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Knight vision Team Member Spotlights

Jacqueline Lewis

Knight Vision Functional Training Lead
  • 1. How long have you been with UCF and what is your current position on the Knight Vision Team? I currently serve as the Functional Training Lead for the Knight Vision program. Prior to that, I served as the Assistant Director of Instructional Technology for Financials Support Services, overseeing all training and communications in support of the UCF Financials system. Altogether, I have only been with UCF for almost three years and previously worked for 12 years at Old Dominion University in Norfolk, Virginia.
  • 2. How do you think Knight Vision will impact the future business processes at UCF? Although I do not have any direct experience in HR or finance, overseeing the development of training materials in support of the Workday ERP implementation has no doubt highlighted the heavy impact this will have on UCF faculty and staff. They will not only have to learn new workflows and processes to various business processes, but also a system that has a very different look and feel to our existing systems. It should be a little more seamless when completing business processes in Workday but it will definitely be a learning curve. I think in the long run it will provide more continuity and efficiency in task completion as well as automate more business process actions
  • 3. What excites you the most as you lead the training programs for the Workday coming soon? I think being a part of UCF’s transformation and knowing that I played a part in helping to guide staff in that transition is the most rewarding. I have been a part of helping the higher ed community undergo digital transformations since 2007. Back then, I was simply a multimedia specialist who provided technical support and guidance for online training and courses. As technology evolved, I saw more and more the importance to lend my technological expertise to digital media and instructional technology to help bridge this technological knowledge gap. I see the same similarities in my past contributions to our Workday ERP implementation. Workday is much different from PeopleSoft functionality, so my hope is that we serve as a support network for staff and faculty during this change through instructional engagement and support.
  • 4. What do you like most about working on the Knight Vision program team? Working on Knight Vision is a little like walking into an escape room with a group of people, and I do not mean that in a negative way...
Robin McCormick
Custom Application Replacements for PeopleSoft (CARP) Systems Analyst IV
  • 1. How long have you been with UCF and what is your current position on the Knight Vision Team? I am proud to say I have been a UCF Knight for just over 23 years! I started as a receptionist in the tutoring center at the Student Academic Resource Center, then was fortunate to gain functional and technical experience in many different roles for 18 years at the College of Graduate Studies. I then decided that I wanted to gain more technical experience and transitioned to UCF IT. I am currently an Application Analyst for the Knight Vision program on the Custom Application Replacements for PeopleSoft (CARP) team.
  • 2. How do you think Knight Vision will impact the future business processes at UCF? I think the Knight Vision Program will have an exciting impact on business processes. I am impressed with how user-friendly Workday is. My favorites so far are the inbox, timesheets and requesting time off. I am looking forward to helping with the implementation of a new faculty system. It will not be part of Workday, but it will enhance the business processes for faculty. I welcome the changes and am so glad that the university is making these transitions.
  • 3. What excites you most about the Custom Application Replacements for PeopleSoft (CARP) project? Over the years, PeopleSoft was customized to meet the needs of the University. These changes are now being re-evaluated for a replacement due to the Workday implementation. Some of the custom applications will be replaced with Workday and some will need another solution. I find working with the application owners and trying to find the right solution that meets everyone’s needs to be the most exciting aspect of the CARP project.
  • 4. What do you like most about working on the Knight Vision program team? I like working with everyone that makes up our team which includes our leadership team. I enjoy most being able to share my knowledge, learning from others on our talented team and gaining new perspectives throughout the implementation. I believe that our teamwork will make the Knight Vision Program successful.
  • 5. What have you learned about UCF during your participation with such a large change initiative? I have learned that change can be hard for many individuals...

