This edition of Who Makes Millersville Special features Megan Jones, assistant registrar for degree audit & curriculum.
Q: Where did you grow up?
A: Lancaster, Pa. I went to Lampeter-Strasburg High School.
Q: What is your educational background?
A: I have a bachelor’s degree in journalism and mass communication from the University of South Carolina. Go Gamecocks!
Q: How long have you worked at Millersville University?
A: Six years.
Q: What does your job as assistant registrar for degree audit and curriculum entail?
A: I work to keep our degree audit system updated, so that what each individual student sees when they access their degree audit is an accurate reflection of their degree progress to date. This includes adding new majors, minors, concentrations and changing existing ones to reflect updates in curriculum requirements that are approved through the University curricular process. This also includes processing the large number of “Exceptions to Graduation Requirements” that come through for students.
Currently, we are in the testing phase of preparing a new degree audit system called Degree Works, which will replace our current system (DARS). The new system is planned to go live for fall 2014. Planning, testing and implementing a new system at this scale takes a great deal of time and effort.
I also make sure that the online catalog is updated with new courses and course changes and help to keep the registrar’s webpage updated.
Q: What other positions have you held here?
A: I was previously the records and data assistant for the College of Graduate and Professional Studies. I started my new position in the registrar’s office in June 2013.
Q: What do you enjoy most about your job?
A: I like the challenge of programming the degree audits to effectively enforce our curriculum rules. It’s like a puzzle, and some pieces are easier than others, but once you have it working, it’s a great sense of accomplishment!
Q: What is the most rewarding aspect of your job?
A: Knowing that all of the programming on my end of things is all to help a student successfully navigate their program and ultimately complete their degree. I love seeing “All Requirements Complete” when running a student’s audit! The new system we are working on for fall 2014 is going to be a great improvement for students to understand and navigate their programs. It’s a lot of work, but I’m confident that it will be very rewarding in the end!
Q: What is the most difficult part of your job?
A: Sometimes interpreting curricular requirements into an enforceable code within the audit system that works in all situations is difficult!
Q: If you could go into any line of work you wanted, what would you choose?
A: My former graduate assistant and I used to come up with a list of “fall back” career options that we thought sounded fun and interesting when we came upon them. The list included, cruise ship activities director and alpaca farmer. But, in “reality,” I like to bake, and I have a great affinity for cupcakes, so I would love to own a cupcake bakery.
Q: What work have you done with the Graduate Research and Creative Projects Symposium?
A: In my former position in graduate and professional studies, we always set up this symposium in partnership with other Pennsylvania State System of Higher Education institutions in the spring to give graduate students a forum for presenting their research. Our role was generally to coordinate the initial planning of the event including the space reservations, setting up the website to accept proposals and to handle creating a marketing flyer.
Q: What is your favorite part about Millersville University?
A: I love working on a college campus in general. I was previously working in the “corporate” world at an advertising agency, and I didn’t have the sense of enjoyment that I do working on a college campus. There’s always a new sense of excitement in the fall with a new semester for new students coming in, and then there’s an equal sense of excitement and accomplishment that comes with the end of a semester and our graduating students. You don’t get that in other fields.
Millersville specifically is wonderful because of the people I’ve gotten to know and get to work with here.
Q: What do you like to do in your spare time?
A: I like cooking and baking, and my husband is a chef, so we also enjoy going out to eat and trying new local restaurants and markets. I also very much enjoy physical activity, running, biking, swimming… that helps to offset the consequences of my first past-time of eating!
Q: How long have you been a runner?
A: I only started running about two years ago. I always worked out, but was never a runner and in fact always hated running. I decided it was going to be the best way to try to get into “wedding dress” shape for my wedding last year, so I forced myself to do it, and now I love it!
Q: What marathons or other big events have you participated in?
A: I’ve done the Hershey half marathon and the “Hands-on-House” half marathon, up next is a new half marathon this March in Philadelphia, “The Love Run.” 13.1 miles is my favorite challenge distance at this point. I’m not sure I’m ready to take on the full 26.2.
I also do the “Got the Nerve” triathlon in Mt. Gretna each year. That’s a sprint triathlon (500 meter swim in the lake, 16 mile bike, 5K run). My next goal is to find an Olympic distance triathlon to complete (1 mile swim, 25 mile bike, 10K run)… hopefully somewhere with warmer water than Mt. Gretna.
Q: What is one thing you’ve experienced that will stick with you forever?
A: Similar to my parent’s generation question of “Where were you when Kennedy was shot?” I think the events of September 11 will always stick with me, and I will vividly remember where I was as it unfolded. I was at the University of South Carolina, and I remember I had an 8 a.m. class, didn’t have TV on that morning and as I left that class there was a buzz about a plane hitting the WTC, but the magnitude of what was happening hadn’t been solidified yet. I went straight to my next class, which the professor promptly dismissed. I went back to my dorm, and my roommate was already there with the news on, and we watched it all unfold. It was a completely surreal day.
Q: Who are some of the most important people in your life?
A: My family as a whole. I wouldn’t be who I am without them.
Q: If you could be anyone for a day, who would it be and why?
A: My grandmother. I would like to have access to the memories that she does of growing up and living through all the decades that she has. When I think of how much has changed in the past 85 years, and all the events that have occurred, it would be fascinating to have a first person perspective of that.