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For Immediate Release
December 3, 2009

For more information, contact
Janet Roy
(585) 395-2267
jroy@brockport.edu

“Ask Ellsworth” Takes First Place in Student Affairs Competition

Press Release Photo Left to right: VP for Student Affairs Barbara Jones, SUNY Delhi; Scott Atkinson; Deborah Birkins; and Senior Assistant Provost Ed Engelbride, SUNY System Administration

Brockport, NY—The College at Brockport, State University of New York, received first place honors from the Office of University Life and Enrollment Management at SUNY System Administration and the Council of Chief Student Affairs Officers for the College’s “Ask Ellsworth” product. Ask Ellsworth garnered the award in the “Use of Technology to Enhance Student Services” category.

Ask Ellsworth consists of a frequently asked question (FAQ) database and marketing module. The online FAQ database provides answers to questions about admissions, financial aid, campus life, information technology, residential life and other student services 24/7. Using software provided by Right Now Technologies, Inc., the College implemented Ask Ellsworth in fall 2008. The database is comprised of two separate interfaces; prospective students and current students. Users may review the database or conduct searches based on key words or phrases to retrieve answers. They may also submit a new question, which is answered by College staff. The marketing module is used to send out targeted e-mails to prospective and current students. Ask Ellsworth can be accessed through the College at Brockport homepage or online at www.brockport.edu/ask.

Positive results during the launch of the project included a 98.4 percent self-service rate, which indicates that users are getting the information they need directly from Ask Ellsworth without having to contact College offices to ask a question. Ask Ellsworth also has reduced e-mail, telephone and in-person traffic to campus offices. E-mail marketing programs to prospective students—including out-of-state students, students with incomplete admission applications and students required to complete Part II admissions applications—have garnered high response rates from students and allowed the College to track conversion rates more effectively.

“Our steering committee worked hard to implement Ask Ellsworth to better serve our students, and it is gratifying that their efforts were recognized by this SUNY System Excellence Award,” said Kathryn Wilson, EdD/JD, vice president for enrollment management and student affairs.

College Steering Committee members for Ask Ellsworth include: Scott Atkinson, assistant vice president for enrollment management; Deborah Birkins, acting director of Academic Advisement; Nora Bell, associate director of financial aid; Joshua Fegley, health promotions coordinator; David Hoenk, help desk coordinator; Amy Kruppenbacher, assistant to the director of residential life/learning communities; and Robert Blanchet, senior admissions advisor.

Every SUNY state-operated campus was invited to nominate programs that have made a positive impact on students and their development in one of the following categories: Use of Technology to Enhance Student Services, Substance Abuse Prevention, Assessment and Evaluation, and Residential Life Programs. Winners were announced as part of the Fourth Annual Outstanding Student Affairs Program Awards and were invited to present their programs at the fall meeting of the Council of Chief Student Affairs Officers held in Syracuse, NY.

“Our congratulations go to those receiving special recognition,” said Edward Engelbride, senior assistant provost for the State University of New York System Administration, “These programs are excellent examples of initiatives designed to facilitate student learning and development in all aspects of campus life.”

For more information about Ask Ellsworth, contact Scott Atkinson at satkinso@brockport.edu.

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The College at Brockport, State University of New York
350 New Campus Drive * Brockport, New York 14420-2931
(585) 395-2754 * FAX (585) 395-2723 * www.brockport.edu

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