Staff Spotlight ~ Sheri Winfield
LINK coordinator leads way for new systems
By Frank D. Martinez
Sheri Winfield readily admits she finds “change and chaos kind of exciting.”
That outlook helps make her a perfect fit for the LINK Service Center (LSC). She is one of three coordinators and ten volunteers taking calls and emails from UNM employees with questions about the SunGard Banner software.
“The feeling of being overwhelmed has gone down,” she said. “Right now, all of the practices we have in place to take care of the callers are working. The first week we were getting about 400 calls a day.”
For the first two weeks, she said, she and the other LSC coordinators were putting in nine-hour days, “taking calls and answering all of the e-mails and questions that came in through Fastinfo”(LSC’s interactive knowledge base).
Sheri has been involved with the LSC for nine months, helping with its design, testing and implementation. Previously, she worked at the CIRT Support Center for three and a-half years—two as a student and one and a half as a technical support analyst.
When first asked to work for the LSC, Manager Ivan Boyd said, “Sheri brought this willingness to do something entirely different totally outside of her area of expertise. I thought it was really courageous on her part. She developed knowledge and expertise in a broad range of finance and SunGard Banner areas that we all now turn to. Now, we’re turning to her to play a lead role in ensuring that we deliver good support services for the LINK Student/Academic and Financial Aid projects.”
Sheri said, “Working at the LINK Service Center has been rewarding because I’ve gotten to meet and work with high-level people at UNM.”
The hardest part of the job, she said, “is taking the brunt of some people’s frustrations, but everyone at the LINK Service Center has done an excellent job.”
Based on what she’s learned about similar implementations at other universities, Sheri remains undaunted. “UNM was more prepared,” she said. “One SCT representative who sat with us for a few days said we definitely had the best service center preparation. Other universities had nothing—they didn’t have access to training, they didn’t have any way to communicate—so she was impressed with our setup.”
When she’s not helping people at the LSC, Sheri is a student, working towards her second UNM bachelor’s degree. She earned her first, in biology in 1997, with honors. Her second will be in Computer Science. Sheri said her long-range career goal might be in the field of bioinformatics, which combines “computer programs with gene data to help identify genes that cause disease, things like that,” she explained.
Away from UNM, she has a part-time job at a Nob Hill gift shop. And, her four pet ferrets undoubtedly add to the chaos she likes.Yet, she said, she still finds time to play indoor soccer, “read a lot, go to a lot of movies and go dancing.”