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The New Standard for Service

Rollins’ Service Improvement Efforts Yielding Promising Results According to Recent Survey

Four years ago Rollins adopted the Service Excellence Initiative and pledged to strengthen its service culture through improved responsiveness, respectfulness, collaboration and competence. Results of the fall 2013 Service Excellence Survey, released in January, suggest that the Service Excellence ethos has been adopted by the College and that improved service has made a difference in how departments are perceived by students and customers.

According to the latest survey results, 86 percent of those departments rated received an overall composite score of 5.0 or above, as compared to 79 percent in 2012 and 75 percent in 2010. The 5.0 baseline has been identified by the Service Excellence Team as indicative of excellent service.

“It’s exciting to see the Service Excellence initiative is truly having a positive impact on service,” said Matt Hawks, who chairs the Service Excellence Team.

A number of departments improved their scores significantly in 2013, including Scheduling and Event Services, IT, Financial Aid, and Housekeeping.

“We have been working on improving our service very actively,” says Chief Information Officer Pat Schoknecht. “We are pleased that our hard work has paid off andpeople think of us in a positive light.”

Schoknecht specifically worked on responsiveness, and has made it the department’s objective to answer every email and phone call within 24 hours.

“We won’t have an answer to every problem in that amount of time, but you will know that we have your problem and are working to find a solution,” Schoknecht says. “We also reconfigured our Help Desk so that the campus can report every problem to the Help Desk and be confident that it will be routed to the proper area within IT.”

To better improve responsiveness, IT is supported by students who aim to answer every call and begin solving issues. “Our challenge then is to train our students so that they can solve many problems on that first phone call. In addition, we are working to help the students better discern the urgency of a problem. Sometimes it is not enough to just get your problem into the system – you really need help sooner than later. Improving our response times to the most urgent matters is our current goal,” Schoknecht says.

Steve Booker, Financial Aid director, believes his department’s score improved as a result of a focus on improved communication with students and families. “To begin with, our delivery of mass financial aid information is made individualistic through collaboration with IT. We were able to customize our messages, which provided more detailed information along with direct links to forms for families which reduced phone and walk-in traffic,” Booker says.

“We also now deliver financial aid awards electronically as a PDF. This method allowed the specific awards to be seen by the student and enabled the student to easily forward the information to parents. The PDF also had active website links for further information.”Like IT, Booker also added student workers to his team who were able to answer many of the basic financial aid questions. “This enabled callers to reach a live person and for financial aid counselors to handle most questions as they arrived,” says Booker, who also started discussing Service Excellence at every staff meeting as well as at monthly meetings focused on discussing service related processes.

“We specifically looked at our processes from the lens of the student,” Booker says. “While we have federal regulations and burdens out of our control, the delivery of this information and our response to questions is within our control. Our first goal was to improve our financial aid notification of missing information. Once accomplished, we moved on to the award letter. Now, we meet monthly to identify other areas where we can improve services to families.”

Housekeeping Manager Luis A. Villafuerte also facilitates an open dialogue about Service Excellence with his team to keep the initiative front and center. “We really do follow our Service Standards; they guide us in all our dealings and practices,” Villafuerte says. “We have open and honest communication about the services we provide. Recognizing we’re not perfect and errors will occur on a daily basis, our focus is to provide the best service we can and when we do stumble or drop the ball, we own up to it and work twice as hard to rectify a situation.”

According to Villafuerte, Housekeeping’s main goal has been to step up the team’s hospitable ways, provide service with a smile, and to never let anyone pass by on campus without offering a warm greeting.

Sudie Eisenbarth, director of Scheduling and Event Services, sees the department’s increased score as indicative of her team’s focus on improving campus events. “Whether it’s through communication, implementation of new policies or the use of technology, we’re always trying to get better,” Eisenbarth says.

To meet that goal, Eisenbarth restructured the roles of her team and expanded job duties to provide campus and external clients improved services. “We meet weekly with our campus service providers and carefully review the event reports for the upcoming weeks. We discuss all issues and questions that arise and strive to streamline the reports to make them as efficient, easy to use, and understandable as possible,” Eisenbarth says. “Keeping the campus policies updated, concise, and easy to find on the departmental website has been an important step. And we continually work to improve the usability of the campus wide scheduling software, EMS.”

“These are just a few examples of the meaningful service improvement efforts taking place across campus which are leading to improved satisfaction levels among our students and customers,” Matt Hawks said. “We still have a lot of work to do but the results to date are very encouraging.”

Remembering David Erdmann

David Erdmann

Paying our last respects is often the hardest thing we’re asked to do as humans, as co-workers, friends, and loved ones. This year we had the difficult task of paying our respects to Dean of Admission and Enrollment David Erdmann. Perhaps one of the reasons it was such a hard goodbye for our campus community was the fact that, as reflected in the remembrances of David, he exemplified our service excellence standard for respect (and if there was a service excellence standard for smiling he would have set the bar high on that, too). Parents, students, alumni, fellow faculty and staff, professional colleagues and friends – they all shared what we already knew, that David treated every individual with special care and valued the differences in every student that shaped our college for the last three decades.