Varsha Das

Asst. Director for Applications Development and Knight Vision PeopleSoft Retrofits Workstream Lead
  • 1. How long have you been with UCF and what is your current position on the Knight Vision Team? I am a 20-year UCF Knight! I was hired for the implementation of PeopleSoft Campus Solutions when UCF had 38,000 students, moved to the Financials Implementation, and have been part of a variety of technological transformations. My career at UCF has been an exhilarating journey for me. My current position at the Knight Vision project is workstream lead for the Campus Solutions retrofits pillar.
  • 2. How do you think Knight Vision will impact the future business processes at UCF? I believe Knight Vision will bring UCF to the cutting edge in technology, and both modernize as well as simplify business processes, provide “always present” cloud data access and bring the University closer to its goal of analytics-driven decision making
  • 3. What excites you most about the PeopleSoft Retrofits project? The retrofits project encompasses changes to Campus Solutions, which serves UCF’s primary customers, our 70,000+ students and also to the 10,000+ staff that serve them. The goal of the retrofits project is to provide continuity and stability to student processes while integrating with Workday HCM and Finance. This project encapsulates the retrofitting of all student-related functionality, including the reconfiguration and changing the financial chartfields structure within Campus Solutions to work with the new financial structure defined in Workday. What excites me about this is that students and employees continue to receive excellent service while we prepare to take student applications to the next level of modern technology in the next phase of the Knight Vision project.
  • 4. What do you like most about working on the Knight Vision program team? What I find fascinating about the Knight Vision team is that each person contributes at an exceptional level so the team, as a whole unit, can move forward efficiently through each project of this complex and broad transformative program. I feel lucky to wake up every morning feeling invigorated and work with this amazing team of colleagues to realize the goals that the leadership of the University have tasked us with.

Monica Rodriguez

Knight Vision HCM Absence and Time Tracking Lead
  • 1. How long have you been with UCF and what is your current position on the Knight Vision Team? I’ve been with UCF a total of 14 years with a break in service in between to follow my husband’s career. If I hadn't left, then it would’ve been almost 20 years. Wow, time sure flies by. I started in Finance & Accounting as an Instructional Designer and then a Financial Analyst. I then moved on to Human Resources to become an HRIS Analyst and then accepted a promotion as a Student Functional Analyst at the College of Medicine. In all three positions, I supported the areas with PeopleSoft. I was very excited to hear UCF was upgrading to Workday and I wanted in on the fun. On the Knight Vision Project Team, I am the HCM Absence and Time Tracking Lead.
  • 2. How do you think Knight Vision will impact the future of time tracking and HR processes at UCF? We will finally be current and be up-to-speed with technology. We will finally be able to eliminate the LAPERs (paper timesheets). In Workday, we will be able to check-in/-out, request time off, check time-off balances (even plan for the end of the year time off because you will now be able to forecast your time-off balances), make corrections to time-off requests, etc. Employees can do all of this from their desktop, tablet or mobile device. Managers, from their dashboards, can quickly see who has checked in/out for the day, who has missed a punch or not submitted time, quickly approve timesheets for several employees at once and run several reports. If you can book a hotel, an airline ticket, reserve a rental car online (or from your mobile device), you can do all the above with no problem. When you get the chance to log on to Workday you will see that it's pretty simple.
  • 3. What excites you most about Workday? I’m excited that employees will be able to see more of their own data and transactions in the system more than they currently do. Also, the fact that a lot of the business processes can be done from their mobile device is very convenient
  • 4. What do you like most about working on the Knight Vision program team? First, I want to say that I am excited to be back at UCF. UCF is my home. I was over the moon to learn that I would be joining the Knight Vision team and working alongside some of my peers. I have met some great folks while on the project and I am also excited that I get to engage with the UCF community. I am grateful.

