December 12 , 2005
learning starts early
The Emory Center for Lifelong Learning (ECLL), is Emory’s
continuing education department. It also is one of the University’s
most crucial connections to the Atlanta community.
As such, the people employed there play important roles
in how Emory is viewed. They are ambassadors, and the impressions
will last. It’s a significant
responsibility to hand to a student, yet the center does it with increasing frequency,
and the benefits have been huge.
Highly motivated and skilled, the Emory work-study
students are what make ECLL—a
self-sufficient entity at Emory—go.
And ECLL full-time staff are always on the lookout
for talent. Since their work-study
students are ECLL’s ambassadors in the community, a certain amount of presence
is essential. At work-study fairs, ECLL staff have been known to step out from
behind their table and approach students who carry themselves well.
And the center has a long history of taking care of
its own. Executive Director Steve Stoffle and Technical Support Specialist
Baer both are former work-study
students at the center, and now they help guide its progression.
“I found that when I was a work-study student that, yes, you work hard
here, but it is actually in a sense a mental vacation,” Stoffle said. “It
gets you out of the bubble of your degree programs and integrated with the community
doing work that impacts people’s lives.”
In all, ECLL employs 22 work-study students and that
number is continuously growing. They hold a variety of positions,
from performing clerical work to
say in programming and budgeting, and all of them play an integral role in
the success of the center. Meet some of them:
Name: Landan Ansell
Hometown: Ocean Township, N.J.
What he does: Like all ECLL work-study students, Ansell started out
doing general office work, focusing primarily on customer service
activities: answering the
phone, troubleshooting, answering student questions and the like. Now in his
second year at the center, he helps process payments not only for instructors,
but also for courseware such as textbooks and other teaching materials.
“When I started, I was just doing basic courseware gathering,” Ansell
said. “That has progressed into ordering courseware. I also manage the
database to make sure payments are accounted for.”
“Sometimes when students show a certain ability, they can be mapped to
a particular program or project,” Stoffle said. “Landan is an example
Name: Marlan Crawford
Major/Year: Theology/Graduate Student
Hometown: Nashville, Tenn.
What he does: Married and 30 years old, Crawford is an atypical work-study
student. Prior to entering the Candler School of Theology, he earned a bachelor’s
degree in accounting from the University of Tennessee and spent five years in
the banking industry. That financial expertise is one of the reasons why Stoffle
has opened the books for him and given Crawford full access to ECLL’s financial
records. Crawford has the freedom not only to make budget recommendations, but
also to question expenditures.
“It’s extremely helpful for me to have another pair of eyes and a
fresh perspective,” Stoffle said. “There is no question Marlan can’t
ask. If he sees something, he says, ‘How come this jumped?’ These
are the things I need answers for.”
At Candler, Crawford is on the ordination track for
the African Methodist Episcopal Church and is interested in church
administration. He will graduate
I’m doing with Steve fits in with the bigger picture of what I want
to do when I graduate,” he said.
Name: Jacob Ensign
Major/Year: Mathematics and Political Science/Junior
Hometown: Sheridan, Wyo.
What he does: Stoffle said Ensign has “spirit,” and nowhere is that
more apparent than when he describes his job.
“I answer phones, crack jokes, call names, analyze massive amounts of statistics
for the ECLL website and write reports on my findings,” said Ensign, an
Oxford continuee who also is president of the Emory Capoeira Club—Capoeira
is an Afro-Brazilian movement form that combines of martial arts, dance and percussion.
The reports Ensign mentioned are incredibly detailed.
Earlier this semester, he submitted a seven-page statistical analysis
to the ECLL website.
And that was just the first part. Many more pages followed.
Ensign said. “Ideally we can make the center’s
website more accessible for people who are looking for what we have
to offer,” Ensign said.
Name: Christopher Howard
Major/Year: Public Health (Health Policy and Management)/Graduate
Hometown: South Bend, Ind.
What he does: Howard, who has a BBA, compiled a report analyzing
the components needed to create a Project Management Certificate
a very popular
offering in the business networking area. The report also included a
“A lot of companies are looking to train upper management people in these
type of skills,” Howard said. “At the Center for Lifelong Learning,
we are trying to put together a package that is marketable to surrounding Georgia
companies as well as develop strong partnerships with them.”
“Chris produced a professional-level document,” Stoffle said. “Every
time we give our work-study students a job, they rise to the challenge.”
Name: Brandon O’Hara
Major/Year: Anthropology and Human Biology/Senior
Hometown: Douglasville, Ga.
What he does: A couple years ago, when ECLL decided to increase the
responsibilities of its work-study students, O’Hara was the first one hired. He is program
coordinator for the corporate training division. “I create all the course
materials for the corporate classes, along with invoicing the companies and paying
our instructors their honoraria,” he said.
Whenever new work-study positions are created—account
manager and program coordinator—O’Hara has piloted them.
“Brandon has been instrumental in our work,” said
Nicole Foerschler, ECLL manager of corporate learning. “He
has relationships with our corporate clients, like at Home Depot,
and when he isn’t working as a work-study
student, we’ve hired him full time.”
“Brandon spent a semester abroad in Paris last year,” Stoffle said. “We
couldn’t wait for him to get back.”
Name: Adi Suta
Hometown: Lawrenceville, Ga.
What he does: A dedicated work-study student for the Academy
for Retired Professionals, Suta ran into a problem one recent
hand to open the ECLL
offices for an 8:30 a.m. computer class, his key card didn’t work. In his company
were the class participants—and they didn’t have any plans to spend
their morning standing outside.
Thinking quickly, Suta called the Emory Police Department,
who sent an officer, helped him and the class get in the building
could have been
a messy situation.
“Working with the academy has helped me interact more not just with students
but with instructors as well,” Suta said. “We know each other by
name, and there is a sense of family here that you don’t get at your typical
work study job that I really enjoy.”
“That was great work,” Stoffle said. “And for a college student
to be anywhere at 8:30 a.m. on a Sunday morning is remarkable in itself.”
Name: Johnna Wickstrom
Major/Year: Russian and Anthropology/Sophomore
Hometown: Shreveport, La.
What she does: Wickstrom manages ECLL’s online marketing accounts. Each
month she is in charge of a $1,000 budget to apply toward the Professional Learning
Programs’ Google Adwords Campaign.
“There is a process where you bid on certain search terms to raise your
result status on Google searches,” Stoffle said. Those results are found
in the Sponsored Links on the right side of a user’s browser window. “Johnna
has to adjust the bids. She has to watch the competition. There is a real science
to it, and she has taken to it very well,” he said.
“Because my bosses have faith in me, I’ve begun to have faith in
myself,” Wickstrom said. “The creative process we are involved in
has been quite a learning experience. I have to constantly reshape how I think
about things and learn to appreciate input from other people.”
Name: Krissy Witt
Major/Year: Women’s Studies/Junior
Hometown: Forest Park, Ill.
What she does: Witt is one of four students who work with
the Evening at Emory program. Recently, she began coordinating
the center’s Lunch N’ Learn
program that is offered to CNN employees.
The program is pretty self-explanatory. ECLL instructors
go to CNN and hold hour-long mini-courses for the networks
to holiday decoration.
Witt works with CNN’s human resources department
to make sure each of the mini-courses runs smoothly. She
also markets the program.
“Working at the Center for Lifelong Learning has helped me find my career
path,” Witt said. “I had never considered public relations as an
option for myself, but since taking on my current position I’ve realized
it’s perfect for me.