That respect was echoed in the time and care of the campus community members who moved quickly to coordinate a service that honored our friend and colleague. Our community has remembered David with great generosity, and we are proud to announce that a scholarship fund in David Erdmann’s name has officially passed the $50k threshold to become endowed. A token of respect for our colleague and friend will now live on in generations of Rollins students to come.

FacilitiesFacilities Recognized for Work on Bush Science Center

Last fall, Rollins’ Facilities Management department was recognized with a barbecue lunch for its outstanding efforts preparing for the renovation and occupation of the Bush Science Center. “Throughout the project, their efficiency and rapid response to all issues raised by the faculty were exemplary,” said Professor of Physics Thom Moore, who oversaw the project. “They have set the standard for service excellence.”

Traveling Tommy visits Gail!Gail Jones is the latest recipient of the Travelling Tommy Service Award

Gail was instrumental in the move from the Science Village to the new Bush building. She was a valuable source of information for what faculty needed and how we could best help them. Her organization and levelheadedness is part of what made the move back into Bush such a success.

Congratulations Gail!

Traveling Tommy visits Travis!Travis Ray is the latest recipient of the Travelling Tommy Service Award

Steve Gauthier presented Tommy Tar to Travis Ray (IT Helpdesk) today for his overall commitment to Service Excellence.  Whenever you need him, Travis is always there!

Congratulations Travis!

Traveling Tommy visits Steve!

Steve Gauthier is the latest recipient of the Travelling Tommy Service Award

Steve Gauthier always provides a positive attitude and learning approach that motivates students and others to succeed in finding balance in their lives professionally as well as personally.  With his open door policy, he encourages innovative thinking and new ideas by embracing changes needed to improve the quality of customer service, student living, and professional growth.  Steve goes the extra mile to find the best opportunities or solutions to make good ideas great ones while preserving the close knit community feeling Rollins College is known for.

Congratulations Steve!

Traveling Tommy visits Francine!

Francine Chase is the latest recipient of the Travelling Tommy Service Award

Tonya Parker has passed on her Travelling Tommy to Francine Chase. Tonya says, "I decided to pass Tommy to Francine Chase in the Bursar’s office.  Francine was a big help to me when we worked on the MHR/MBA dual degree. Now while working in the Bursar’s office she goes the extra mile to work with our students so they can get their accounts in order so they can register for classes."

Congratulations Francine!

Traveling Tommy visits Tonya!

Tonya Parker is the latest recipient of the Travelling Tommy Service Award

Sherry Lewis has passed on her Travelling Tommy to Tonya Parker. Sherry says, "I selected Tonya Parker for many reasons.  I first met Tonya in 2007 when she worked for Facilities.  She was very helpful in securing building equipment needs and answering questions as the COM/CMC Depts. moved to 170 W. Fairbanks in 2008.  In her current role as Coordinator of Records and Registration for the Master of Human Resources, Master of Liberal Studies, and Master of Planning in Civic Urbanism graduate programs, she assisted me, not only with my own MHR course registrations, but with my Rollins SHRM Chapter PR & Marketing role of planning the MHR events for alumni and current MHR students.  She is a very caring, respectful, and dependable employee at Rollins.  Thank you, Tonya!"

Congratulations Tonya!

Traveling Tommy visits Sherry!

Sherry Lewis is the latest recipient of the Travelling Tommy Service Award

Lester Lewis, Facilities Management, gave the Traveling Tommy award to Sherry Lewis in the Communication Department this afternoon.  Lester shared that he selected Sherry because she has been "an inspiration" to both he and his wife, and is always helpful and giving of her time.  Congratulations and thanks to Sherry for providing excellent service to our Rollins community!!

Congratulations Sherry!

Traveling Tommy visits Lester!

Lester Lewis is the latest recipient of the Travelling Tommy Service Award

Leon Hayner passed on the Travelling Tommy award to Lester Lewis in Facilities, saying, "Many of us think that he is the hardest working man on campus! He makes everyone feel like they are his number one priority.  He never complains.  He does whatever needs to be done to get the job done and he does so with a smile and a good sense of humor."

Congratulations Lester!

Rollins Service Excellence Book Club

The first-ever Rollins Service Excellence Book Club was held in July and hosted by David Zajchowski, human resources manager, and Susan Bach with the Crummer Center for Leadership Development. The two meetings focused around the book You Don't Need a Title to Be a Leader: How Anyone, Anywhere, Can Make a Positive Difference which explained the impact people can have, regardless of their job level. Feedback from the participants showed that it was a great way to connect with fellow staff and discuss personal and professional goals.

Have you thought about joining a book club, but never pushed yourself to do it? Are you interested in a casual meeting space to help build connections and grow personally and professionally? Then the Service Excellence Book Club is for you! The Club will next read Eat That Frog! 21 Great Ways to Stop Procrastinating and Get More Done in Less Time by Brian Tracy. Members of the Club will then participate in a conversation about how this applies to our work at the College. Learn more!

The Art of the Start

How the campus comes together to give first year students a great first impression

Last month, more than 480 first-year students and 75 transfer students arrived on campus ready to turn the first pages of the next chapter of their lives. Their minds were focused on making new friends, getting good grades, and settling into campus life. What they weren’t focused on were such things as whether their room key would work, where they would park on moving day, whether their R-Card was ready, or the countless other details needed to ensure a seamless move-in experience. Fortunately for them, those details were handled by dozens of college staff members on campus.