Andre Watts

Master Data Management, Knight Vision Functional Lead
  • 1. How long have you been with UCF and what is your current position on the Knight Vision Team?
    I have been with UCF since 2002 when I started with the Center for Distributed Learning doing system and network administration before moving over to Institutional Knowledge Management in 2014. I currently serve as Interim Director of Institutional Analytics in the Division of Analytics and Integrated Planning along with my Knight Vision role as the Master Data Management Functional Lead under the Reporting and Analytics Workstream.
  • 2. How do you think Knight Vision will impact the future of reporting and analytics processes at UCF?
    The Knight Vision program is allowing for long-term investments in enhancing our data and reporting ecosystem. Once completed, UCF will have in place strong foundational technology, governance and oversight mechanisms to support and enhance the University's data and reporting capabilities. This will catapult the University forward to producing rich high-level insightful data at a much faster pace.
  • 3. What is DARE and what excites you most about it?
    The Data, Analytics and Reporting Ecosystem (DARE) will be a cloud-based data warehousing, reporting and analytics environment that sits alongside Workday and contains the capabilities for big data processing and storage, seamless abilities to perform detailed analytics, and integration with data visualization tools. The most exciting aspect of DARE is that it will modernize how we deliver data and analytics to support the University's strategic initiatives and operations in both the short and long term.
  • 4. What do you like most about working on the Knight Vision program team? For me, I get to work with some great folks that I have not had the opportunity to collaborate with before.
  • 5. What have you learned about UCF during your participation with such a large change initiative?
    That change is not easy, and in order to bring large, cross-domain and multifaceted projects to a successful end, a great deal of planning and coordination must take place.
  • 6. What is a fun fact about you that few people know?
    I love to train and coach youth basketball!

LaShanda Brown-Neal

Director of Accounting, Facilities & Safety
  • 1. How long have you been with UCF and what is your current position on the Knight Vision Team?
    I have been with UCF for 14 years serving in the Facilities & Safety Department. I started off as an accounting coordinator working on the Burnett Building out at Lake Nona, was promoted to business office manager, assistant director and I am currently the director of accounting. I also serve part-time as the functional lead for Capital Projects, Business Assets and Inventory on the Knight Vision team alongside Albert Francis.
  • 2. How do you think Knight Vision will impact the future of financial business processes at UCF?
    I look forward to having more streamlined financial business processes that help UCF become more efficient with the management of financial data and better reports to help with financial transparency.
  • 3. What excites you most about Workday?
    Seeing how all the pieces fit together to make up one system that will be used across the entire university to help make UCF become more modernized.
  • 4. What do you like most about working on the Knight Vision program team? Being amongst a diverse group of peers and having the ability to help develop change at the university.
  • 5. What have you learned about UCF during your participation with such a large change initiative?
    The university has a lot of existing sub-systems that just need the technical support and the integrations that would help the university's financial outlook.
  • 6. What is a fun fact about you that few people know?
    I'm married to my high school sweetheart, and we met in middle school.

Mike Stein

Knight Vision Functional Lead for Accounting & Foundation Data Model (FDM)
  • 1. How long have you been with UCF and what is your current position on the Knight Vision Team?
    I have been with UCF a little over five years. I am Knight Vision's Functional Lead for Accounting & Foundation Data Model (FDM).
  • 2. What are a few benefits of the new Foundation Data Model that you want everyone to know about?
    The FDM will replace our PeopleSoft chart of accounts. It's a fresh start for the University to determine the values we will use in Workday. Workday, as product, will allow us to see data real-time, report in ways we were never able to do before, transact quickly and efficiently through self-service functions and streamline all the processes which already exist today. The FDM is the backbone for all of Workday's amazing functionality! It is a multi-dimensional structure that takes our PeopleSoft values and places them in new Workday segments. The segments we've defined will allow users to transact and report within Workday, instead of building Excel spreadsheets outside the system. The FDM will enable consistency and accuracy across the entire University. But perhaps the biggest change is that this is the first time all our entities will utilize the same chart of accounts. The FDM is for the University and our Direct Support Organizations!
  • 3. What have you learned about UCF during your participation with such a large change initiative?
    I've learned a lot! My role on the Knight Vision project is special because it allows me to see every area of the University and almost every function of Workday. FDM touches everything; it's one of the pillars of our ERP implementation. I've met and worked with people from all our Academic Affairs units and all our Administration & Finance divisions. I've learned how certain functions affect one another. I've gained an understanding of every FDM segment including Projects, Grants and Gifts, contributing to my knowledge of their Workday functionality. I've been involved with various finance areas like procurement, capital projects and budget, as well as other areas such as payroll, integrations and retrofits. And, the learning is like a snowball; as the weeks go by, I'm taking in more and more knowledge!
Tiffany Hughes, UCF

