Remote Penguin Service Center Doesn’t Leave Students Out in Cold

By Jessica Stamp

Elizabeth Williams, a freshman engineering major, and Emily Vero, a journalism major, live on campus in Cafaro House for their first year. Photo by Kelcey Norris/The Jambar

Youngstown State University’s Penguin Service Center saw some changes this semester, including the addition of remote work opportunities for employees. By working remotely in addition to meeting people in person, the center’s workers are helping students receive essential information, find guidance and resolve enrollment related concerns in the areas of financial aid, records, registration and student billing.

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Penguin Service Center found working remotely to be no different than usual, with the exception of on-campus interactions.

Tysa Egleton, director at the Penguin Service Center, said transitioning to remote work was easy. 

“We were already used to helping people on the phone and via email. So when it got intensified, that it was the only way we were going to be able to help people, we were already built for that,” she said.

The Penguin Service Center’s phone system filters calls to the next available person. The center is prepared to assist students with any questions or issues. Phone calls are the most popular means of contact due to the busy schedules of students.

“Students call for assistance in between classes or their two jobs,” Egleton said. “We were always doing more phone calls than we were [meeting] them in person.” 

Egleton said students are not the only people her office helps. 

“Faculty and staff use us a lot to help navigate through different issues that they need assistance with, and alumni actually use us as a resource for ordering transcripts and things like that,” she said.  

The center’s system of contacting and helping individuals has not changed, Maura McGiffin, assistant director at the Penguin Service Center, said. Certain guidelines for interacting with people have, however.

“Coming back to campus has been nice to interact with the students, even though we are following the social distancing guidelines, wearing masks, having plexiglass up.” she said.

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