“You only get one chance to make a good first impression,” says Leon Hayner, director of Residential Life. “We do a lot of prep work and triple checking to make sure these first few days and weeks run smoothly. It’s all hands on deck with us.”

Hayner is pretty sure new students think very little about the care it takes to make sure lemonade and cookies are on hand, or where their empty cardboard boxes went after they were thrown in the hall. In fact, most people only take notice when something goes wrong, which is why Hayner does whatever it takes to make sure things go right. “We triple check keys so we can make sure all the keys assigned work. We make sure all the R-Cards are turned on. We have parking spaces blocked off for move-in but also have staff standing by to help unload. There is so much going on behind the scenes to make it a pleasurable experience.”

Months before the first student steps on campus, the Offices of Student Success, Residential Life, and Community Engagement, as well as Campus Safety and Sodexo, begin the process of managing all the logistics of move-in and orientation.

Students walking from convocation

“For some of us on the team, this is our tenth year coordinating move-in and orientation,” says Meghan Harte Weyant, executive director of Student Success. “But this is the first year for all of our new students. It’s the first time they feel the excitement and anxiety of coming to college, moving to a new place, and meeting new friends. Everything about their world changes in a matter of days.”

To that end, Weyant has her team focus on the student experience and making sure it’s great. “We are doing whatever we can to help the transition be smooth. If a student needs to reconcile a bill with a bursar, instead of pointing them across campus, we walk them over, put them in the right line and give them the right questions to ask to resolve whatever issue they have,” she says. “We aren’t standing around handing out maps. We try to really understand what each new student is trying to accomplish and we make sure they are moving in the right direction so no one feels lost or frustrated.”

Hayner and his team have dubbed this attitude “plus one,” meaning that staff members have an opportunity in every interaction to give a student what they expected plus one step more. “We are always looking to go one step further than people would expect,” Hayner says.

Part of the service Student Success delivers during the first few days and weeks is helping new students make new friends. “Our peer mentors go through 75 hours of training on first-year transitions,” Weyant says. “We take on the role of match maker, and encourage peer mentors to go with first year students to help them to broker new relationships instead of sending people out on their own. They are always looking to connect students with shared interests.”

The impact this has on students is tremendous and not only affects their first few days on campus but can influence their entire academic career. “We know that when students become involved in their campus community they are more likely to stay and be successful,” she says. “We are very vested in making sure these first couple of weeks go well, both socially as well as academically, because they could determine how they ultimately feel about Rollins and whether they choose to stay.”

Hayner echoes this sentiment. “In the first six weeks, we help students establish themselves with social activities and community agreements, and help in draft roommate contracts,” he says. “Research tells us that students make pretty big decisions about how committed they are to an institution during those first six weeks.”

Hayner also knows that whatever his team can do to make new students feel at home goes a long with them and their parents. “The RAs and the house managers are the foundation of any good residential life program, and so they go through 10 full days of training,” he says. “Besides training on crisis management and being a good referral source, RAs participate in a session about service excellence where we talk about what it means and how to embody this initiative.”

As a result, Hayner and Weyant are never surprised but always delighted to receive emails and phone calls from parents sharing how thankful they are that their child was welcomed into Rollins with such care. And while it takes an incredible amount of effort and time to coordinate move-in and orientation, the pay-off comes in terms of hundreds of happy students excited about four thrilling years ahead at Rollins. 

3rd Institutional Service Excellence Survey Scheduled for late October

How are the departments that serve you doing?  Three years ago we committed ourselves to strengthening the overall service culture at Rollins, and as a result the Service Excellence Initiative was born.  We have since defined our service standards, integrated them into our processes and structures, created programs and systems to improve service and address service obstacles, and stepped up our efforts to recognize those who demonstrate service excellence in their day-to-day work. 

An important component of the Service Excellence Initiative involves regularly assessing how we are doing and using the data we collect to make improvements.  Both in the fall of 2010 and spring of 2012 we conducted our Service Excellence survey, and the results have been used by the Service Excellence Team to identify service issues and concerns and, where needed, assist departments in identifying improvement strategies.

In late October, we will be conducting our third institutional Service Excellence survey and once again will be inviting students, faculty, staff and parents to rate and provide feedback regarding the quality of service received from the campus departments they rely upon the most.  The Service Excellence Team encourages your full participation.  A strong participation rate will help to ensure the validity of results and our ability to identify areas that require improvement.  

A campus culture of service excellence is everyone’s responsibility.  Please keep an eye out for the survey in late October and plan to share your feedback about the service you receive on campus.       

Service Obstacle Committe Tackles Campus Issues

In maritime terms, the international distress signal SOS was first adopted in 1905 to “ring the bell” on problems or potential problems onboard the vessel.  In homage to our nautical Tars affiliation, at Rollins, the SOS (Service Obstacle System) committee is dedicated to “ringing the bell” on procedural, systems or physical environment problems preventing us from providing the best possible experience to Rollins community.  Obstacles and suggestions are submitted to the SOS committee for review via an online form on the Service Excellence homepage.  The committee of 11 is co-chaired by Sharon Carrier, Special Assistant to the President, and Meredith Hein, Associate Director of Community Engagement.

