The Director of Marketing and Strategic Initiatives for Auxiliary Services sounds overwhelming. But for Robin Parker, it is every day.
That title broken down means that she is responsible for the marketing, communication, and strategic initiatives for all the departments under Auxiliary Services. Parker said she works closely with the university’s business partners like Aramark and Follett, and with the directors and department heads. “Everything is funneled through me,” Parker said. She is also instrumental in the institutional effectiveness plans, which is the development of all ten departments in Auxiliary.
Parker has been working in Auxiliary since January 2005. This was her return to the Lion Nation, as she graduated from Southeastern with a bachelor’s degree in marketing, and again with an M.B.A. She also attended SLU Lab School. Parker’s niece, Laken Ellis said, “I remember when she got the job at Southeastern. It was like being called home in her eyes. She absolutely bleeds green and gold.”
Parker’s father is Dr. Clea Parker, who served as the President of Southeastern for 12 years. Ellis said, “Growing up on campus made her a Lion for life. She puts her everything into her job because of her pride for SLU and the legacy she hopes to continue after her father.” She said it is evident her aunt truly lives out the values of their family.
Parker said one of the best things she has gained from her years and position is a better perspective of the college experience for millennials. “My favorite part of the job is taking feedback from students and implementing the changes they want to see the best we can,” Parker said. She really values her relationships with the students and relations with offices like student engagement.
On the other hand, she says of course there are stressful times as well. “With there being ten departments it is hard to ensure everyone is on top of their game all of the time.”
One of the most successful things Parker has accomplished in her position is the New Student Union project. She said she has always wanted to be able to provide a united student area for Southeastern’s students. With the almost completion of this project, the most frequented student resources are all here, they are all centralized. Accomplishing this goal put her on cloud nine and she is so glad to see students enjoying it as much as she is.