I began my career in the Financial Aid Office at the University of St. Thomas (UST). I started as a student worker and before I left to join the University of Houston System, I was the acting Dean of the Financial Aid Office. I joined the University of Houston System (UH System), a large, multi-university system, as an Application Lead in 2004. I was hired to implement and support PeopleSoft Financial Aid for the four institutions within the UH System. I was fortunate enough to begin my career at St. Thomas a couple of years before UST chose to implement the PeopleSoft Financial Aid module. My role in the Financial Aid Office, during the PS implementation, allowed me to be uniquely positioned to learn the PeopleSoft Financial Aid (PS FA) functionality from the very beginning.
My skillset quickly became evident at the UH System. During the first two years of my employment at the UH System, I aided with the successful implementation of the 8.9 version of the PeopleSoft Financial Aid module at two institutions within the university system and the simultaneous upgrade to the 8.9 version of the PeopleSoft Financial Aid module of one of the institutions on version 8.0. Just over two years following the simultaneous 8.9 implementation and upgrade, I started, and led, the upgrade of the Financial Aid module to version 9.0 for all three of the institutions using the PeopleSoft Financial Aid module. In 2010, I was promoted to a newly created Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) Application Director position. In this ERP Application Director role, I was assigned to direct a team responsible for Production Support and new Functionality needs for the Financial Aid and Student Financials modules within PeopleSoft for UH System users. Now, with oversight responsibilities for Student Financials, I started learning another module.
Although specifically responsible for oversight of Student Financials and Financial Aid, I volunteered to manage other projects outside of these areas. Notably, I led the implementation of Oracle's Mobile Application for the University of Houston System. In large part because I took the initiative to apply on behalf of UHS, in May 2013 the University of Houston System was selected as the only institution to participate in Oracle's Accelerated Early Success program to deploy the Oracle mobile application. Over the next 13 months, I worked weekly with several members of Oracle's team to successfully deploy the Oracle Campus Mobile Application for the UH System. Starting in July 2014 students at UHS were able to use Oracle's Campus Mobile application to access self-service functions.
After a reorganization in March 2015, my leadership responsibilities were focused to Production Support oversight but expanded to include management of a larger team with support responsibilities for all Campus Solutions modules for the UH System: Recruiting, Admissions, Advising, Records, Campus Community, Student Financials, Reporting and of course Financial Aid.
Just recently in March 2017, the University of Houston System upgraded to Campus Solutions version 9.2. As the project manager of the functional tasks, I am very proud that under my leadership, my team and I were able to successfully upgrade in 6 months. In my current role I focus on setting standards for the team. A couple of years ago I created a Production Support Checklist that is used by all team members to ensure transparency, knowledge transfer, and it also allows us to maintain a repository for solutions. I’m also responsible for managing the functional portion of the quarterly PUM/Bundle updates; starting with negotiating database refresh dates, move to production dates, to user testing in Production on Sundays once patches/fixes have been applied to Production. During the 9.2 upgrade, I was also managing the financial portion of the University of Houston Downtown’s PeopleSoft implementation, as well as leading the testing efforts for the entire project.
The success of the efforts that I’ve highlighted above from upgrading, to implementing, to day-to-day Production support all have in common the need for strong project management. I believe that through numerous tangible successes, I’ve demonstrated that I possess the project management skills necessary to get both small and large efforts done.
Managing change is also a big part of my role. Any new change to the system has to go through an Enhancement Request Business Change (ERBC) process here at the UH System. Although my primary role is to manage production support, I participate in this process from beginning to end because my team has to ultimately support the functionality. In order to manage change for the upgrade, my team organized demonstrations; such as live webinars to show case the new look and feel and we also developed user friendly documentation for those that could not attend the demos. Lastly, I worked on the curriculum for the Introduction to PeopleSoft course that all Campus Solutions users will be introduced to in order to get ready for the change. This course was designed to not be so overwhelming so that the new users would have a good feeling about the change and what’s to come.
In my spare time, I also love to mentor young girls. Currently I am a troop leader for a girl scout troop (Cadette level) and a leader of a book club for young girls.