Since March, the Service Obstacle Committee has responded to 12 service obstacles and one additional suggestion submitted through the Service Obstacle System (SOS). Nine of the 13 submitted tickets have now been closed, meaning that the SOS Committee communicated with all parties involved, discussed solution strategies, received commitments to initiate actions needed, and responded back to the ticket submitters with the results.

The SOS Committee finds that service obstacles often involve solutions from more than one campus partner. For example, one concern regarding smokers ignoring the no-smoking signage has led to commitments from various campus partners to promote smoking cessation programming, communicate the smoking policy to new students during Orientation, collect data about perceptions of the current policy, and post training tips about how the campus community can help to enforce the policy.

Another obstacle that was brought to the attention of the SOS committee was automated answering systems or call tree which prevent the caller from immediately speaking to an individual.  While these phone systems have merits, the SOS committee worked with departments that had especially high call volume from students and parents to shorten or remove these automated structures.  These departments have all been great partners with the SOS team to conduct self-evaluations of their systems, make changes and monitor results.  The SOS committee will check back in with these departments in the fall.

 The SOS Committee believes that the SOS system is an important vehicle for reinforcing the message that service excellence is a priority at Rollins and that everyone has a role in removing service obstacles. If you are aware of a service obstacle at Rollins, the SOS committee would like to hear from you.  Please visit the SOS website at: and complete the online submission form.

Udeth Logo, recipient of WOW

Udeth Lugo is awarded a Big WOW from

Udeth Lugo, Director of Institutional Research, was recognized with a big Service Excellence WOW card yesterday afternoon. The WOW card presented to Udeth said, “Your willingness to help create a new system for accessing college contracts and insurance certificates went above the call of duty. You are known as someone who always helps others – even after hours! Your efforts exemplify the responsive spirit we strive to promote.”

Congratulations Udeth!

Traveling Tommy presented to Dave!

Dave Markland is the latest recipient of the Travelling Tommy Service Award!

Troy Thomason & Bill Rodriguez have passed along the latest Travelling Tommy award to Dave. "This is one of many instances that Dave has come through for us on short notice.  Despite being very busy with start of school preparations, Dave was willing to stay after hours on a Friday to provide us assistance.  I know this was probably a very minor job for him, but we wouldn't have been able to complete our emergency maintenance without him."
Congratulations Dave!
Traveling Tommy presented to Leon!

Leon Hayner is the latest recipient of the Travelling Tommy Service Award!

David Markland has selected Leon for the Travelling Tommy Award to thank him for his summer support and the great transition into the new semester.
Congratulations Leon!
Traveling Tommy visits Carole!

Carole Leahy is the latest recipient of the Travelling Tommy Service Award!

Carole Leahy is the latest recipient of the Travelling Tommy Service Award! Kathy Custer introduced Tommy to Carole because is always willing to help and has such a positive attitude any time I work with her. She recently helped me with gathering data for our auditors. I explained the data that I needed so she could start gathering her part and I would start to contact the other areas for the rest. Thanks Carole for thinking outside of the box!
Congratulations Carole!!!
Traveling Tommy visits Kathy!

Kathy Custer is the latest recipient of the Travelling Tommy Service Award!

Jose Pineda presented Tommy to Kathy Custer.  Jose says that he chose Kathy because “she is always smiling, always helpful (to everyone), and she finds solutions.  She is a good person.”
Congratulations Kathy!!!
Traveling Tommy visits Jose!

Jose Pinedo is the latest recipient of the Travelling Tommy Service Award!

Phillip Hajra introduced Tommy to Jose Pinedo, Lead Custodian, in Facilities this morning.  According to Phillip, he selected Jose because ‘he is a good guy’ who is always helping others.  He goes the extra mile by doing things like accompanying someone to the Campus Security Office instead of just giving directions.  He gives personal attention and time to everyone he encounters. 

Kudos to Jose!!!

Traveling Tommy visits Phillip!

Phillip Hajra is the latest recipient of the Travelling Tommy Service Award!

Traveling Tommy recipient Julia Foster recently pass on the award to Campus Safety Security Officer Phillip Hajra for his diligent service to the campus community. Thanks to Hajra, “students, faculty, and staff alike are able to study and work safely and most effectively,” Julia says. “He handles even the most difficult situations with such a positive attitude, and therefore invites constructive solutions. I am sure my colleagues would join me in saying thank you to Phillip for his dedication to Rollins!”

Congratulations Phillip!

clean It Takes a Village

Clean Sweep happens every year thanks to the help of many volunteers and partners

Now in its seventh year, Clean Sweep has become one of Rollins’ most anticipated events of the year. But while attendees are busy digging through tossed-aside treasures ranging from television to frying pans, not many stop to think about how much effort and partnership it takes to pull the whole thing together.

