Staff News from DES
- May 3
Stephen Forrest - May
Walter Jimenez - May
Patricia May - May 20
Irma Herrera - May 21
Shereetta Robertson -
Stephany Coleman -
Cheryl Swift - May 24
Jean Porter - May 27
Rick Diaz - May 29
- 27 years!
Peggy Boykin - 23 years
Paula Anderson - 9 years
Monica Gomez - 6 years
Marcia Miller - 4 years
Rehanna Nayyer - 2 years
Consuela Mitchell - 2 years
Gretchen Voight - 1 year
Cruising for Summer School Students
On April 3 a shinny, red
Pontiac convertible cruised Bishop Blvd. handing out promotional materials about
summer school opportunities in Dallas, at SMU in Taos, or through the SMU Study
Abroad program. Carl Sewell, Chairman of the SMU Board of Trustees,
provided the car and decorated it with SMU decals and a pony on the hood to call
attention to the exciting programs that SMU offers in the summer.
The Summer in the City
initiative highlights that there now is a limited amount of financial aid
available for undergraduate students and a 0.00% loan. Even though tuition
for summer is discounted, many student need assistance to attend.
Summer school is an excellent
time to get ahead in a degree program, catch up in order to graduate on time, or
to supplement an educational program. Enrollment is continuous through the
end of the drop add period for May Term, first and second summer terms.
Very Important Ponies
of our VIPs this month are:
I want to thank Susan Evans
for taking time out of her very busy testing schedule to help FA figure out how
to calculate transfer gpa’s. She helped tremendously with documentation to RO
processes that we would not have had a clue how to do. Being able to calculate
the transfer gpa on coursework accepted by SMU will allow financial aid to award
new federal grant funds to qualifying spring transfer students.
Mom Eileen called to let me
know how much she appreciated all of Jerrod’s help. She and her daughter
Madison decided at the last minute to come to Mustang Day tomorrow. Jerrod went
over and above her expectations by helping them find a hotel and providing
detailed information that confirmed why they should make the effort to come.
Monday Morning Customer
The ER staff is currently reading the book Monday Morning
Customer Service by David Reed and David Cottrell. We have summarized the
key points and also shared the ways we are presently applying the basic
principles in our everyday work
Chapter 5: Keep backstage things, Backstage
are ‘Onstage activities’ that involve the customer and ‘Backstage
activities’ that are behind the scenes and meant to involve only the
employees. For ER that means that each caller whether the first or the last
of the day deserves our full attention and best customer service. They
judge us by how we treat them at that moment and though they may be the
390th person we helped after what may be a long and frustrating day, they
expect and deserve our best.
Employees should be trained to respect the customer…no matter what the
situation. Whether it is a hold on an account, an unexpected admission
decision, inability to get into a certain class, often when we get a call
folks are upset. We recognize that they are not so much upset with us as
they are about the situation in which they find themselves. We strive to
help them resolve their issue and also try to educate them on how to avoid a
similar situation in future terms. Some concerns must be dealt with by a
more appropriate person; our responsibility then is to generate a smooth
organization or team within that organization must maintain a high standard
of service and ensure that backstage activities are truly behind the scene.
Our callers are unaware that we at times instant message 2 or 3 different
people within DES trying to get them the right answer, occasionally get out
of our seats to track down the right answer, all they see is the end
important for leaders to leave their offices and observe what is going on in
the day to day operations. Greater awareness creates better responses to
questions or complaints from customers and from the staff.
students and their families are our “Mystery Guests”, they will report how
we react and respond to their concern. When they are treated well the first
time that becomes their expectation.
Customer service skills are like the air in a bicycle tire…it leaks.
Leadership must pump up the employees by reminding them that excellent
customer service is the key to their success. They must also provide them
with the opportunity to learn new skills and reinforce existing ones.
