SRU hosting staff professional development training July 30


Old Main in the sun

Slippery Rock University is hosting a professional development day for staff, July 30, in the Smith Student Center Ballroom. The focus of the event is how to provide improved customer service.

July 23, 2019

SLIPPERY ROCK, Pa. — Slippery Rock University is hosting professional development training for University staff, 10 a.m. to 2:30 p.m., July 30, at the Smith Student Center Ballroom.

The event is being organized through a collaborative effort between the Office of the President; Human Resources; University Communication and Public Affairs; and Career Education and Development.

While the University typically hosts a professional development day for faculty and staff during the academic year, this one-day event is a "staff only" initiative that will focus on ways for staff to better serve students, and one another, through exceptional customer service.

"At SRU we take pride in providing excellent customer service and caring for our students, but this training allows us another opportunity to learn more about being service-minded and to share our best practices with each other," said Lynne Motyl, chief human resources officer.

"Customer service is at the foundation of higher education in delivering value to our students and each other," said Erin Strain, director of leadership development. "Going out of our way to help someone is often the difference between being good or great, or whether a student or employee decides to leave an institution. We want everyone to have a good experience at SRU, and the benefits of great customer service are not just for fiscal reasons, it impacts who we are as institution."

Check in begins at 9 a.m. with the keynote speaker, Cary Cavitt, set for 10 a.m. Cavitt is an author and one the leading customer service trainers and speakers in the country. His presentation will focus on six attitudes professionals must have to deliver excellent customer service: friendliness, enthusiasm, caring, respect, encouraging and thankfulness.

Cavitt's messaging won't be limited to one day however as staff will receive five email video messages throughout the academic year to remind and reinforce his presentation. SRU's Leadership Development Center will host follow-up customer service workshops during the year for University staff.

After lunch the focus will be on re-orientation to SRU. "You can't provide excellent customer service if you don't have the most accurate and up-to-date information to share. Otherwise you'll just waste time and create a negative situation," Rita Abent, chief communication and public affairs officer, said. "We'll be starting the year with lots of changes at the University and several challenges we need to address together as a team. The intent is to provide important updates in fun, manageable bites."

Registration for the event closes June 23 at 4 p.m. Staff may RSVP via the electronic invitation they received or by contacting the President's Office at 724.738.2000.

MEDIA CONTACT: Justin Zackal | 724.738.4854 |