Working with Parents Is Rewarding Challenge

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Amelia Pavlik
Communications & Marketing
404-385-4142

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From putting helicopter parents at ease to delivering news parents don’t want to hear, Kimberly Sterritt has experienced the highs and lows of directing the Georgia Tech Parents Program.

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From putting helicopter parents at ease to delivering news parents don’t want to hear, Kimberly Sterritt has experienced the highs and lows of directing the Georgia Tech Parents Program.

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  • Kimberly Sterritt Kimberly Sterritt
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From putting helicopter parents at ease to delivering news parents don’t want to hear, Kimberly Sterritt has experienced the highs and lows of directing the Georgia Tech Parents Program.      

“Due to the high anxiety associated with sending a student to college, family members are very appreciative of the information that they receive and the positive interactions they have with Georgia Tech faculty and staff — it is all about providing good customer service,” she said. “They are so proud that their student is attending such a great institution, and I love watching that pride beam through in-person, via email or over the phone.”

When dealing with a frustrated parent who is looking for a solution, Sterritt’s approach is to provide as much guidance as possible and to help them form an action plan before the conversation ends.

“There is nothing more irritating to a parent than to have a conversation about a problem and still have a problem at the end — with no idea of how to improve the situation,” she added.

Here’s more about Sterritt and her time at Georgia Tech.

How did you get to your current position?
My previous work experiences at other institutions were in admissions, orientation and academic advising. Though the focus of each position was the student, working with students often included working with their family members. I observed the remarkable influence that family members had on their students and grew to see them as big contributors to students’ academic experience.

What does an average day entail?       
Our office coordinates communication and involvement opportunities for parents and family members of Tech undergraduates. Every day looks a little different, since we do everything from helping with FASET orientation to Family Weekend each fall.

What is something most people don’t know about your job?    
Our office can be a helpful resource for other units on campus in that our monthly communication reaches more than 17,000 parents and family members and can be a way to inform families, and in turn their students, about campus happenings. We are also able to brainstorm solutions when parents and family members have concerns regarding their student on campus.

What piece of technology could you not live without?
I tend to have a love-hate relationship with most pieces of technology but have an appreciation for any technology that helps me stay connected to others.

What are a few things everyone should do while working at Tech?  
Attend new student convocation. There is something about the ceremonial start to a room of new students’ academic careers that is so promising and hopeful. And volunteer at a campus-wide student event. Whether it is a Family Weekend event or Sting Break, seeing Tech students in their element is worth the extra time on campus.

Best place to grab lunch on campus, and what do you order?
I could eat the pad Thai from Spoon or the club salad and tomato bisque from Fresh to Order every single day.

Name an accomplishment you are proud of.
I walked the Atlanta Breast Cancer three-day in 2009 — 60 miles over 3 days — and will be walking it again this fall.

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Institute and Campus
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Keywords
Kimberly Sterritt, parents program
Status
  • Created By: Amelia Pavlik
  • Workflow Status: Published
  • Created On: Aug 22, 2011 - 9:57am
  • Last Updated: Oct 7, 2016 - 11:09pm