Julie Orth, Student Life’s Process Improvement Expert

Julie Orth, Student Life’s Process Improvement Expert

Meet Julie Orth, Jessup’s housing operations and student life office manager who is hard at work throughout the year managing housing assignments including room changes, check-in/check-outs, meal plans and room selections. She’s also responsible for developing, implementing and managing all housing and commuter application processes. “I love organizing and fixing processes for staff, students and end users,” she said. “It’s a never ending process because the way I see it, there’s always something to improve upon.”

One of those improvements entailed implementing an automated portal for students to manage tasks from submitting housing and commuter applications to finding roommates, making room selections, identifying meal plans or communicating plans to stay on campus during winter break, for example. “The portal is a central hub for students and there are numerous requests,” Orth said. “As you can imagine, I deal with lots of deadlines.” Last academic year, Orth managed over 740 students. “Essentially, I view our students as adults. This is their time to learn how to make mature decisions and take advantage of the learning opportunities they have while they’re living on campus.”

When she’s wearing her Student Life hat, Orth oversees student workers who interact with students and provide necessary information for various processes. “Probably the most visible change to this aspect of my work is the relocation of the student store to our Student Life building,” Orth said. “It was a big project last summer and has provided a one-stop-shop for students on campus.” 

The department has experienced internal restructuring, of which Orth played a vital role. “Julie is someone who exudes what we’re all about here at Jessup,” Jessup’s Director of Student Life and Residential Housing, Brandon Farmer said. “Julie’s skill set has been instrumental to so many of the improvements we’ve made. I’m amazed at her ability to accomplish every task she does by going above and beyond what’s expected.”

Outside of campus, Orth is mom to two small boys, four and two years old.  As a military family, Orth is no stranger to functioning like a single mom, as her husband recently returned from his third deployment with the Army National Guard Reserve. The couple met in high school at 17 years old. “I’ve been with Travis during his entire military journey, from basic training until now,” Orth said. “I am so incredibly proud of him. He’s sacrificed so much. This lifestyle is a part of who we are, it’s ingrained in us, but I’ve learned to take it day-by-day.” 

Orth also credits her faith and strong support she receives from the Jessup community. “I’ve really opened up to the faith community here,” she said. “I’ve grown so much in my prayer life as we pray for fellow staff members. I’ve also allowed myself to be vulnerable because of the reciprocal relationship I have with my coworkers.” 

As the Jessup campus gears up to welcome incoming students this fall, Orth stresses the value of taking advantage of the opportunity to connect with other students particularly when students are freshman. “It is so beneficial to live on campus,” she said. “It’s the best way to build a lasting community. Over the years, I’ve seen many groups of students that started out knowing each other in the smaller wings of our residence halls. When students make these early connections, they tend to stick together over the years, choosing to be roommates in Sunset Residence halls or the Block apartments and find friendships that often last beyond their college years.”