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Mary­Mar­garet Spiteri is the new director of the contact center. | Col­legian

Mary­Mar­garet Spiteri ‘14, who has lived and worked in Hillsdale since moving from Vir­ginia Beach her freshman year of college, accepted a position this January as director of the Kendall Contact Center.

Spiteri, who majored in Exercise Science, has held various cus­tomer service roles since age 15. During her time at Auto­mated Logistics Systems, which pro­vides intern­ships for stu­dents on campus, Spiteri made any­where from 80 to 100 phone calls per day to connect truck drivers with busi­nesses.

Spiteri’s imme­diate plans for the center include fine-tuning the program and looking for more effi­cient ways to perform dif­ferent tasks, like reaching out to donors. She will con­tinue the Contact Center’s phone-a-thons for fundraising pur­poses, and she looks to do more fundraising in the future for sports teams and greek life. She also plans on con­tinuing the pos­itive student culture and helpful pro­fes­sional devel­opment training that Papciak left behind.

Spiteri said her ver­sa­tility assists her in many dif­ferent areas of her life.

“Through being a student and working, and now being in the Contact Center, you have to be ver­satile and able to think outside of the box,” Spiteri said.  “Some­thing that really helps Hillsdale stu­dents succeed is being able to take a problem and look at mul­tiple dif­ferent solu­tions.”

Spiteri served as Assistant Director for the Contact Center starting in July 2017 under John Papciak ‘13, who first began designing the center in fall of 2015.

Papciak envi­sioned a small space of less than 10 desks within the Admis­sions Department, where he worked. After meeting and hearing the needs of various depart­ments around campus, he realized the college needed a much bigger space.

Papciak received clearance from Doug Banbury to build a larger center in January of 2016. His job changed from working within admis­sions to preparing and planning the inner mechanics of the Contact Center, from choosing phone and com­puter systems to training stu­dents for phone calls with donors, alumni, parents, and prospective stu­dents. With the help of stu­dents and interns, the current Contact Center opened in Sep­tember of 2016 as a sector of the Business Improve­ments Department. Papciak credits its success to stu­dents.

The Contact Center cur­rently employs 60 stu­dents, including nine student leaders, who com­pleted extensive training and an over-the-phone interview to prepare them for their work, which includes speaking with donors, directing callers to pro­fessors, and doing follow-up admis­sions calls.

“I relied a lot on both student workers an interns,” Papciak said. “It is in a lot of ways a student built orga­ni­zation.”

Papciak, who recently left Hillsdale to work for the Randal Retail Group in Chicago, said he passed on his brain-child to Spiteri based on her work ethic, pro­moting her to director this January.

“My goal was never to stay in this role per­ma­nently,” said Papciak. “My role is building instead of main­taining or staying.”

Reflecting upon his time at the Contact Center, Papciak said he will mostly miss working with the hard-working stu­dents but is looking forward to seeing Spiteri in this role.

“We have incredible stu­dents that i have been priv­i­leged to work with. They make this job so much more fun,” Papciak said. “This is an exciting time for [Spiteri] and stu­dents, and it will be fun to watch from afar and see the mark she leaves.”

Like Papciak, Spiteri rec­og­nizes the student’s hard work to help both the Contact Center and the college as a whole.

“The best thing the Contact Center pro­vides is for the stu­dents to have a hard job that is similar to real-world work,” said Spiteri. “Some­thing I really champion about it is that we can keep the stu­dents gaining momentum after college in using their expe­rience in the Contact Center.”

Laura Peter, mother of Spiteri and former assistant swim coach at the college, said she has watched her inter­per­sonal skills grow and flourish in her daughter since childhood.

“[Spiteri] is a people person,” said Peter. “She is good at making con­nec­tions and she has always been like that; she builds a lot of loyalty on people because she is such a people person.”

According to Spiteri, the day-to-day tasks at the Contact Center have run smoothly through the tran­sition.

“At this point, [the Contact Center] is a well-oiled machine,” said Spiteri. “[Papciak] has helped to create a strong foun­dation here, and it is really nice to come into this position the way he has pre­sented it.”