Staff Spotlight with Laura Lockett
In each issue, the FOCUS Newsletter spotlights an ABA staff member whose work deserves mention. This edition explores ideas around "redefinition," asking how staff professionals have grown in their careers while working in ABA.
Name: Laura Lockett
Position: Assistant to the Director
ABA Department/Unit: Reprographics & Mail Services
How long have you been with Sac State? 26 years
How would you describe your job? I’m responsible for supervising daily operations of Reprographics and Mail Services. I love helping people with their print projects from the simple to the complex, and being able to see a tangible product when we are done. We’ve been producing projects for the Department of Design students for several years now. I really enjoy working with students and teaching them about the printing process.
I started overseeing Mail Services two years ago – there is so much to learn and there are so many regulations to follow! I’ve enjoyed becoming certified as a mail-piece design analyst so that I can advise campus clients on how best to set up the design of their pieces so they will mail successfully.
What I love about my job is that it changes every day. I’m lucky to have a great support team.
Who are your primary customers? We are here to support the campus, so primarily staff and faculty. We’ve started to branch out, serving students on printing projects related to their classes.
How has your job changed over time?
WOW – quite a bit! I started as the department secretary in Reprographics, transitioned into being a graphic designer for about 12 years, then into print production supervisor for about ten years before my current position supervising print and mail. There have been so many technological changes. The Apple computer was new when I started and has made a HUGE impact on graphic design. The transition from old-school typesetting to the current graphic design software has been amazing.
The change from offset printing to digital printing has also been big a big industry change. We purchased an HP Indigo digital press in 2008 and have seen tremendous growth in our ability to serve the campus’ requests for color printing. Over the past two years, I have been immersed in learning mailing operations. This has included understanding postal regulations, bulk mail procedures, and becoming certified as a mail piece design analyst. The Domestic Mail Manual is as big as a phone book and constantly changing, so there is a LOT to learn!
How has your job influenced your professional growth?
I’m blessed to work for a department that encourages learning and professional development. Working at Sac State has allowed me to obtain my degree in Graphic Design. I’ve also had the opportunity to attend many workshops offered by University Training and Development, conferences with other University printers, technology conferences to review equipment and keep abreast of new technology, and much more.
This has broadened my scope of knowledge and allowed me to build a core of peers I can call on when needed. The past few years we have been printing graphic design student projects, and I’ve worked with a great number of the students teaching them how to prepare files for print. This year I was asked to teach the print production class in the Graphic Design major. It’s been a tremendous growth opportunity and one that I am enjoying.
What do you feel you have contributed to the workplace, in terms of positive change?
I’d like to think that I’m a glass-is-half-full person and that one of my greatest contributions is finding solutions that fit our clients' needs and budgets. I played an important role in researching and testing digital presses and continue to work with my director and production supervisor in making equipment decisions that meet or exceed the expectations of our campus clients. Employee morale is important to me. Through the years, I’ve been on many social activity committees. It’s also important to me to recognize birthdays by baking the birthday person’s favorite dessert. Budgets being what they are, it’s the little things that remind staff how important they are.
What does the new initiative “Redefine the Possible” mean to you?
I feel as if our department has always been in the mindset of “redefining the possible.” We listen to our customers’ needs and figure out the best way to make it possible. It’s important to be able to look at both challenges and routine tasks from a variety of perspectives. Just because something has always been done a certain way doesn't mean it makes sense for today. We encourage each other to bring new ideas to the table and be part of the solutions.