At Student Connections, we're all about the students. Working alongside schools and other partners, our team is made up of people who are passionate about helping students through every step of their journey.
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 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.
What I do here: I manage the development and overall strategic vision for USA Funds’ 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
What I do here: My team creates listening forums for students, university administrators and education thought leaders. These groups assist us in designing applications and services to help students have more meaningful college experiences.
My experience: My mother was a school teacher and principal, which meant I spent most college vacations working in her school. My first job after college was teaching students to read in Chicago and then I started training other teachers to use technology in the classroom. Once I discovered my interest in business, I married the two so I could work in the business of education.
I enjoy: Dancing, reading, playing in salt water, having other people cook for me and spending time with my fantastic family and friends.
Why I work in higher education: Our educational system can be hard to navigate, and I believe students need support to figure it out. We’re in the position to listen to what students need, and then we get to create solutions for them. Where could I find better work than that?
Education: Undergrad degree focus on Education with Reading Endorsement; M.B.A.