Q: Ariel, when were you hired at Wesleyan?
A: I started at Wesleyan in October 2006.
Q: As the manager of University Relations Information Services, what information do you oversee?
A: I manage our data services staff to ensure data integrity throughout our database. We have a database of over 150,000 constituents consisting of alumni, parents, corporations and foundations and friends of Wesleyan. My area is responsible for processing all the gifts we receive as well as all the biographical data we maintain on people.
Q: What type of information do you keep track of?
A: Each constituent has their own record. We maintain their contact information, degrees, employment, family relationships, volunteer activities, interests, contact information with various staff members and giving history.
Q: Can alumni feel safe knowing their information is protected?
A: Our database is called Millennium which is a web-based Sage Software product. The information we store in our system is useful to our UR team and others across campus in order to reach out to our constituents around the world. The database is password protected behind a firewall and all information is kept confidential.
Q: Who else works in information services?
A: We have three staff members: Angela Morgan, Marian Blake and Kathy Vecchitto. I also have a fabulous manger that I work for, Deb Treister. Deb oversees the operations of University Relations. She is a great leader. She is fair, understanding, considerate, good communicator and listener. She is also a good mentor and motivator. She is wonderful to work with.
Q: How do you record gifts?
A: Our policy is to have all gifts and pledges entered within 24 to 48 hours of receipt. We produce gift receipts and thank you letters for every gift received.
Q: What is an example of a recent project you’ve been involved with?
A: One of my major projects for this year is to create a comprehensive procedural manual for all functions within the Data Services area. I work closely with Information Technology Services in the development of automated procedures to more efficiently handle our daily workload.
Q: What are typical problems or questions some one may ask you?
A: I work with our fundraisers to answer gift entry questions such as the allocation of the money, open pledge amounts, etc. I also follow up on matching gift payments from corporations, and respond to constituent questions regarding gift receipts and credit card transactions. We also have to keep up with daily correspondence regarding updated information about our constituents.
Q: Where did you go to college and what did you major in? What led you to Wesleyan?
A: I went to the University of Hartford and majored in business. Before coming to Wesleyan I worked at United Way in Hartford in their Donor Services area. After 16 years, I felt I was ready for a change and when I saw the job posting from Wesleyan I knew it sounded like a good fit.
Q: What are your thoughts on Wesleyan?
A: Wesleyan is an awesome place to work. I’ve been able to get involved in a variety of interesting new projects since I’ve been here and have had the opportunity to meet and work with a great group of people. I’ve found people here to be very helpful and supportive.
Q: What do you enjoy in your free time?
A: I enjoy cooking, reading, walking in the woods, and traveling with my family. I am married with three children.