What is your role at LCC?
My role at LCC is the HR Business Analyst. I work in Human Resources, but I’m responsible for the systems in Human Resources. My primary role is to be that liaison between HR and ITS, so I have a foot in both sides.
Where did you work before coming to LCC?
I worked at Chrysler. I was there for almost 10 years, and I had the same role there, just on a global perspective.
Where did you go to school?
I went to school at Oakland University for both my undergraduate and graduate.
What professional accomplishment are you most proud of?
Most recently, I’m proud of my involvement with our vendor and the HR community among higher education. I am a participant of multiple committees with our vendor, so I have a voice to help shape the future of the system we use in HR. Being active in the HR Systems community among higher education also provides a great opportunity to learn from each other, we can learn from each other’s challenges but also appreciate the differences.
What do you like about LCC?
There’s so many things! I love where I work. I work in a fantastic department, we have a great team spirit and very supportive environment. We try to do a lot to celebrate each other. I also love our campus. I enjoy taking walks around our campus and walking through our buildings to see all the exciting features they have, such as the artwork in A&S. I’m also excited about the programs we have and the programs we offer and the things we do for the community.
What do you like to do for fun?
I run, I bike, I take taekwondo, and, of course, time with my kids. I coach their robotics club for the middle school.
Tell me more about robotics. I hear your team just went to the national competition!
I coach VEX IQ, which is part of Haslett Robotics Club. We had five teams and two of them earned an invitation to go to the nationals in Council Bluffs, Iowa. The team that I coach, which is the team my son is on, took seventh place out of 17 teams and they also won the Think Award, which was exciting. The Think Award is based on their robot programming, their engineering notebook, the way they present themselves to the judges, and how they were able to explain how they transformed and improved their robot based on learned lessons over the year. I was very proud of them.
What I really like about VEX is all the components it has. The competitions foster teamwork. Teams are randomly paired to form an alliance for each match. They work together to score the most points for the matches they are assigned. This requires strategy and planning. There is strong emphasis placed on how well they documented their work. Each team has an engineering notebook and it is core to the program. There is an optional STEM research project. There is also an autonomous programming challenge to program. There is a lot for the teams to learn and different skills to develop. The most visible part of the competition is the teamwork activities, but there is so much more going on. It takes a lot of team meetings and practices to build and develop the skills for the competitions.
Tell me more about your sons.
My oldest, he has a real talent for building and mechanics, which is the opposite of me. My youngest is very energetic and drawn to science. Both will be in robotics next year and I plan to coach my youngest’s team. My oldest, who is a teenager, is a little too happy that I am no longer coaching his team. They are good kids and I am pretty lucky.
What’s your favorite place on campus? Why?
The koi pond. I like to walk over there and find it relaxing to watch the fish. I have to say my next favorite place is West Campus, over in mechatronics. I had the opportunity to tour it a couple times, once with robotics club, and it’s just so exciting over there. Really great stuff. I can’t wait for my son to come here.
If you could visit anyplace in the world, where would you go?
No. 1 on my bucket list is Australia. It’s been my dream since high school. In fact, I was supposed to go there on a high school trip but it was cancelled. I haven’t given up on that dream. If I go, I want to make it count. I want to see Sydney, I would like to go to Ayers Rock, I would like to go to the Great Barrier Reef. There’s just so much to see there.
What would you be doing if you’d never gotten into this field of work?
A chocolatier or lighting designer. Another dream of mine is to learn to make my own chocolate from the cocoa bean and make specialty chocolates. There was a time in my life when I use to make all sorts of candy as gifts, but I used purchased chocolate to melt. I always wanted to take that a step further.
My dream career out of high school was to be a lighting designer. In high school I was on the lighting crew for Drama Club and originally wanted to pursue this as a career.
What’s the best advice you ever received?
When I was a mopey teenager (I was not unique!), I just remember my dad talking to me about perspective. It was early spring and there was this forsythia that had not bloomed yet and it did not look nice. But it had like one little flower that bloomed early.
And my dad said, “Some people would look at that and they’d focus on ‘Ugh, look at that mess. That bush, it should be trimmed, it’s icky.’ And other people would look at it and they’d focus on that flower, and they’d say, ‘Look at that beautiful flower and look at what it’s going to become.’ Be the person that looks at the flower.” Because of that, I always try to look at the positive side, at what it can become.