Joining the DELTA team a little over a year ago, Online and Distance Education Program Manager Alexis Lockett has braved considerable amounts of change due to the pandemic, a job change and a new community at DELTA.
Growing up, Lockett moved around as her dad was in the military. Born in El Paso, Texas, she lived in Germany and returned to the United States where she grew up in Fayetteville, North Carolina.
Her professional career began after receiving her Bachelor of Arts in Psychology with a Teacher’s Licensure in Social Studies from the University of North Carolina at Greensboro. Lockett then earned her master’s degree in Educational Psychology at the University of Virginia.
“After obtaining my master’s degree, I completed a short stint in a culinary arts program and obtained an Applied Science – Culinary Arts degree from Johnson and Wales,” she shared. “My goal for attending culinary school was to develop an enrichment program that combined culinary techniques with science and math for young students experiencing challenges within those subjects.”
Upon completion of her master’s and her Culinary Arts degree, Lockett landed various positions in the education field including academic advisor, pre-K teacher and social/clinical research associate. She also worked for The University of North Carolina System Office as the university program specialist and the North Carolina Community Colleges System Office as the special projects coordinator, all leading her to the DELTA team.
How would you describe your position to someone unfamiliar with DELTA?
“As the ODE program manager, I serve as the liaison between the Online and Distance Education (ODE) unit and distance education (DE) programs in academic departments and colleges across campus,” explains Lockett. “My key responsibilities include providing oversight and support to the ODE unit, website management and compliance, strategic planning, delivering marketing and outreach support, and providing support and consultation for academic programs.”
Lockett is constantly asking, “What are the services we provide that can add value?” in order to expand support for academic programs across the university.
“My role highly depends on being a great listener and collaborator. It is critical to be able to listen to faculty, staff and students to identify needs and opportunities so the ODE team can support programs,” she shares. “Then using that information to build relationships and collaborate with colleges and departments at NC State to assist in the delivery of excellent programming, increase operational efficiency and develop strategic partnerships to add value.”
Lockett’s day-to-day work is never the same. She oversees the ODE team while managing technical projects, consulting with program directors and coordinators, and collaborating with internal and external stakeholders. She is focused on identifying new opportunities to meet the needs of academic programs and students.
What has been your favorite experience at DELTA?
Lockett’s favorite experience has been working with the DELTA team, as it has been unlike any other team she’s worked with before. She has enjoyed getting to know the community at DELTA and pursuing the opportunity to collaborate with her colleagues.
“Everyone is extremely supportive, passionate about their job and dedicated to promoting student success,” said Lockett. “It is extremely motivating to work with a team as passionate as I am.”
Another highlight of hers has been coordinating distance education director and coordinator meetings in efforts to engage with online and distance education staff and provide information and resources on various topics related to supporting academic programs across campus.
“It gives me the opportunity to engage with all the DE coordinators,” shares Lockett. “It’s been a highlight seeing all the coordinators come together and share best practices and discuss solutions to challenges at the university and within distance education.”
What have you learned about yourself through your time with DELTA?
Lockett says her time with DELTA has taught her the importance of flexibility and working with grace. Her previous roles working for both the UNC and NCCCS System Offices emphasized rigid deadlines and high stakes as they focused on global projects. Working at a more local level now, she’s learning to adjust to a different environment.
“At DELTA, I’ve realized that there is a bit more flexibility and leeway,” she explains. “The atmosphere is more laid back which creates the opportunity to develop great quality work.”
One of Lockett’s biggest challenges in adjusting to the new environment was brought on by the pandemic. She was in the office for only two weeks before having to understand the rest of her role in a remote setting. Relying on Zoom to ask questions and receive training, she pushed through the stressors of going remote in a new role and now enjoys the flexibility she has experienced with DELTA and being in the moment with her job.
What are you looking forward to for this year?
Lockett and her team are developing a mini strategic plan centered around adding value and support for students, instructors, colleges and departments. Engaging with these stakeholders in order to find opportunities to add value is something she is enthusiastic about.
“What will be interesting to me is when we start to receive feedback from our stakeholders on how DELTA can add value and see how we incorporate the feedback to offer services and resources of value,” explains Lockett. “I’m just excited to engage with all our stakeholders and collaborate with departments.”
Her desire to help others is evident, as teaming up with those within the university to find solutions and provide value and support is what she is most excited about.
What do you like to do in your spare time outside of work?
When she’s not working, Lockett likes to share quality time with her family and friends.
“I love spending time with my eight-year-old daughter, Hailee,” she says. “We love to cook and eat, make arts and crafts, do science experiments and watch movies.”
Their favorite movie right now is “Raya and the Last Dragon.”
DELTA is grateful to have Lockett’s eagerness to collaborate with and support others on the team.