|Robin Bryant, a program manager in Academic Programs and Policies, is November’s Employee of the Month. Each month, UAB recognizes an outstanding employee for their dedication, hard work and contributions to our success. |
Robin Bryant saw the look on the student’s face and immediately felt sympathy for her.
The student was transferring to UAB this past spring after spending time at three other universities and wanted to know if she would really, as she had been told, have to start her entire academic career over.
Bryant investigated the matter, thoroughly looking into the classes the student had taken and comparing their course descriptions to the same or similar courses at UAB, trying to determine what courses were compatible and which ones weren’t.
“We actually found out she had completed her core, meaning she could start taking classes in her major immediately and should be able to finish in two years if she took full loads,” Bryant says. “She was an older, non-traditional student, and she said getting that news was the best 30th birthday present she could have gotten.”
Bryant, a program manager in Academic Programs and Policies, is responsible for the transfer articulation and course evaluation process for all incoming transfer students. Under her leadership, the group established new procedures that efficiently and effectively assist advisors, students, Admissions and the Registrar’s Office in facilitating timely student advising and registration. Because of Bryant’s leadership and ability to make the transfer process smooth for so many, she has been selected November’s Employee of the Month.
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“What once was a very lengthy and frustrating process for the student has become routine – a utility, if you will,” says Gaye Wilson, manager of Academic Systems and Operations. “When we flip the light switch, we expect the electricity to do its job and the lights to come on. Only when it does not work do we notice it.
“Robin has worked very hard to make the product of her team a utility – and she has succeeded.”
A team approach
Cathy Shelton, a program manager in Academic Programs and Policies, says Bryant has worked to create positive changes with discussion and input from everyone who would be affected.
“She observed and listened to everyone involved with this process to create new tools, such as on-line advising reports,” Shelton says. “She works as part of a team and has done an exceptional job improving these areas.”
Bryant says Academic Programs and Policies researched the most effective ways to streamline the transfer process. Departmental evaluators handled the evaluation of transcripts before, putting more pressure on departments across campus. Bryant’s department now handles those evaluations; she says they reviewed between 500-600 transcripts this summer prior to the beginning of the fall semester.
The research was a joint effort between Academic Programs and Policies Director Dan Osborn and evaluators and advisors. Bryant says her department spoke with other institutions across the country to get an idea of things that were working well at other places.
The changes, which have been in place for almost six months, have sped up the process, giving students the answers to their academic futures faster. “So far the students and advisors we work closely with are very pleased with the changes and turnaround time,” Bryant says.
The changes have been seamlessly implemented, says Osborn, in large part due to Bryant’s leadership.
“Robin’s responsibilities as the manager of curriculum support and evaluation require that she display a sensitivity and acumen for dealing with complex curriculum situations and course-related problems,” Osborn says. “Robin works effectively with the faculty, students and staff in the administration of these daily activities. Her professionalism, ability to meet deadlines and knowledge of curricula make her a valuable asset to our office and the university.” Bryant, a UAB graduate, says she is humbled by the honor of being named Employee of the Month, but stresses the work done in her department is a team effort.
“I have two fabulous people who work with me – Amy Ward and Inala Locke,” she says. “This job cannot be done without them.”