At UNE Online students are our top priority, and their success is what drives each and every one of us to do what we do.
We’d like to share a little bit about the people that are dedicated to making that happen every day.
Meet Lisa Shaker
Lisa is a Senior Student Support Specialist at UNE. Sometimes Lisa feels like she never left college; after graduating from the University of New Hampshire with her BA in Communication, Lisa immediately started a career in higher education, working at Dartmouth College, the University of Maine School of Law, and Southern New Hampshire University before joining UNE in 2014. Lisa even went on to earn her MS in Higher Education Administration from New England College.
What do you do at UNE Online?
I am a Senior Student Support Specialist here at UNE Online! Until March, I supported students in the Graduate Programs in Public Health. I was recently promoted to a new role and will be leading the team of Student Support Specialists for the Master of Social Work program.
What is a Student Support Specialist?
Every student is assigned a Student Support Specialist from the moment they are accepted into a program through graduation. The goal of the Student Support Specialist is to be an accessible, helpful connection to the University as students pursue their education. We are the first point of contact to help students manage their degree requirements to ensure they are on track to graduate.
Student Support Specialists also act as a resource, guide, and advocate for students as they navigate their online program. We are dedicated to student success and are here to make the student experience at UNE as seamless as possible!
Where are you from?
I was born and raised in Maine. I lived in Portland until I was one and then my family moved to Raymond (40 minutes north of Portland) to a house on Sebago Lake.
I have a huge sweet tooth, especially for chocolate. My go-to dessert is a Dairy Queen Blizzard with chocolate ice cream and Reese’s peanut butter cups! I also love cheesecake.
Favorite thing about living in Maine?
My favorite part about living in Maine is easy – access to the water! I live minutes away from the lake and close to the ocean. Portland also has a great food scene! There is always a new restaurant to try and fresh seafood to eat. One of my favorite places to visit in the summer is the Lobster Shack at Two Lights!
What’s your motto?
“Nothing, no one, is too small to matter. What you do is going to make a difference.” -Madeleine L’Engle.
Growing up, my mom had a short story on her desk titled the “Importance of One.” The moral of the story was that any effort or action, no matter how small, can make a difference. You might not be able to change the entire world, but at least you can change a small part of it for someone, and that has always stuck with me.
What’s the best professional advice you’ve received?
Don’t be afraid to ask questions and, more importantly, never stop asking questions. I am a strong advocate of if you don’t know, ask! Being clear, consistent, and accurate is important in any advising position. Asking questions also provokes critical thinking and encourages alternate thinking among your team!
I don’t really have a secret talent but what a lot of people don’t know about me is that I am a really good basketball player. I also have officiated two weddings!
What’s the latest lesson you’ve learned?
Remember to make time for yourself! It is easy to get wrapped up in your work or your studies and forget to take a break for yourself. You are more than just your professional or school self! As someone recently reminded me, you won’t be useful to anyone unless you are good to yourself. You have to take breaks and step away in order to refresh, clear your mind, and gain perspective. It is a key component to success and one I sometimes forget!
On another note, I recently took a CPR course. You can never be too prepared!
What is your favorite part of what you do here?
I enjoy building relationships with students and being a part of their academic journey. It is rewarding to watch students grow, overcome barriers, meet their goals, and succeed! Commencement is the best time of year because we get to “meet” students for the first time and celebrate their success. I also enjoy helping students navigate their options and create their degree plans. I like the “investigative” work.
Stay tuned for more team profiles! And in the meantime, click here to learn more about our Graduate Programs at UNE Online.