Lauren Kriz has been part of the Enrollment Management Team at DePaul University now for over eight years. Since she began at DePaul, first serving as part of the transcript team in Student Records, Lauren has demonstrated many talents and worn many hats from executive assistant, operations coordinator, budget manager, project lead, staff manager, and training coordinator to name a few! She was Susan Leigh’s right hand for Susan’s last four years as AVP in EM & M at DePaul, coordinating critical projects in predictive enrollment systems and assisting in the set-up of a One Stop and a Contact Center during which her frontline and managerial experience in integrated student service helped her implement customer service training for both new and continuing employees. Lauren grew up in Chicago and both of her parents are teachers. She earned her BA in English from George Washington University, an MA in Writing and Publishing from DePaul University and is currently working on her first novel, set in Italy.
Dr. Brandi Lamon-Pinkerton currently serves as the Director of Customer Service and Quality Improvement at the University of Alabama at Birmingham. Previously, as Director of One Stop Student Services at UAB, she launched a quality shared services operation to serve the student body on behalf of multiple stakeholder offices, including Student Accounting, the Office of the Registrar, and Financial Aid. Before joining UAB, Brandi served as the University of Alabama’s Director of External Affairs and Development for the College of Engineering where she was responsible for major gift fundraising. She also served as UA’s director of New Student and Parent Programs, overseeing support services for students, parents and the first-year student experience. As a Trainer for Susan Leigh Consulting, she regularly taps into this practical experience to help staff partner with students. Brandi is a first-generation college student and she earned her B.S. in Communication Arts from the University of North Alabama, her M.A. in Communication Studies and her Ph.D. in Higher Education Administration both from the University of Alabama.
Linda Robinson brings over 20 years of management and professional customer focus experience to her role as a Trainer. Although beginning her career as a customer service representative and manager in the corporate business environments of retail and telecommunications, Linda has been in higher education for the past nine years, working alongside and managing frontline staff as they served students and their families. At DePaul University, Linda participated in the implementation of the university’s first office of integrated student service, DePaul Central. When the DePaul Central model grew to include a Contact Center, handling customer service through phone, email and web chat, she served as Contact Center Interim-Manager. While working in DePaul Central, Linda worked collaboratively with leadership to develop, create and implement internal trainings, regular service assessments and performance evaluations for employees to ensure the consistency of service. In addition to her work as Trainer with Susan Leigh Consulting, Linda is currently taking time to return to school herself, learning that student experience once again first hand.
Justin Thibault, in his current position as Project Manager for Service Excellence, manages the University of Ottawa’s strategic initiative to become, and remain, a recognized leader in service excellence. The University of Ottawa is committed to putting students at the center of its educational mission and strengthening every element of the student connection. As a skilled facilitator and motivational change agent, he collaborates with all university sectors to implement a range of continuous improvement strategies. These include annual student experience measurements, strategic solutions, action planning, improving processes, employee standards and performance metrics, employee rewards and recognition, training and communications. From front-line employees to senior administrators, all levels of the university are involved in the Service Excellence initiative. Justin’s drive to improve customer service for students started with his own student experience. A two-time graduate from the University of Ottawa, he was a dedicated advocate for improvements to the student experience over the course of his studies. Today, he brings his in-depth knowledge of student needs to his work as a Trainer with Susan Leigh Consulting, encouraging staff to take the time to listen to students and put themselves in their shoes.
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