Tiffany Hughes

Chief of Operations and Executive Director for the Office of Outreach and Engagement at the College of Business
  • 1. How long have you been with UCF and what is your current position? I am honored to have been at UCF for 14 years. Currently, I am the Chief of Operations and Executive Director for the Office of Outreach and Engagement at the College of Business. As COO for Dean Paul Jarley, I oversee the divisions of Human Resources, Budget and Finance, and Facilities, and work as a direct liaison with the business community to connect organizations with our remarkable talent and resources at the college.
  • 2. How do you think Knight Vision will impact the future of UCF? Knight Vision will transform the way UCF works, and this reengineering of how we will “do business” will better position us as to be a top 10 metropolitan research university. Knight Vision’s elements will allow us to gain efficiencies through streamlining the administrative processes, improve reporting and the delivery of services, while helping to smooth out the workload across our employees.
  • 3. What sparked your interest in joining the Knight Vision CCAG (Campus Community Advisory Group)? I am fortunate that my role allows me to work with a variety of units and divisions across campus. Our employees and faculty work extremely hard to help better this university. When Knight Vision was announced, I was excited to be a part of a team that helped look for solutions and tools that will allow us to gain efficiencies and collaborate across campus. Alongside our chair, Seresa Cruz, the entire Campus Community Advisory Group looks to be a sounding board for the Knight Vision team to help recognize gaps in our business processes, facilitate solutions, and provide strategic direction for their consideration.
  • 4. What is your role in CCAG? Co-Chair for Workday (HR, Finance and Grants). Workday is a cloud-based solution for financial management and human capital management.
  • 5. What new Workday benefits are you most looking forward to? The ease of managing daily tasks with an intuitive user-friendly platform, while also having access to real time data and reporting. And, of course, no more paper LAPERs 😉
Seresa Cruz, UCF

Seresa Cruz

HR & Budget Director II, College of Sciences
  • 1. What is your role on Knight Vision? I am the Campus Community Advisory Group (CCAG) chair and I am a member of the Business Owners Council (BOC).
  • 2. How long have you been with UCF? I initially worked for a temporary employment agency and was assigned to work at UCF. I then was offered an OPS hourly position before landing my full-time USPS position on May 2, 1997. This means officially I have worked at UCF for more than 25 years.
  • 3. What sparked your interest in joining Knight Vision? Everything. We (UCF) need to leverage more online processes and evaluate how we provide services moving forward. The growth at the university has certainly outgrown our existing infrastructure. The ability to provide efficient and effective services has been hampered by our current state. I am hopeful our services will significantly improve by working together.3.
  • 4. What are common roles or characteristics of the CCAG members? The roles of the CCAG members vary, as it should, to ensure we have different perspectives. This includes the academic enterprise and the university offices. The CCAG Communication Network is also a role that will be critical to the success of the Knight Vision program. For example, the feedback provided by the campus will help everyone with what can be incorporated into Workday or what business processes we will need to change to align with Workday.
  • 5. What are your goals for CCAG? There are several goals but let me focus on one. I want to create two-way communication between the campus community and the Workstream Leads. The campus has a lot to learn about related to the Knight Vision. Likewise, the Knight Vision team has a lot to learn about the campus community on how we deliver our services. We need to work towards collaborative efforts that address the needs of the university offices and the services that are needed for our faculty, graduate students, and undergraduate students to be successful.

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