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A student shows up at your front desk yelling, crying, upset, frustrated, tearful, angry, overwhelmed, pushy, aggravated, annoyed, demanding, obnoxious, smelly, drunk, disoriented. What do you do?
Front office staff, like soldiers on the front lines of battle, is often placed in situations where they are nose-to-nose with students, faculty, and staff who are not at their best. They are asked to create a warm, caring, customer-service focused place for students, faculty, and staff to have their questions answered.
Problems occur from the Registrar to the Admissions office, from Residential Life to Advising, from Counseling to Testing. Students demand services from Parking and Transportation and often become frustrated with front-line service staff such as cashiers in dining services and financial aid tellers. People become upset with Student Affairs office staff and Academic Affairs.
This program will offer some practical advice on how to work with emotional and at-risk faculty, staff, and students who approach front office staff in person, on the phone, or through email in a disrespectful manner. The presenters will also discuss ways to create an office waiting room environment that will help reduce conflict and prevent problems before they start.
Dr. Brian Van Brunt, past president of the American College Counseling Association, is Senior Vice President for Professional Development Programs at the National Center for Higher Education Risk Management (NCHERM, www.ncherm.org). He is the president of the National Behavioral Intervention Team Association (NaBITA, www.nabita.org) and the managing editor for Student Affairs eNews (SAeN, www.studentaffairsenews.com). Over the past fifteen years, Brian has taught counseling theory, ethics, program evaluation, statistics and sociology topics at both public and private schools for both graduate and undergraduate students at five different colleges and universities. Brian has served as the Director of Counseling and Testing Center at New England College and Western Kentucky University. He is the author of several books including: Harm to Others: The Assessment and Treatment of Dangerousness, Ending Campus Violence: New Approaches in Prevention and A Faculty Guide to Addressing Disruptive and Dangerous Behavior in the Classroom. Brian is an expert on mental health and campus violence and has been interviewed by the New York Times, National Public Radio, LA Times, USA Today and has appeared on Headline News and Anderson Cooper 360.
Julia Johnson Office Associate /Assistant Coordinator of Testing Services at Western Kentucky University. Ms. Johnson has been serving the Counseling & Testing Center at WKU since August 2008. Before working at the university, she worked as a Development Officer for WKYU Public Media. Julia has always been a people person and enjoys the face-to-face interaction with others. She is a very caring individual and strives to make the center warm and inviting. For instance, when she started in the office she even had it repainted to "inviting ivory."
As a mother, her mothering skills come out in all parts of the office. Julia tries to make not only the center staff, but also the clients feel welcome and show compassion to them. Julia tries to look at everything with a positive spin, even when working with students, staff, faculty and concerned family members during difficult situations. She prides herself in possessing the ability to listen and communicate with others on all levels.
Julia is a graduate of WKU and has always enjoyed working at a university because she believes it keeps you young at heart and helps you learn new things. She has been married to Brandon for eight years and has two children Rachel & Logan. She also enjoys shopping, doing crafts with her kids and traveling.
Julia always says "look at the positive side of anything and SMILE while doing everything."
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