Director of Residential Life Leon Hayner does. His office takes the lead in coordinating Clean Sweep but he and his team are just the tip of the iceberg in terms of all the people that assist in bringing it to fruition. “Campus safety helps us block off parking spaces for the event area. They also unlock/lock the PODs each morning and night. They have also been great at helping organize the PODS. The Office of Community Engagement helps us connect with community partners, such as Mustard Seed and AMVETs, who will take any leftover items. Sodexo donates water and coffee for the volunteers. Purchasing helps us order the PODS, and Facilities helps us with the set-up of more than 30 tables,” Hayner says.

There are also the more than 50 volunteers that help sort all the items left by students, including kitchenware, microwaves, futons, bikes, and clothes. “There are a lot of clothes,” Hayner says. “There is usually 10 to 12 tables just of clothes each year.” All of it is sorted and folded by volunteers who begin their work hours before the event begins.

This year, Clean Sweep will take place on Friday, May 17 from noon to 2 p.m. and will be attended by hundreds of people from the Rollins community. You may have already noticed the PODS all over campus, which are slowly filling with items that will be given away or raffled off at Clean Sweep. Thanks to this event, it will all end up in a new home, rather than in a trash heap. “All this stuff that could end up in the dump but Clean Sweep ensures that it gets reused and recycled, and it helps us clean out for next year,” Hayner says. “Plus it’s a great way to bring our campus together in a collaborative way.”


Jonathan Miller accepting the ACRL Excellence in Academic Libraries award

Olin Library Amps Up Its Offerings For Library Users

Every few years, Olin Library conducts a survey asking library users to comment on Olin’s services and amenities. Once collected, the feedback is carefully considered by the library team, and then used to determine ways in which the library can better service the needs of students, faculty and staff.

It’s this kind of responsiveness, a cornerstone of Service Excellence, that earned Olin a 2013 excellence in academic libraries award from the Association of College and Research Libraries. “ONE of the reasons they gave for us winning is that we consistently listen to our users and use evidence about them to design the services, spaces, and collections they need,” Jonathan Miller, library director, says.

Olin’s renovations this past summer are a good example of how the library team responds to the needs of users. “We have designed quiet floors for people to study and social floors where people can work in groups. We enlarged the café, installed a robust wireless system, and added more computers,” Miller says. “We’ll also be tripling the number of group study rooms by the start of the fall 2013 term.”

 A request that did not go unheeded was an appeal for 24/7 access to the library. “We now have the entire main floor open 24/7 to anyone with an R-Card. The entire library is open 24/7 the week before and during exams.”

 Changes to the Bookmark Café have been well received. Once simply a coffee cart, similar to something found in a hospital, the coffee shop has now expanded to merge with the common learning space. Café hours have expanded as well to include earlier mornings, later evenings, and Sunday hours. “We also depend on great service from the Sodexo staff, ” Miller says.

In an effort to make working in the library easier and more efficient, Information Technology tripled the number of desktop computers in the research area, quadrupled the strength of the wireless network, and added power outlets wherever they could. “We also brought Tutoring & Writing Consulting to the main floor of the library so students can now quickly and easily get the assistance they need at any moment. This integrated model means more seamless support for students, and it has allowed those service providers to start working together to collaborate and coordinate their offerings,” Miller says.

With such a relentless dedication to Service Excellence, it’s no surprise that Olin Library was named the recipient of the inaugural Service Excellence Department Award in 2011. “We take the concept of Service Excellent very seriously at Olin Library,” Miller says. “Everyday we strive to partner with faculty in the education of students, to be responsive to student needs, and to collaborate with information technology and tutoring and writing consulting. The Service Excellence standards are a great framework for our work."


Will Kersey with model glass washer

Rollins Celebrates National Student Employee Appreciation Week

More than 550 students have employment on campus in over 150 roles; Office of Student Employment Director Norah Pérez thinks it is about time those students were celebrated.

This year, Rollins launched the campus’s inaugural celebration of National Student Employee Appreciation Week, a weeklong series of events designed to recognize and celebrate the important contribution that student employees make in their on-campus jobs.

Celebrated the second full week of April at colleges and universities across the country, the endeavor gives supervisors, administrators, and departments a chance to highlight and give thanks for the invaluable services that students perform with dedication, enthusiasm, and initiative.

Between April 8 through 12, Pérez and her team hosted several events, including an Appreciation Coffee Break where complimentary coffee and muffins were served. Additional events included a resume workshop, professional headshot photo shoot, and an interviewing seminar. Students received raffle tickets for $25 gift cards at all events and a Student Employee of the Year competition was held.

In additional, a large banner and more than 30 lawn signs were placed all over campus with messages of thanks and encouragement for Rollins’ student employees.

“This is the first time that Rollins formally celebrated the outstanding work and service to the College,” Pérez says. “Throughout the week we encouraged supervisors and departments to show appreciation for student employees’ hard work and dedication to their on-campus jobs in different, creative ways. Departments gave personalized thank you cards, gifts cards to local shops, held pizza parties, created fun coupon books, posted pictures of their students employees with messages of appreciation on their Facebook pages, and so much more. I think we all succeeded in conveying how much they mean to us.”


Traveling Tommy visits Julia!

Julia Foster is the latest recepient of the Travelling Tommy Service Award!

