Small staff produces mighty results

August 29, 2013

The Department of Information Systems staff, from left: Angelina Saric, Saundra Lamb, Karen Stark and Erica Grimwood

A sign in Angelina Saric’s office in the Department of Information Systems reads “Small but mighty.” Saric is the associate director of the department, and the small team she heads up does indeed achieve mighty things – for students, faculty, alumni and companies. The department’s consistent top 30 ranking can be traced in part to the efficiency and creativity of these staffers.

Chair Michael Goul notes: “New Business School accreditation standards are just now formally recognizing the significance of a very high quality professional staff to achieving a school’s mission - something we’ve recognized all along. We are extremely proud of our team, and we are appreciative of everything our professional staff colleagues do to help us maintain the highest levels of research, teaching and service outcomes.“

As campus comes alive for the fall semester, meet the people who were here all summer working hard to get ready.

Angelina Saric, Associate Director

Angelina is responsible for overall department operations and program management, including budgeting, salaries, payroll and scheduling. She’s heavily involved in coordinating graduate assistant assignments, the Ph.D. program and grants. She also handles Executive Advisory Board business and other corporate relationships.

If you are a student, Angelina’s efforts go a long way toward making your time at W. P. Carey valuable. She’s the one who makes sure your professors have everything they need in the classroom and for the research that translates to rich and relevant curriculum. She analyzes faculty workloads and assists with the tenure and review process so essential to building a strong program. She also works with the faculty directors for the undergraduate, MSIM and doctoral programs on the annual program assessments required by ASU and AACSB – the agency that accredits schools of business.

Bottom line: With her broad knowledge of the department, Saric is the person to see if you have a problem to work out related to your degree program. The many companies that that look to the department for potential employees and research also need someone inside who knows about the opportunities to connect. Saric is that point of contact.

The position calls for discretion, as well as knowledge of policies and programs. Saric knows the history behind the department’s development, having joined the W. P. Carey School in 2004, plus she gets out of her office frequently to meet with the key players and observe classes.

“I try to get involved with what the department is doing so that I can talk about the program in detail,” she said. “I can get other people excited about what we’re doing here because I’m excited about it myself!”

Finally, our favorite fact about Angelina: it was her idea to name this website and its companion newsletter KnowIT! Eventually, the “Know” name was applied to the W. P. Carey School’s full suite of research and news sites: KnowWPCarey.

Karen Stark, Student Services Coordinator Associate 

Karen is a new face in the department, in charge of Computer Information Systems undergraduate program operations. Her duties relate directly to student life, freshman year through graduation. For companies interested in interacting with CIS students, Stark is a point of contact; she works closely with the student clubs, DISC and WIT and will work with the undergraduate Business Career Center to help companies find interns. She can guide students to resources that will help them deal with issues, develop time management skills or find a mentor.

Stark graduated with a B.A. in advertising from Pepperdine University in 1994, moved back to Arizona the following year to marry an ASU alum, and worked in the IT industry for close to a decade before taking a break from the corporate life in 2004. In late 2005, Stark turned her focus to working with emerging technology and start-up businesses, which fortunately provided a flexible schedule to this working mom. In January of 2009, Stark joined the Tempe Union High School District as a staff member of the nearby Marcos de Niza High School. It was a natural transition for Stark, the wife of a high school teacher and coach, to start working with students and supporting the student athletic activities on the high school campus. Stark’s husband has been teaching science and coaching boys’ varsity basketball for nearly 20 years there and two of their three children are attending there as a sophomore and senior.

Stark has an active community volunteer life outside of campus too. She has been involved with Junior Achievement since 2001, and on the founding committee of a high school program called, “JA You’re Hired.” Stark also supports the Phoenix Force Youth Basketball Organization with her husband and four other high school basketball coaches, who also teach in East valley high schools. Annually, their basketball teams host a competitive youth basketball tournament that has raised donations and awareness for other nonprofits such as: Boys and Girls Clubs of the East Valley, Chandler Crisis Pregnancy Care Center, Special Olympics- Unified Sports, and the Mesa Child Crisis Center. Stark admits there are moments when she feels a little overcommitted after 5 p.m., but said, “Miraculously things rarely conflict, but when they do we figure it out as a family. I’m so thankful for their gracious support.”

Erica Grimwood, Front Office

Erica is also new to ASU-- the friendly face in the department’s front office. If you are a student looking for a campus job, Erica is the one who manages those positions for the department. The list of her duties is long, and virtually every task relates to the smooth operation of the department, whether you are a student, faculty member or visitor.

A native of southern California, Erica moved to Tempe to attend Arizona State University, and she is currently working on a degree in family and human development. “I’ve always wanted to work with children, and one day I said to myself – I’m going to do this!” she commented. Between her full time job and three classes she has very little leisure time, but she loves being outdoors, and likes to bike in the nice weather.

Saundra Lamb, Financial Account Supervisor

Saundra Lamb held Erica’s job for five years before moving to the office of the financial accounts supervisor. She’s responsible for all of the department’s accounts, including payroll and travel. Student clubs know her because she also reviews their books. She’s also Angelina’s back up.

Like Erica, Saundra has a lot in common with students because she is one herself. She’s just three semesters away from completing her degree in dietetics, and like Erica, her routine consists of work, class and homework. She finds time to be creative, however: she and a friend have launched a lifestyle blog called Capture Sunshine. http://capturesunshine.wordpress.com/.