Client Services Leader Receives President’s Award for Innovation

Lauren NelsonLauren Nelson, Assistant Director of Client Services for OIT, received the Presidential Recognition Award for Innovation during the October 18th Staff Convocation. The award honors a staff member who has contributed significantly to the University by improving efficiencies and processes.

The Client Services team supports computer hardware and software, classroom computers/ lab management, client inventory, and security. With over 8,000 computers on campus, Lauren and her team keep extremely busy. 

Behind the scenes, Lauren utilizes client management tools to develop new processes to ensure security patches are applied, and software keys are renewed and distributed to computers. “The process of finding solutions through a collaborative effort is the most engaging and rewarding aspect of what I get to do in IT.” When vulnerabilities occur, Lauren acts quickly to investigate what remediation is needed and deploys fixes without requiring action from the campus community.  

This year, Lauren has substantially improved our computer installation process to expedite data transfer to new machines reducing installation time from two hours to 20 minutes and allowing the client services team to decrease appointment times for faculty and staff.  When asked about this initiative, Lauren stated, “The process of finding solutions through a collaborative effort is the most engaging and rewarding aspect of what I get to do in IT.  We recognized an opportunity to leverage an existing tool to improve the data migration process during faculty/staff computer installations, and we’re thrilled to see our plan come together.  Special thanks to Chad Madding and Lane Duncan!” 

Rachel Mulry, Associate CIO of Customer Service and Planning shared, “I’m so proud of Lauren and all the work she has accomplished. Lauren is committed to excellence and continual improvement. She is not afraid to tackle a very complex issue and determine the appropriate action that is then deployed at scale across the university.  She is driven to implement processes that are effective, secure, and as automated as possible while providing great customer service and attention to the needs and priorities of the university.”

Lauren has been employed by SMU for 14 years and has managed the Client Services team since 2018. Lauren is a graduate of Berklee College of Music and holds a degree in Sociology from SMU. When not working, Lauren enjoys spending time with her family and her 3 dogs at their family ranch.  

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Laurene Klassen

Laurene is the Director of SMU’s IT Training & Communications Team. She enjoys reading, writing, and outdoor activities with her family in her spare time.