Traveling Tommy recipient Kevin Griffin recently passed on the award to Assistant Professor of Voice and opera Julia Foster.  "She served on a search committee recently for the department and was an invaluable team member," said Griffin.  "She was always ready, always cheerful and provided superlative insight.  She is someone you want to work with because you know she will be there for you and truly has the students and the college foremost in her thoughts."

Congratulations, Julia!
Will Kersey with model glass washer

The Staff Advisory Committee is proud to announce the February winner of the You Are Remarkable Award! 

During the move from Bush to the Science Village, our 12-year-old floor model glass washer died. Many people were summoned to try to fix it, among them the contractors, facilities, and the technician from Steris (whom we have a maintenance contract with for repairs and quarterly inspections). Everyone, including the technician, said there was no hope for the unit. The search for a replacement unit and the prices fluctuated from the low $20,000 to the $40,000 mark. (This is just after having replaced our -80 freezer!) With nothing else to lose, I spoke with Wil Kersey and begged him to take a look at it. Wil, who loves challenges, accepted to check out the unit. Wil had never worked on this washer before. Slowly but surely, he began to learn the system, do his drawings, and perform systematical tests to see what was the function of x on y. With a grand expense of less than $50 in parts, he began tweaking here and there. He thoroughly cleaned it inside and out, and the result of his efforts had fixed the washer.
Wil’s excellent service not only saved us a large potential expense to replace the unit, but also thousands of dollars on a cancelled maintenance contract where the technician could not do what Wil achieved!
I am very glad that he took on the challenge and thrilled that he got that unit working again and saved lots of money!
Ana Rodriguez, C.S.M.M.
Laboratory Manager
Kevin Griffin Honored for Service Excellence

Kevin Griffin, assistant professor of Lighting Design & production manager in the Department of Theatre Arts & Dance, is the fifth recipient of the Traveling Tommy award.

“Kevin has been our main contact for reserving the Annie this semester, and he’s been very collaborative in the booking of the space,” said previous recipient Megan Joyner.  “He diligently works with us to let other departments use the space when it’s not being used for class or stage productions. I can always count on him to respond to my requests, as well as set the stage, work with Robert on sound, and create a lighting look for nearly any event. I can’t imagine what we would’ve done this year without him!”

Join us in congratulating Kevin for all of his hard work!

Service Excellence Continues at Rollins College

The spirit of Service Excellence at Rollins College is going strong.  The initiative is now in its third year and the effect of the initiative can be felt across campus.

The results of the 2012 Service Excellence Survey were distributed to department heads in the summer of 2012.  78.6 percent of those departments rated received an overall score of 5.0 or above, achieving the baseline service excellence score identified by the Service Excellence Team.  Compared with the 2010 survey results, wherein 75 percent of departments achieved this baseline score, the improvement is encouraging. 

“Overall, since the Service Excellence Initiative was implemented in 2010, the College has made significant strides in weaving the four service standards - respectful, responsive, collaborative and competent - into the fabric of our daily work lives,” said chair of the Service Excellence Team, Matt Hawks.  “We commend those departments receiving high scores as well as those undertaking meaningful improvement efforts.” 

A number of departments improved their scores significantly in 2012 as compared to 2010, including Scheduling and Event Services, the Arts & Sciences Dean’s Office and Institutional Research.

Over the course of several months in mid-2012, the Service Excellence Team’s Management and Accountability sub-team met with the heads of several departments that did not achieve the desired baseline survey score and engaged them in discussions regarding their scores and the improvement efforts and plans underway. 

“We wanted to make sure that departments were taking their results seriously and were pleased to learn about the many significant service improvement efforts already underway,” said Hawks.  “At the same time, we wanted these departments to know that the Service Excellence Team was there to support their efforts.   It is important that the campus community know that we are using the data to improve service.”

Chief Information Officer Pat Schoknecht studied the results from the first survey and noted that the Information Technology department was not perceived as being sufficiently responsive to calls.  From the survey responses, she learned that some customers did not feel they were being communicated with in a way that indicated to them that their problem was in the process of being resolved.  She determined quickly that the department model needed to be changed, and met with her staff to determine how communication with customers could be improved.

IT Help Desk helping students

“We are in a complex business, so I wasn’t asking the team to come up with a solution to each problem within 24 hours,” said Schoknecht.  “But I was asking that they respond to the customer in regards to what might be an appropriate time frame to have their problem fixed.”

“We focused specifically on one area, responsiveness, and worked on making that a change of mindset in our department,” said Schoknecht.  “The campus community noticed the change, so that conscious effort paid off.”

More recently, IT has focused on improving consistency of service.  The department determined that one area that could use improvement was student training.  So the department placed more focus on student training, and reduced the number of student workers from 75 down to about 25.

IT is also being more collaborative with campus partners.  A new graduate assistant works with departments on how to best leverage the use of SharePoint.  Schoknecht worked with the Olin Library to get print release stations in the library, resulting in a more sustainable printing model, in addition to improving privacy, as items are only released as the individuals are standing next to the printer.

“We had some issues of standardization; we had different people in our department labeling reports different ways,” said Campus Safety Operations Coordinator Bayrex Rodriguez.  “IT worked with us to improve everything from online vehicle registration forms to incident reports and made these more standard across the board.  It has been a productive partnership.”

