OSU Ecampus academic programs manager
An advocate for women’s rights and empowerment, Ecampus Academic Programs Manager Erica Curry takes her passion one step further by promoting career and professional development opportunities for student employees – and teaching others to do the same. Formerly a course and faculty support project coordinator for OSU Ecampus, Erica used her role to create a robust student employee program, helping more than a dozen students with personalized projects to prepare them for their future careers. Prior to Ecampus, Erica served as an assistant to the director, front office manager and lead writing assistant at the OSU Writing Center, and as an English language acquisition instructor and assistant program administrator for the English language learner program at Linn-Benton Community College. During her undergraduate experience at Oregon State, she served in the Army ROTC and as a college differential and integral calculus tutor. Erica earned a B.A. in English Literature and is currently pursuing an MBA in Business Analytics, both from Oregon State.
By Heather Doherty
April 13, 2017
“Bend, Oregon. Though, I’ve now lived in Corvallis longer than I’ve lived anywhere else in my life!”
When did you begin working at Oregon State Ecampus?
What excited you about the opportunity to work for OSU Ecampus?
“Being able to make a positive difference for students who, like me, were atypical students or worked full time while trying to get a degree. During my undergraduate, I worked 36 hours per week, plus a full class load. Ecampus courses allowed me to get my degree. I was eager to work in the unit that massively contributed to my ability to get a degree.”
Your role is relatively new. Describe why this role was needed, and what your responsibilities are.
“My new role is the result of the natural evolution of Ecampus as it continues to grow. We are gaining so many new Ecampus academic programs each year that someone was needed to coordinate all the moving pieces. I’m the bridge between all of those pieces. I work with departments, the administrative side of campus that approves new programs and all of our Ecampus units to track and facilitate the approvals of programs, while being a point person for everyone involved. I’m also looking at how to improve launching new programs for everyone involved. Finally, I’m going to be looking at ways to assess and report on program health throughout their lifecycle.”
“Ecampus courses allowed me to get my degree. I was eager to work in the unit that massively contributed to my ability to get a degree.”
What do you like most about your job?
“Getting to work collaboratively across Ecampus. I love knowing I get to meet and brainstorm with the intelligent, dedicated people in our division. I also love that a big piece of my job is relationship building across campus and with other institutions. Can you tell I love getting to know people? Everyone brings their own brand of brilliance to the table, and it is so exciting to get to work together.
“I also love the newness of this position and the unit it is a part of. Being able to think strategically and look at the big picture is satisfying to me. It’s a large part of what drew me to apply.”
What do you wish others knew about your job?
“Hmm. I’m not sure! Maybe where my desk is now? (Just past Rayne’s desk, in CWS territory; follow the really bright lights.)”
What made you decide to get into this field?
“I don’t think I ever consciously decided that higher education was my career path. I grew into it. I felt like I grew up in higher education. My education at OSU was not limited to academics. I was developed as a person, as a mentor and as a professional. I discovered my sense of self, my strength and my value at OSU. I had mentors, friends and role models spread throughout the institution. It only seemed natural to me that I come back and try to contribute the same to those who came after me. Now I can’t imagine working in a different industry.”
“I love knowing I get to meet and brainstorm with the intelligent, dedicated people in our division. I also love that a big piece of my job is relationship building across campus and with other institutions.”
What do you believe is your greatest accomplishment in this position?
“That’s a great question! It’s only been two and a half months, so I’m proud of everything I’ve managed to learn and synthesize, along with the immediate process changes I could make to vastly improve everyone’s experience.
“During my time at Ecampus, I’m most proud of my work during our migration to Canvas and the process we created to move content from one system, Blackboard, to our new Learning Management System, Canvas. Much of the content had to be redesigned to work effectively in Canvas, and we deployed a course template that relied on research-based best practices in every online classroom. I hired a student team and trained and developed them as professionals while creating a tracking system, a process management system and a notification system to manage the migration of content. We were able to move up to 93 courses a week with a staff of twelve part-time students dedicated to that project.”
What advice would you like to give to students, staff, faculty?
“Relationships with people are the biggest investments you can make. The more diverse those relationships are, the richer your life, understanding, compassion and wisdom. I can attribute so much of my success, sanity and joy to the people in my work and personal life. Also, for the students and young professionals, don’t be afraid to claim your strengths and interests. And know your talents can, and should, evolve and grow over time.”
What is one surprising thing about you that not many people know?
“If you play ‘Separate Ways’ by Journey, I will start singing along, VERY loudly. I might even pull out some dance moves from the music video.”
What are your favorite activities outside of work?
“Traveling and exploring – even hiking new trails in the area. I love spending my summers in and around any body of water I can find. I love to camp in isolated spots with my partner and puppy.”