The Main Campus candidates provided the following personal statements:
Tammi Coakley-Simelton (Staff), Associate Director, Student Records and Accounts, University Registrar
“Recognition and respect for all constituencies that make up the University community” is the hallmark of the council. I am proud to have been nominated to run as a member of this council. If elected, it will become my mission to encourage others within the University community to hold these very principles throughout their tenure here at Georgetown.
Equally as important to me is the understanding that although our day-to-day operations are performed on our own islands, we really are, and should behave as though we live in the same ocean; we are one; we are interdependent; we are Georgetown. As cheesy as that may sound the meaning behind it is worth exploring. I believe that if collectively, we recognize and respect each other as employees, who serve a greater purpose, that purpose being to provide the best of ourselves to support our students, faculty, staff, administrators, alumni, and the surrounding community, we are destined to do great things – together.
Throughout my three plus years here and affiliation with many campus departments and organizations, I have found there is a diversity of talent; underutilized due to a lack of this shared sentiment that we each bring value to this institution. Staff and AAPs deserve fairness and equity to opportunities on campus. I am hopeful that if elected to the council, I will be in a better position to spread the word that we should leverage this diversity and solicit management support to recognize and utilize everyone’s talents.
Meghan Dimsa (AAP), Director of Campus Recreation, Yates Field House
My main area of current interest is the merit increase and performance review process. While I know this has been, and continues to be, an area of on-going work, I would enjoy an opportunity to continue this work with the Human Resource Department along with other Staff and AAPs to create a more objective and standardized system to evaluate, promote, and reward employees.
Jessica Gershuny (AAP), Director of Admissions - Security Studies Program, Center for Security Studies, School of Foreign Service
I am thankful for the opportunity to run for the Staff/AAP Advisory Council, and for the privilege to formally support Georgetown University (GU) employees. For over three years, I have supported the university, and specifically the Security Studies Program, in career development, communications, alumni engagement, and admissions. At the root of it all, I have served as an advocate and connector for this community, whether I was counseling a student on a salary negotiation or representing GU at a graduate school fair.
As a GU employee, I have found significant camaraderie and mentorship from senior leaders as well as my peers, which sparked my desire to run for the Council. Sheryl Sandberg, author of Lean In, advises early career professionals not to ask for mentorship, but instead, lead with good work, and mentorship will follow. I have found this to be true within GU, and it speaks to Jesuit values excellence and being for others.
If elected, I would be most interested in serving on the Benefits Committee and Recognition Committee. I believe that my work in coaching and experience in recruiting would be helpful in identifying growth areas for both compensation and professional development. I recently received a generous grant from the Georgetown Women’s Alliance to lead a negotiation for GU employees on Equal Pay Day. I am very interested in initiatives related to professional growth and student loan forgiveness. It would be an honor to represent this community in a formalized role.
Nelia Gustafson (AAP), Director of Academic Affairs, Security Studies Program, School of Foreign Service
As an alumna and an employee of Georgetown, it is an honor to be nominated for the Staff/AAP Advisory Council. The Council strives to bring awareness about Staff issues and efforts to the University administration, and I think the Council plays an important role on campus. It has grown to be a respected advisory voice for our concerns, and its efforts have helped foster a better sense of inclusion of Staff and AAPs in the University community. The excitement for me, and why I want to get involved, is the “What’s next?” for the Staff/AAP Council. What items still need to be addressed? What is the outlook for broader community involvement? What can the future hold for the Council? I want to be an active participant in that conversation and have you all participate as well.
Sonia Jacobson (AAP), Assistant for Academic Affairs (Director of the Honor Council and GUROP), Office of the Provost
I am interested in running for an open position on the Main Campus Staff/AAP Advisory Council. I have served before for two 2-year terms and, according to the group’s constitution, stepped off during 2016-17. I have worked at Georgetown since September 1994, all time spent in the Provost’s Office primarily as Director of the Honor Council and the Undergraduate Research Opportunities Program. As a changing institution, there will always be Main Campus issues which deserve serious and considered attention through research, discussion, report, and recommendations of possible changes or additions to policies and procedures of importance to this constituency. Previously, I was involved in discussions related to employee performance reviews and annual merit increases, about which we have seen considerable progress (though maybe not so much the annual wage/salary increase). Among the several issues I would like to explore further with other staff/AAP colleagues are the following: the creation of an ombuds* position for staff; better ADA accessibility and signage on the Main Campus; routine exit interviews when staff/AAP leave either a current position or Georgetown entirely; and the promotion of a healthy and safe environment (e.g., a smoke or tobacco free campus, better vehicular traffic patterns throughout campus, etc.). Overall, Georgetown is a wonderful place to work, but I believe the staff and AAP can help make it even better.
* “ombuds(man)” - a person who investigates and attempts to resolve complaints and problems, as between employees and an employer or between students and a university (Dictionary.com)
Lauren Johannesson-McCoy (Staff), Director of Finance & Administration, Center for Social Justice
It has been an honor to serve on the Staff/AAP Advisory Council for the past two years and for this past year as the Council Secretary. I have enjoyed getting to know my colleagues across the University campuses and working to make sure our voices are heard by University leadership. As a member of the Georgetown University community since 2000, I care deeply about this institution and community and want to continue to work toward making this a positive work environment for my colleagues.
Linda Jones (Staff), Administrative Officer, Biology
Looking forward to being more active on the job!
