Leslie began her higher education career over 17 years ago. She started as an admission counselor and quickly she saw an immediate need to build better pathways for transfer students transitioning from the two-year to the four-year institution. This passion provided opportunities to work directly with students to overcome barriers in admission, registration, advising, and completion. Before transitioning her role as the Seamless Transfer Coach at the lab, Leslie served as the Transfer Coordinator at Southern Illinois University Edwardsville where she worked with community colleges to create seamless 2+2 and dual admission programs, which included placing and integrating full-time SIUE advisors on the community college campus. She also worked directly on the Department of Labor’s Trade Adjustment Assistance Community College and Career Training (TAACCCT) grant. Her work on this grant included bridging the gap between technical associate degrees and the paths to baccalaureate degree attainment.
In her first role at the lab she provided support and guidance to the IHE Teams selected to participate in the Seamless Transfer Pathways Design Challenge. Leslie’s current work includes supporting and leading institutions through various completion initiatives, including working directly with faculty and administration to build clearer, stackable pathways to completion at both two and year institutions. She also works directly with institutions and practitioners who are interested in implementing human-centered design methodology on their campus or within their organization.
Leslie earned a doctorate in Higher Education Leadership focusing her research on student perception to reverse transfer initiatives, specifically community college transfer students who left the four-year institution before earning a degree.