Name: Amanda Lorens
Alma Mater: Hunter College of the City University of New York, with a Master’s in Higher Education Administration from the Teacher’s College at Columbia University
What is your role at Anthology? Senior Strategist for Adoption & Change
What brought you to where you are now? After finishing my Master’s in Higher Ed Administration, I began working in student affairs at Hunter College supporting scholarships and student engagement initiatives, ultimately overseeing our CRM system as communications marketing director for the division. That resulted in the development of a deep passion for system implementation, administration, and adoption. From there, I went on to implementation and strategic consulting at Hobsons and Campus Management, and now have the opportunity to support many institutions in those efforts with Anthology.
How are you helping to revolutionize higher education? I enjoy helping students succeed—it’s why I started my full-time career in Student Affairs, and why I am passionate about continuing to serve higher ed today. Through my consulting work I have had the honor of helping numerous colleges and universities streamline their processes through technology adoption, allowing them to offer better services to their students. That ultimately helps those students on their path to success. To know that I have a small part in helping to shape a student’s future is both humbling and extraordinary.
You mention technology adoption – an area in which many institutions may struggle. Can you talk about how institutions might be more successful in this area? Implementing a new solution can be a significant change – not only for system configurations and business processes (technical elements), but for the end users (faculty, staff, students) who are responsible for executing those processes and using those systems. The tendency in implementation is to exert most of the efforts on the technical elements, and not on supporting the people side. Yet ultimately, even if a perfect system is configured – if no one uses it, the institution will not achieve the benefits they set out to accomplish. So, supporting the people from the beginning, during and beyond implementation is critical to adoption. As a certified change practitioner at Anthology, I have the opportunity to support institutions in identifying targeted and proactive strategies to support their people right from the start of their project.
In a recent article, you discussed several key best practices for supporting student career exploration, can you talk more about what Anthology is doing to help institutions who want to offer meaningful career exploration for students? Students need support to understand the kinds of occupations that their programs of study can ultimately lead to, and as they prepare to enter the workforce, they need clarity on how those programs will best prepare them for their future careers. Our Occupation Insight solution joins labor market and institution data to allow institutions to visualize those connections for students and provides academic programs insight into the demands of the labor market as they craft their curriculums and courses.
Which of Anthology’s missions & values resonates the most for you? And why?
Without a doubt, ‘seamlessly collaborate’. Collaboration is central to our work at Anthology and to the work of the institutions we serve. I’ve observed incredible success at institutions who break down silos and work together to develop a path forward. And throughout my career, I have been fortunate to serve under leadership who value and promote collaborative initiatives and opportunities and seen benefits of this approach time and again. To have such a personally meaningful value specified in our organization’s mission and operationalized in our approach, is not something I take for granted.
Do you have a favorite quote or personal mantra?
“Whatever you do – work at it with all your heart.” It is a standard I draw from my faith and one I strive to practice in my professional and personal life.
Read Amanda’s recent article for EdTech Digest.