New interim chief of staff brings fresh ideas to SUNY Oswego

kristi eck smiling
Kristi Eck, SUNY Oswego’s new Interim Chief of Staff.

[su_dropcap style=”3″ size=”3″]A[/su_dropcap] new face with a bright future, Kristi Eck has recently joined the administration of SUNY Oswego as interim chief of staff for President Deborah F. Stanley.

Eck holds a master’s degree from Columbia University’s Teachers College in higher and postsecondary education administration and a bachelor’s degree in English from Colby College in Maine.

Finding her place

Hailing from Lake Bluff, Ill., Eck is no stranger to small towns and the great outdoors. Eck said when she accepted the job as interim chief of staff, she knew she wanted to live right in Oswego because of its sense of community and opportunity to be active.

“There’s many beautiful places to be outdoors here,” Eck said. Eck usually spends her spare time hiking, biking, or kayaking and spending time her English bulldog, Zelda.

In addition to the opportunity for activity in Oswego, Eck values Oswego’s strong sense of community and what it has to offer.

“The downtown Oswego is fantastic!” Eck said, she admires the independently owned businesses such as River’s End Bookstore and the well-known Oswego favorite breakfast joint, Wade’s Diner.

In addition to her love for the Oswego atmosphere, Eck’s attraction to the job as interim chief of staff was mainly due to the opportunity it provides for her to work closely with President Stanley, a leader she greatly admires.

Eck said she finds President Stanley to be incredibly dedicated and very well respected at Oswego as well as throughout the SUNY system.

[su_pullquote align=”left”]”Kristi’s open and collaborative nature are important assets for this work.”  – President Stanley[/su_pullquote]

 “It is wonderful to have Kristi join the President’s office as Chief of Staff,” said SUNY Oswego President, Deborah F. Stanley. “She has a great deal of pertinent experience and a strong record of achievement to carry into these responsibilities.”

Say Yes to Education

Before Kristi Eck obtained the job of interim chief of staff, she held the position of Education Program Director for Say Yes to Education located in our neighbors next door Syracuse, New York.  Eck was responsible for leading the Say Yes Syracuse’s collaboration with Higher Education Compact Partner Colleges which was designed to implement programs to support the academic success, persistence and personal and professional development of Say Yes Scholars.

Some of the books written as part of the Say Yes to Education Young Authors Series, launched by Kristi.
Some of the books written as part of the Say Yes to Education Young Authors Series, launched by Kristi.

Kristi says one of her largest accomplishments at Say Yes was when she launched her original idea, Say Yes to Education Young Authors Series in 2009 when she was a program coordinator. Though Eck has left her position as education program director, the project that started four years ago with only 11 local Frazer School students and 34 Syracuse University art students participating has continued to grow in size every year.

“I loved my job with Say Yes to Education, it was a great experience,” said Eck. “I learned a tremendous amount and I was part of a wonderful team there, but to be able to be part of the team here at SUNY Oswego was a major draw, it was a deciding factor.”

kristi eck timeline

Before working for Say Yes, Kristi Eck was the Study Abroad Advisor for SUNY Cortland. While working for at Cortland, Eck recognized Oswego’s ability be cutting edge and stand out amongst SUNY schools as an innovative leader in higher education. Eck mentioned how much she enjoys visiting Rice Creek, Oswego’s newly renovated field station located nearly one mile south of the main campus.

Work at SUNY Oswego

[su_dropcap style=”3″ size=”3″]W[/su_dropcap] orking with faculty, working with students and other administrators, it’s really a dream job,” Eck said.  “When you start a new job, it’s thrilling. Your brain never stops in a positive way because I’m thinking about my job all the time.”

Eck said her role as interim chief director of staff mirrors exactly what she studied her masters in at Columbia.

Kristi Eck working in her chief of staff office in Culkin Hall.
Kristi Eck working in her chief of staff office in Culkin Hall.

“I’m learning a lot, I’m meeting a lot of new people and help make SUNY Oswego even better,” Eck expressed.

She said it is important to her to be making relationships at the college and in the community as well. Eck feels that Oswego and the SUNY Campus share a welcoming energy that makes her feel right at home.

While she has shared her satisfaction with the job, President’s Cabinet members have expressed their own remarks of approval of Kristi’s new positive presence amongst her co-workers, including Pamela Caraccioli, Deputy to the President for External Partnerships and Economic Development.

[su_quote]Kristi has been a great addition to the President’s office. She brings a youthful, fresh perspective to the table![/su_quote]

Eck’s initial focus as interim chief of staff is to understand and learn as much as she can about Oswego. “My focus is on working collaboratively with the strong team here at SUNY Oswego to create the next strategic plan for the college,” Eck said.

SUNY Oswego’s strategic plans human design lasts typically five years. Eck described Oswego’s strategic plan of timeless concepts composing the acronym V.I.E.W.S., standing for vitality, intellectual rigor, engagement, world awareness, and solutions.

Listen to Kristi go in depth with the idea of V.I.E.W.S. and SUNY Oswego’s latest strategic plan!

“The strategic plan drives the planned actions of the campus,” said Eck. “Over the last 5 years, SUNY Oswego has increased  the rigor of its courses, expanded opportunities for students, and opened up new facilities that better both SUNY Oswego and local community.”

Kristi Eck shared that the intellectual, energetic, and young environment of the college, makes her new place in Oswego feel like just the right fit.

“It’s a vibrant community to be a part of and I am doing a job I truly love, so I kind of have the best of both worlds.”

What does Kristi love the most about Oswego? Take a look and find out! [youtube] Written and Edited by: Brittany Hoffman & Marlena Montero