New Finance Data Manager supports the development of graduate education at JMU


SUMMARY: “Becoming a part of the Graduate School here at JMU has been an enjoyable transition and a welcome challenge.”

By Laureta Ramaj, Graduate Student, M.A. in Communication & Advocacy

The Graduate School is pleased to introduce our new Financial Data Manager, Karris Atkins.

1. What were you doing before you joined the Graduate School team?

I worked in the College of Business (CoB) at JMU as the Administrative Assistant to the Associate Dean of Undergraduate Programs and Professional Development and Engagement. My primary responsibilities were to plan and coordinate the College of Business Graduation and other events, provide fiscal support to more than 30 student organizations.

2. How has the transition to the Financial Data Manager position been for you?

It’s been good. There have been slight learning curves, but becoming a part of the Graduate School here at JMU has been an enjoyable transition and a welcome challenge.

3. What are some of your responsibilities in your current position?

I maintain the budget for the Graduate School. I assist Boris Escalona Berbetty, the Director of Graduate Student Financial Support manage graduate assistantships. And I create many reports for different programs, or for the Graduate School as a whole, for planning, accreditation, or other purposes.

4. What is a part of your job that you enjoy the most?

I’d say pulling data and playing with numbers, and organizing information so that the numbers make sense. This new position allows me to utilize my data analytic skills. I enjoy being able to support my team in TGS by ensuring that we can meet the needs of our students throughout the year and by being fiscally responsible and resourceful.

5. How would you describe yourself?

I feel that I am a renaissance person. I like many different things and do many different things. I love data and numbers but I also like being creative too. So, I kind of use both sides of my brain.

6. What do you do on your free time?

I have a six year old. We often go hiking and camping. We also do a lot of things out in the community. I like to dance. I am also a graduate student in the Adult Education/Human Resource Development master’s program.

7. How do you balance work and school?

Life balance takes very careful planning. I have a lot of support from my husband, and my friends who help me keep it all together.

This article is the third in a three-part series introducing staff in new roles in the Office of the Graduate School.

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Published: Monday, November 18, 2019

Last Updated: Monday, November 18, 2019

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