I’ve been fortunate in my 23 years as a consultant to work with truly wonderful people. Among them is Rosemary (Rosie) Makosky, who recently retired from Lehigh University’s Office of Distance Education (DE).
Lehigh was a pioneer in offering graduate degree programs by live satellite broadcast to corporate employees in the early 1990’s. I served as distance ed‘s marketing consultant back then, and we relied on relationship marketing for company/student recruitment and retention. Several times throughout the year we visited company sites to meet with current students and recruit new ones. These visits also enabled us to acknowledge the efforts of corporate staff who helped coordinate the on-site details of Lehigh’s distance ed programs. As DE Director Peg Portz was fond of saying, “Our programs may be by distance, but not our relationships.”
Rosie was the student administrator who coordinated distance ed’s admissions, handled registration, answered student questions and concerns, etc. She was the behind-the-scenes “go to”person for students … but she wasn’t kept behind-the-scenes. One of my favorite memories working with DE was accompanying Rosie on site visits, especially watching the reaction when she and the students met face-to-face for the first time. “So you’re Rosie!” they’d exclaim. “It’s great to finally meet you in person!” And then Rosie would engage in conversation asking about the student’s classes, family, and work situation. I loved witnessing such powerful connections – these students knew and appreciated how much Rosie cared about them.
I loved watching Rosie work her magic with students. Regardless of when they called, she never treated them as an interruption. She was always responsive, empathetic, and concerned in helping students get what they needed so they could succeed. She shared their triumphs and occasional setbacks. What I call being truly customer-focused is part of Rosie’s DNA. If only we had more Rosies in the workplace …
Thank you, Rosie, for all you shared and taught me when we worked together. Enjoy your retirement, dear friend!