The Facilities Maintenance Department took their survey results to heart and immediately enhanced their customer service training efforts for staff.

Facilities hard at work

“Customer service is critically important to how we are perceived, so we talk about quality every day,” said Kirk Hemphill, maintenance manager of Facilities Management.  “What we do – maintenance, housekeeping, grounds – all of these are important components to the Rollins community, and we see our role and that positive in-person experience as a chance to excel.”

The department has been using electronic service requests, a more sustainable model, as the department used to make two or three paper copies of each request.  The new online form features more functionality and also provides instant feedback via an automatic email update to the customer.

“We learned from the survey that while we were taking care of issues, the customer wasn’t always sure of the status,” said Hemphill.  “We are working hard to close that communication gap.”  The new focus on communication is paying off.  For example, in November 2012, of the 428 maintenance requests received, 390, or 91 percent, were answered within 48 hours.

Next month, Facilities will roll out a door hanger to leave behind on people’s doors, explaining if there is a bigger issue that may take longer to fix.

“We always encourage feedback,” said Hemphill.  “This spring we have started some focus groups with key administrators and different customer groups to help us learn even more about what we are doing right and wrong.  We’ve already received some excellent ideas and feedback.”

Campus Safety has also implemented several improvements across all functions of the department.

Campus Safety hard at work

“We are trying to see through the eyes of our customers,” said Director of Campus Safety Ken Miller.  “While there are areas of safety and security enforcement in which we do not have a lot of flexibility, we certainly can provide them with a high level of service and competency, and communicate with them with a positive tone.”

“We are partnering with more student organizations and providing education throughout the year,” said Miller.  “We are working with Fraternity & Sorority Life and are being invited to Peer Mentor trainings to talk to them about what we do.”

The department now schedules a female officer on every shift, should a student want to speak with a female officer.  The department can also serve a wide population as officers speak Spanish, French, German, Arabic and Italian. 

Crummer students now apply for their R-Card in advance of classes, and avoid long lines by sending a JPG of a photo to be used on their R-Cards.

Recognizing that members of the campus community are parking further away because of construction on campus, an officer is now on duty to provide courtesy escorts on campus from the parking garage from 6 p.m. to 2 a.m.

The department made the website more functional and also produced videos, such as how to update the emergency alert system.

Student Records is a key service department that every student interacts with during their time at Rollins, so their focus on Service Excellence is critical. 

Student Records Office Assists Student

This past year the department has turned over two key support staff positions, and, working closely with Human Resources, made a concerted effort in the recruitment and hiring process to identify candidates with strong customer service skills.  The department also brought in an outside consultant to facilitate an off-site teambuilding and customer service improvement planning retreat and has realigned staff responsibilities in a manner that will better enable the department to deliver an improved service experience for students.   The department is also working internally to improve communication with other departments regarding student records policies and services in order to better serve students.

“We have taken our survey results seriously and are making meaningful efforts improve how we serve our students,” said Student Records Director Robin Mateo.    

Human Resources Honored for Service Excellence

Rachel Newcomb Receives Recognition from Service Excellence Team

The Service Excellence Team recently recognized Associate Professor of Anthropology Rachel Newcomb at one of her Zumba fitness classes.  Newcomb’s Zumba class is not only helping Rollins faculty and staff improve and maintain their health and wellness, but her efforts are helping build relationships across boundaries and exemplify the collaborative spirit the College strives to promote.   

“I was walking on Cloud 9 all day, feeling so honored that you gave me the Service Excellence award,” said Newcomb.  “The Zumba classes are a reward in themselves, just to see other people feeling happy, and I'm glad if they also bring people together who might not normally meet. Thank you so much for thinking of me

Human Resources Honored for Service Excellence

Megan Joyner Receives “Traveling Tommy” Service Excellence Award

Associate Director of Scheduling and Event Services Megan Joyner is the fourth recipient of the “Traveling Tommy” Service Excellence award.  Zakiya Brown recognized Joyner for consistent support that has gone above and beyond expectations.  Thanks for your great work, Megan!



Human Resources Honored for Service Excellence

Zakiya Brown Receives “Traveling Tommy” Service Excellence Award for Work on MLK Week

Zakiya Brown, program coordinator in the Office of Multicultural Affairs, is the third recipient of the “Traveling Tommy” Service Excellence Award.  Brown was recognized for her leadership and service in organizing Rollins’ annual Martin Luther King, Jr. week.   The success of the week depends on the coordination of many events and Brown did a great job organizing all of the moving parts.

Please join us in thanking Zakiya Brown for embodying all of the traits of Service Excellence!

Human Resources Honored for Service ExcellenceOriana Jimenez Receives “Traveling Tommy” Service Excellence Award

Human Resources Associate Oriana Jimenez is the second recipient of the “Traveling Tommy” Service Excellence Award.  Luis Villafuerte recognized Jimenez for her exceptional customer service, inspiring attitude and commitment to continuous improvement of our resources and department.  He noted that she is a fundamental piece in our world and she is appreciated across the College.

Join us in thanking Oriana Jimenez for the excellent service she provides at Rollins College!


