & transition teams who have worked SO HARD this year to attract, admit and support the incoming students during the strangest year of their careers!
What’s the best part of your job?
Seeing students thrive and exceed their own expectations is what brings me the greatest joy in my career. Supporting teams who inspire and support students along their journey fills my cup every single day. In addition to seeing students thrive, I love to watch my colleagues grow their careers and passion for our industry. I know it sounds cliché to some, but I do believe in life-long learning and I see my own perspectives continuing to evolve — what better place to do that than in an organization filled with some of the greatest minds of our time?
What’s one thing most people don’t know about you?
I always think I am a pretty open book, so I am not sure there is much that would surprise folks. I love to spend time in the woods and feel most grounded when I am surrounded by trees and disconnected from technology. My daughter and my husband bring me the greatest joy and are a foundation of strength for me that has changed my life.