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Masters in Applied Data Science staff members Kristin McCann, Taylor Alexander, Lauren Isaacman Darga, Daniel Truesdale, and Taylor Wallace serve both a large in-person masters program as well as an equally large online-only program. Coordinating across staff and faculty, departments and divisions, in-person and remote, these staff members have learned to recognize potential difficulties in higher education and have built a culture to help alleviate these challenges. In a new article written for Inside Higher Ed, they share their solutions to help staff thrive in an academic setting.

Here’s a short excerpt from their full article:

Arguably, the pandemic accentuated pre-existing complexities and pain points of working in higher education as a full-time staff member—including but not limited to lower pay relative to other sectors, lack of permanent hybrid and flexible work schedules, low investment in staff learning and development, and boundless expansion of duties, among other stressors. But on the flip side, what about higher ed professionals who stayed through it all? Who persisted and not only survived but also found a way to thrive?

Our core team is midsize and comprises several full-time staff and faculty members. Together, we support a large professional master’s degree program in concert with our department and division colleagues. After our unit was reorganized into a different division, a critical mass of us coalesced and began thinking about how to imagine and cultivate the kind of workplace we wanted to see.

As we commence a new year, we have reflected on the key elements that have encouraged us to stay. One point of departure for this reflection is the relative joy we find in our work on most days. We want to share those elements, because positive stories about working at colleges and universities are not often told. We hope that our colleagues across the country can implement or adapt at least some of following to help create a healthy environment where people thrive.

Read the full article here.


Kristin McCann, PhD

Chief of Staff, Executive Director, MS in Applied Data Science

Taylor Alexander, MA

Associate Director, Instructional Services, MS in Applied Data Science

Lauren Isaacman Darga, MA

Assistant Director, External Partnerships, MS in Applied Data Science

Daniel Truesdale, MPP

Associate Director, Enrollment Management, MS in Applied Data Science

Taylor Wallace, MEd

Graduate Academic Advisor, MS in Applied Data Science