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Meet: the new Director of Strategic Research and Assessment, Ellie O’Byrne

December 11, 2013

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Name: Ellie O'Byrne’05

Occupation: Director of strategic research and assessment.

Hometown: Wilmington, Del.

What brought me (back) to Beloit: This job!

You may have seen me: Showing my face at events all over campus! Meeting people all around campus and finding out about what they do really helps me understand how what I do can fit with--or assist--their work. My role is to figure out how to use the information we already have or could collect at the college to get better outcomes for students. What do we know about ourselves and what we are doing? Are we fulfilling the college's mission? How could we improve?

What are you working on? My first task here is compiling data from a lot of different campus sources that will go into a report called "The Common Dataset.” Most colleges publish these reports about themselves, and anyone can use the information to compare different colleges using common language and common measures: things like how many students are enrolled, the percent of students that live off campus, and what kinds of student activities are available. I'm currently working with a lot of different people and offices across the college to get the numbers we need. You may hear from me!

Favorite meal? Bagels and cream cheese. Toasted, obviously.

What can’t you live without? People. The only thing worse than being left in a place with no other people would be being left with no other people but with lots of zombies.

What’s on your desert island jukebox? It wouldn't matter. I would go crazy so fast (see "What can't you live without?"). I wouldn't even care.

Any advice? Before you walk away from any chair or seat, always look back at it to find the things you might have dropped or put down.

What gets you up in the morning? A good shove.

What’s your favorite hidden gem here in the area? I've just moved back to Beloit after eight years away, so suggestions are welcome!

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