Laurie Gyalog serves a vital role in DELTA. While she is not at work, she is earning a master’s degree and leading a Girl Scout troop.
Though she was born in Palm Beach, Florida, Gyalog lived in Cary, North Carolina for 23 years. Her family recently moved to near Pittsboro, N.C., and now live on the same street as both her in-laws and her parents — a big change from Cary living.
Gyalog began working at DELTA in 2012 as a professional contractor in project coordination. From there, she spent four years as the executive assistant for Academic Technology Innovation (ATI) with a portion of her time was always dedicated to project coordination.
“My passion lies in project coordination. I was fortunate to learn other aspects of the business side of DELTA supporting budgets for ATI and other administrative needs,” she said. “The two positions are not that unique in that both require a lot of collaboration and organization.”
How would you describe your position?
A lead project coordinator, Gyalog works with different people on a variety of projects. “I help foster collaboration and communication on project teams. I help define roles and responsibilities and outline steps forward, and I help support the project in moving forward and getting completed and wrapped,” she said.
Gyalog also has a unique role as the workflow coordinator for DELTA’s marketing and communications team. As a point of support for projects from beginning to end, Gyalog helps intake projects and allocate resources. “I manage a Kanban workflow board to enable visibility, transparency and communication across all marketing and communications projects,” Gyalog added.
With skills and expertise in organization and strategic thinking, Gyalog has been known to help colleagues organize their Google Drive folders. She also works with teams across DELTA with process development and project organization.
What makes your job special? What do you enjoy the most?
“The people! I enjoy working with a variety of skill sets and personalities. I learn so much from my colleagues and the projects we work on together,” Gyalog said.
Gyalog has also worked on different course grant projects with instructors from the departments of Art and Design, Horticultural Sciences, Equine Sciences and a variety of other disciplines. “I find that very exciting, and I love learning something new and working with people who have diverse skill sets, interests and expertise,” Gyalog said.
What has been your favorite project/experience at DELTA?
“I loved the relocation from Venture II to CTI because I worked with every department at DELTA impacted by it. It required a lot of strategic thinking from a holistic view across a wide time frame,” Gyalog said. “I enjoyed the many moving parts, the collaborative ‘all hands on deck’ attitude, the scope of the project and the team.”
Gyalog added that she enjoyed the day-to-day surprises and challenges that required creative solutions. The doors to Venture II were not able to be propped open after hours, so Gyalog and the team recruited and organized a schedule for volunteers to hold doors.
“I liked the long hours in a crazy way and the unique set of circumstances. It was something outside the normal day-to-day work,” Gyalog added.
What do you like to do outside of work?
As a mom to six-year-old Aubrianna and two-year-old Skye, much of Gyalog’s time is spent with her girls.
She started a Girl Scout troop for six- and seven-year-olds which has grown to 12 girls over the last two years. “I was not a Girl Scout, so I was hesitant to get involved, but if your child really wants something then you do it,” Gyalog added. “We explore a range of activities from LEGO robotics to hiking expeditions to sleepovers at Marbles Museum.”
To become a leader, Gyalog had to complete many training activities and is now CPR and first aid certified as well as outdoor certified, which required two nights in the woods learning survival tactics.
“A lot of my time, passion and energy goes to weekend events, cookie sales, STEM activities, program planning, field trips, and all things Girl Scouts,” she said. “I enjoy the opportunity to support girls in leadership, taking risks, innovation and non-formal learning.”
Her passion supporting girls in leadership is now the focus for her Interdisciplinary Studies graduate degree from NC State. The program allows Gyalog to choose her own plan of study and pursue her specific interests.
For Gyalog’s graduate project, she plans to partner with North Carolina Coastal Pines Girl Scouts to do program development in global, sustainable human development for youth females. “We will be introducing global issues at an age-appropriate level and helping to empower young youth in leadership,” she said.
What is something about yourself that people may not readily know?
“I was a feature twirler at NC State from 2003-2007, and was on the field for every football game, and twirled fire batons,” Gyalog said. Prior, Gyalog competed individually in twirling at a local, state and national level. She held the North Carolina state title for three consecutive years. Gyalog has also spent some time coaching twirling at the youth, high school and college level.
Later in life, these skills translated well to flair bartending, which Gyalog also competed in. You may not easily recognize it, but she is competitive. So it is no surprise that she won several competitions.
Gyalog also enjoys adventure. She took off cross-country after each daughter was born to explore and visit family and friends.