Chapter 6: Get Off Your Island
order to be proactive and productive, it is necessary to schedule time to
plan, train, and prepare. Neither the team nor our families benefit if we
continually operate in a reactionary mode rather than a proactive manner.
We keep a 3 month calendar so we can anticipate the type of information we
will need to have at hand to answer a question effectively and efficiently.
entire team works together to deliver service to a customer, everyone wins.
All company policies and procedures should encourage teamwork. We
communicate to our families that multiple people can assist them, if the one
person they spoke with previously is not available.
Employees who are not helping the team accomplish its goals and in fact are
bringing the team down should be disciplined or dismissed.
Leadership should be directly involved or at least depended on to insure
that the customer service given is the best it can be.
No meeting in May
April 23 - Last day to Withdraw from University
May 1 - Last day
May 2-3 - Reading Days
May 4-10 - Final
May 19 - Commencement
Quotation of the Month
Look at a
day when you are supremely satisfied at the end. It's not a day when you
lounge around doing nothing; it's when you've had everything to do, and you've
Which SMU President received his divinity degree at SMU and served as the Dean
of School of Religion at Vanderbilt?
Damon's Great Spring Break Adventure
Damon Wilkins is the Administrative
Assistant for the Executive Directors of Enrollment Services. He
volunteered to be a staff leader for an Alternative Spring Break trip.
Here are his reflects from that experience.
Over spring break, I
participated in SMU’s Alternative Spring Break program as a staff site
advisor for the animal rights trip to Peace River Refuge & Ranch in Zolfo
Springs, FL. Peace River is a non-profit exotic animal sanctuary with a
wide variety of animals including tigers, cougars, Siberian lynx, jungle
cats, bears, spider monkeys, wolves, Egyptian fruit bats, sugar gliders, an
iguana, a black leopard, and many more!
Despite the allure of all
these exotic animals, our ASB trip was the smallest with only three
participants. On the flip side, because of the size of our group, we were
able to travel the 1,200 mile distance in a new 2007 SUV/minivan hybrid. On
both the departing and returning trips, we stayed over night in Mobile,
Alabama rather than drive 18 hours in one day!
Prior to beginning our
service work on Monday morning, we took a tour of the refuge to meet all the
animals. While some of them were left with the refuge because of monetary
problems, the majority of animals came from a Florida zoo which had gone
bankrupt. Once Florida Game and Wildlife assumed control of the zoo, the
animals would have been put down had the refuge not agreed to immediately
move the animals.
Our service consisted of
helping assemble the roof on two bat habitats. Eight triangular roof pieces
comprised each habitat with five sections on each piece. On one set of
piecs, we used a pneumatic staple gun to anchor pre-cut sections of wire
mesh, followed by trimming the mesh then beginning on the next section.
After all sections on the eight roof pieces were done, we flipped each piece
and repeated the process with wider spaced wire mesh.
It was hard work but we
had Wednesday off, which we utilized by going to Busch Gardens Africa in
Tampa. I highly recommend the SheiKra rollercoaster, which had a 60 foot
high, 90 degree vertical drop!!
Once the roof pieces had
been completed, we did not have enough manpower to mount the pieces atop the
enclosure but a large group was scheduled to arrive the following week to
finish the job.
Next, we moved on to the
other roof, which had been mounted to ensure all the pieces fit properly.
We measured and cut the wire mesh pieces, then, using ladders and the roof
as support, continued with anchoring and cutting the wire mesh. Luckily,
smaller bats were going in this enclosure so there was no need to put wire
mesh on both sides of the roof.
Our service got cut short
early Friday afternoon after a lengthy tropical storm continued to drench
everything, including us. We didn’t get the second roof complete, but the
staff at the refuge was amazed at our progress during the week.
Everyone had a great time
but we were all glad to return home Sunday evening after traversing a total
distance of over 2,700 miles! I had a great experience and I highly
recommend that more DES staff participate in SMU’s Alternative Spring Break
program in the future.