Human Resources Honored for Service Excellence

Luis Villafuerte Receives Inaugural “Traveling Tommy” Service Excellence Award

Housekeeping Services Manager Luis Villafuerte is the first recipient of the “Traveling Tommy” Service Excellence Award. This newly-debuted Service Excellence award recognizes individuals who provide customer service experiences that go above and beyond the call of duty.

This summer, Villafuerte was faced with multiple challenges including last-minute requests, inclement weather, and major department moves. He responded to all needs professionally, efficiently, and with an exceedingly positive attitude. His performance, without exception, reflects and embodies the four cornerstones of Service Excellence–respectful, responsive, collaborative, and competent.

The “Traveling Tommy” Service Excellence recognition award will reside with Villafuerte for a period of up to two weeks. It will then be Villafuerte’s honor to pass Tommy on to a fellow employee who has provided an exceptional service experience. Each recipient will host Tommy up to a two week period, before being presented to another deserving recipient.

Wherever “Traveling Tommy” is spotted on campus, he will serve as a reminder that Service Excellence is alive and well at Rollins. It is our hope that Tommy will visit your office soon!

Please join us in congratulating Luis Villafuerte for embodying Service Excellence at Rollins.


Human Resources Honored for Service Excellence

Human Resources Honored for Service Excellence

Established as a means of recognizing an entire department for its members’ combined commitment to a culture of service excellence, the Service Excellence Departmental Award is given annually at the Annual Awards Celebration held in the Alfond Sports Center.   This year, the service excellence selection committee recognized human resources (HR) as the department that most closely reflects and embodies the four cornerstones of Service Excellence: responsive, respectful, collaborative, and competent. Click here to read more.


starss event

STARSS Host Second Workshop In Series of Service Excellence Events

In keeping with our commitment to maintain a respectful working and learning community, the Service Excellence Team recently hosted three interactive workshops titled Productive Interventions: Skills for Addressing Disrespectful and Uncivil Behaviors in the Workplace. Hosted by Mark Freeman on October 28 and November 10, the workshops were attended by a total of 47 Rollins staff members.



Barbara Burke

Service Excellence Initiative: A Year in Review

As the Service Excellence (SE) Initiative celebrates its first-year anniversary, it seems like the ideal time to reflect back on the Initiative’s preliminary accomplishments. From executing campus-wide staff training to the launch of the SE Ambassador program, SE committee members have worked diligently to keep the movement’s momentum going. Click here to read more.


We Are Rollins College

Service Excellence Initiative Launches Second Year with Series of Workshops and Discussion Forums

The Service Excellence Initiative heads into its second year at the College with a new program designed to engage and inspire the community. Striving to Achieve Rollins Service Standards (STARSS) is an ongoing series of workshops, discussion forums, speakers and events intended to foster dialogue, interaction, professional development and community building around Rollins’ four service standards. On Friday, September 30, Galen “Doc” Gallup and Associate Professor of Communication Rick Bommelje will host a forum on responsiveness. All staff and faculty are encouraged to attend this event, the first of four such forums planned for the academic year.  Click here to read more.

SOS screen shot

Service Obstacles System Unveiled

With an uncompromising commitment to making the Service Excellence initiative a permanent change-agent at Rollins, members of the Service Excellence Committee launched another supportive tool. The Service Obstacle System (SOS), an online problem resolution system, has been designed to give the campus community the opportunity to identify and remedy obstacles that impede the delivery of excellent service. Click here to read more.


olin library teamOlin Library Team Named Recipient of Inaugural Service Excellence Department Award

20 nominations for 19 different departments were received for the 2011 Service Excellence Department Award, making the decision difficult for the selection committee. “There were many, many departments who deserved the award and who are making a difference at Rollins,” Matt Hawks, director of human resources, said. “But the Committee was able to select a winner this year.” Olin Library was acknowledged for being a role model for Service Excellence and for being eagerly and cheerfully responsive to requests.” Click here to read more.

Service Excellence Electronic Recognition Card

Service Excellence… The Momentum Continues

New blogs, recognition tools, information about the Service Excellence Department Award, and a helpful Manager’s Toolkit are just a few of the fresh features recently unveiled by the Service Excellence Team. Click here to read more.

2011 Service Excellence Ambassadors

Bringing Service Excellence to Life

While the Service Excellence Initiative is new to the Rollins campus, the concept of providing great service is not. There are many Rollins employees who walk the talk every day—each of them embodying the philosophy of service excellence in their own special way. In an effort to bring the Initiative to life, the Service Excellence Team recently nominated six of these service role models as the inaugural Service Excellence Ambassadors. Click here to read more. 

Service Excellence 010

Rollins Embarks on Quest for Service Excellence

Rollins’ newly-launched Service Excellence Initiative strives to improve how we treat our students, how we treat visitors to our campus and how we treat our colleagues. Responsive, respectful, competent and collaborative were identified as the College’s four service standards by Rollins President Lewis Duncan and his extended leadership team. Each of the four service standards provide a list of examples so that employees clearly understand what is expected. The President’s leadership team also agreed upon Rollins’ new service philosophy: “Together, we inspire purposeful lives through distinctive, engaged learning and exceptional service.” Click here to read more.