What is your current job title and responsibilities?
I current serve as the Director of Student Services for the Rosen College of Hospitality Management. My responsibilities include program and curriculum development, overseeing academic advising services, ensuring compliance of university policies and procedures, managing program changes and updates on behalf of the college. I serve on various boards and search committees throughout the university and established the first National Society of Minorities in Hospitality Chapter at the university. I am a member of the Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Incorporated, the National Academic Advising Association, serve on the Statewide Course Numbering Committee and I am an adjunct faculty member for the Rosen College of Hospitality Management.
What is your history at UCF?
I have been employed at the university for over 20 years. I began my career as a student assistant in the Admissions/Registrar’s Office in 1992 and progressed my way through the system. I have probably held every USPS and A&P title within the area of Student Services at the university. After completing my undergraduate degree in 1997, I was offered a position as Admissions/Registrar Specialist in the College of Business Administration which evolved into a Coordinator of Student Support Services (Academic Advisor) role. My primary responsibility was retention which involved the implementation of programs and processes for the at-risk student population. This role allowed me to grow professionally and helped me to develop my presentation skills. In 2000, the hospitality management degree program received a generous donation from local hotelier Harris Rosen, to move to a free standing school. I was given the opportunity to move into a position to develop the Office of Students Services and implement processes and policies. This earned me the 2002 University Professional Academic Advising Award for Excellence and after several years of continuous handwork and dedication; I transitioned to the Director of Academic Services for the college.
What is your favorite UCF memory?
I will always cherish the moments when I had the opportunity to make a difference in the life of a student.
If you could change one thing at UCF, what would it be? ($ and time no object)
I would provide an increase of availability for scholarships and assistantships for graduate level students. I have found that many students would like to continue their studies; however, there are limited resources for funding and very little need based assistance for graduate level students.
What is one piece of advice you would like to share with your colleagues?
I love the quote by Walter P Reuther: “There is no greater calling than to serve your fellow man. There is no greater satisfaction than to have done it well.” With that in mind, I believe we are the change agents within our communities to enhance the quality of life for those less fortunate, especially young children. Giving back does not have to always involve monetary support, it can be accomplished through mentoring, donating used books, clothes or electronics, participating within community service groups or volunteering at community service based organizations. Inspiring hope will assist in building a better tomorrow by uplifting those in need.
What is your favorite restaurant or food?
High Tide Harry’s on Semoran, they have the best cracked conch.
If UCF was going to name something in your honor, what would you like it to be and why?
If UCF was going to name something in my honor, I select the Lori Ashby Office of Student Services in the Rosen College of Hospitality Management. Motto: “Where Student Service Mets and Exceeds all Expectations”.
If you could have lunch with anyone at UCF (who you do not normally eat lunch with), who would you choose and why?
I became personally acquainted with Dr. Maribeth Ehasz in the Spring of 2002 when she served as my mentor on behalf of the University’s Leadership Enhancement Program. She gave of her time unselfishly, offering advice and guidance. In her mentoring, she encouraged me to build on my talents and to stay focused on my goals. She has truly been a great inspiration and always offers encouraging words and thoughtful guidance.
Who at UCF would you like to thank for your success?
I would like thank Dr. Helen Hill for believing in me and giving me the opportunity to become an academic advisor in the College of Business Administration. Her guidance and encouragement assisted me with building my self-confidence and gave me the strength to pursue my dreams. I still currently model her leadership style by uplifting and motivating others.
Name and describe a teacher or researcher from your past who truly inspired you and why.
I don’t know if she would even remember me but Dr. Elizabeth Mustaine, Associate Professor of Sociology. I truly admired her zest for life and her wealth of knowledge within her field. Issues of social concern have always been of special interest of mine, especially in the area of domestic violence and criminal victimization. I completed several undergraduate and graduate courses with Dr. Mustaine and she displayed a true passion for teaching and I loved her sense of humor.
What undergraduate or graduate class/program/experience inspired you the most and why?
The Ways of Knowing course completed within my graduate degree truly inspired me to explore various views of perception relating to life experiences based on philosophical principles. During that time I was coming to terms with family circumstances that I did not clearly understand or want to accept. This course helped me to truly view the situation from various perspectives and to make sound decisions with the best interest of all parties involved. I love the aphorism, “It is what it is”.