Greta Kendrick (AAP), Associate Director, Office of Student Financial Services
I have been a part of the Georgetown Community for 25 years, as an alumna and employee. I enjoy the work that I do for the University and am currently looking to become more involved in the life of the community. I would be honored to serve.
Heather Malneritch (Staff), Chief Financial Officer, School of Continuing Studies
I am excited about the opportunity to serve on the AAP/Staff Advisory Council. It is important to me that issues that impact AAP/Staff receive attention and I’d like to be part of working towards implementation of new ideas or resolution of existing challenges. During the time I’ve worked at the University, I’ve had the opportunity to build relationships across Main Campus as well as across the University. This will enable me to work well with others on the Council. I also have been lucky enough to have the opportunity to work at different levels and within different organizational structures at Georgetown. These experiences have helped me to develop the ability to understand multiple perspectives both within and across organizational structures. I appreciate your consideration in voting for me as your representative for the AAP/Staff Council.
Jessica Marr (Staff), Academic Administrator, Department of English
When I was hired to be the Academic Coordinator in the English Department in May 2015, I already knew I wanted to work in Higher Education. It was a place where I could affect change within my sphere of influence: not as a teacher, which is often the question asked of an English major, but within an administrative role in an educational setting. I was excited to see the other side of academia and found out very quickly that following September just how critical my role was for the function of the department. I’ve enjoyed meeting students and helping faculty with detail-oriented administrative tasks, so that they can function at the level they need to be at as an R1 institution. And now, in 2017, after moving up to the role of Academic Administrator, I understand more fully the importance of giving back to those who come after me in order to sustain the function of the department and allow for new growth to happen. The reason I would like to be considered for a seat on the Main Campus Staff/AAP Advisory Council is because of the important roles we do play in the daily function of this University. I want to serve as an advocate for consistency where it’s needed and change when it’s necessary: to ask ‘why?’ when others won’t and to listen to all sides for a fair and informed decision to be made. In my free time, I enjoy reading, writing, and baking banana bread.
Annie Maselli (Staff), Director, Summer Programs, Summer & Special Programs
I am enthusiastic about my nomination to The Council and am eager to pursue this opportunity. I have been at Georgetown for right over a year and have had the chance to make great relationships with many folks across campus. Those who have met me can attest to my passion and commitment to the people at Georgetown, both due to my job and my nature.
As the Director for Summer Programs, I work with approximately 3,000 high school students who take courses over the summer months. This dynamic job has allowed me to work in a number of capacities during my short time here: enrollment, communications, risk-management, inclusion education, curriculum development, emergency response, and fiscal management to name a few. I have also found myself at home in the Jesuit tenants that guide our decisions across campus.
I would be a great fit for The Council because I am an advocate by nature; I have experience bringing consensus among a group of diverse voices; I do not shy away from difficult dialogue; and I am committed to making Georgetown a better place for not just the majority, but for all.
We are living in a time with many dynamic issues and we need a dynamic Council to help Georgetown push forward. While the students may be the center of our campus, we depend on our Staff/AAPs to help this campus flourish.
I would be honored to contribute to this work. Many thanks for your consideration.
Maria Snyder (AAP), Director, External Fellowships, Graduate School of Arts and Sciences
I have been with Georgetown for nearly 20 years, first as a staff member and currently as an AAP; I also served as a member of the Advisory Council from 2013-2015. For the last three years, I have been the Director of External Fellowships in the Graduate School, where I assist graduate students and postdocs in securing external fellowships and scholarships to support their academic and research needs. In addition to my work at Georgetown, I bring the additional perspective of a Georgetown student, having spent several years in a program at the Medical Center.
I recall a time when there was no organized, official “voice” for staff and AAPs, and the inequities this represented to many of us. During my term on the Council, we worked hard to have our voices heard and to be given the opportunity to join the conversation with executive leadership. I believe we made great strides both during my tenure and over the last two years, but believe that additional work is needed to promote our mission of greater inclusiveness, transparency, and pay equity across the Georgetown community.
Two issues of continued importance to me, both of which I will endeavor to promote if re-elected, are a reevaluation of the tuition benefits plan and a much needed revamping of the merit evaluation and performance review process.
To that extent, I look forward to serving on the Advisory Council on behalf of my fellow staff and AAP colleagues, as a returning member for 2017-19.
Chelsea Theis (AAP), Director, Operations & Student Services, MBA Program Office, McDonough School of Business
I am running for a seat on the Staff/AAP Advisory Council as I am interested in supporting an informed, active, and engaged community and giving a voice to interests concerning the conduct of institutional affairs and life in the workplace. I believe it is important to advocate on the staff & AAP’s behalf in University decisions and facilitate communication with University bodies. I am specifically interested in data initiatives, the workplace environment and communications, and would seek to be a member of at least one of those committees on the Council. As an employee with almost seven years of experience at Georgetown University (having held both staff & AAP roles), I hope to bring my historical knowledge together with a desire for innovation in order to support future decisions that affect one of the University’s most important communities.
Catey Williams (AAP), Assistant Director for International Safety, Security and Programs, Office of Global Services
I would be honored to serve on the Staff/AAP Advisory Council. In the five years that I have worked at Georgetown, the classification of my position has changed from Staff to AAP. I have experienced first-hand the differences in benefits between the two classifications, and am interested in joining the discussion to advocate for the University to create a more equitable benefits structure for Staff and AAP. I am excited to become a more involved member of the Georgetown community and to be in a position to bring my fellow colleagues' concerns forward.