Kate Lutrey has held several jobs during her time at Metro State. Her latest is director of student concierge services, a new role that plays to one of her greatest strengths.
“I’m a troubleshooter,” she says.
After nearly 30 years as a Metro State employee, and before that as a student, Lutrey has made plenty of connections around campus. Her Rolodex comes in handy when a student needs advice or gets in a bind.
“I give people I know a call and say, ‘This student has got this situation, how can he remedy it?’”
Undoubtedly, she will be calling on those connections when she launches student concierge services in the Student Success Building.
Like her hotel counterpart, Lutrey will be front-and-center as director of the new initiative. She and her staff will be the go-to people for students, faculty, staff and visitors, providing accurate and timely information with a how-can-we-help-you attitude.
“It’s pretty much do all--do whatever comes your way,” she says.
Student concierge services will be headquartered at an information desk in the Student Success Building. “We certainly plan to have lots of technology-mediated methods of answering questions, but often the human touch is what is needed,” says Vicki Golich, provost and vice president for academic affairs.
Especially when there is a lot riding on the outcome. “A large percentage of students leave college because they didn’t know where to go to solve a problem,” Golich says. “Often those problems are relatively easy to resolve...Sometimes those problems are more complex, but they usually still have a solution. Again, this is where the human touch can be an important and positive difference maker.”
And who better to provide the human touch than Lutrey? “Kate has institutional memory that can be critical to helping train and build the knowledge base needed for this service to be successful,” Golich says. “She cares deeply about Metro State students and wants them to be successful. She has excellent judgment with respect to knowing when the institution needs to provide help and when the student needs to take responsibility.”
Lutrey started working at Metro in 1982. She was 18 credit hours shy of a diploma when she took a job as business manager of the student newspaper, in part to pay for day care for her son. Two years later, she became the longtime director of student publications.
After that she took on various roles as executive assistant to the vice president of student services, including student retention projects. She also served two more times as interim director of student media. She earned her diploma in journalism from the College in 1988.
“My biggest loyalty is to the students at Metro,” she says. “I can relate to them having been one, but I also can relate to them having struggles in life and in school. I really enjoy helping them by getting to the right place or by simply listening.”
It’s kind of like what a concierge does for hotel guests.
“At a hotel, if you want to go on a tour, where do you go? To the concierge,” she says. “So in the new Student Success Building if they need to know where financial aid is, they can come to my desk.
“I’ll be right there.”
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