Staff Spotlight: Jill Stevens
Today, Jill Stevens supports the Odum Institute staff as an Educational Coordinator, but she has been a Tar Heel since studying at UNC-CH as an undergraduate. Before transitioning into university administration, she worked in the hospitality industry as a manager at various hotels in the Triangle, as well as the Charleston, S.C., area.
Stevens began her first university role at the Medical University of South Carolina (MUSC), serving the environmental health sciences program by managing short courses and educational enrollment, much like her role at Odum. She later went on to serve as Commencement Coordinator and University Residence Office at MUSC, before starting at the College of Dental Medicine as an admissions officer. Throughout her various roles at MUSC, she discovered a passion for working in universities and helping students succeed.
Interested in returning to her alma mater and pursuing a new role in graduate studies, she found Odum to be a perfect fit. As the educational coordinator, Stevens supports the Institute’s short course programs, as well as a number of workshops with partners, such as Data Matters and the Qualitative Research Summer Intensive (QRSI).
In her role, she coordinates with instructors to schedule course dates and works with university departments to advertise current course offerings to the student body. She also manages enrollment and supports processes for the Certificate in Survey Science (CSS), a program for graduate students and working professionals interested in improving their knowledge and use of surveys. In supporting the QRSI, she works with our partners at ResearchTalk to manage logistics of the event, particularly when it is held in-person at the Carolina Inn.
Stevens notes that there has been new interest in Odum’s short courses from outside of North Carolina since the COVID-19 pandemic began. She states that, although some instructors miss teaching in person, there’s always been a need for online courses, and she would like to continue offering that option in the future. Researchers from universities across the world have learned about Odum’s courses in online searches and attended them virtually, along with the UNC community.
Outside of the office, Jill loves to cook and explore some of the nature preserves surrounding her home with her daughter.
In reflecting on her role, she has learned that people of all ages always want to keep learning. Even working from home, she continues to support education for thousands of participants in Odum’s educational programs each year.