Baranyay steps into new data management post

Mariah Howland

Lisa Baranyay

The Office of Development and Alumni Relations has recently filled its newly created position of Database Manager with Lisa Baranyay, who began her new job about 4 weeks ago.

The database, called Razor’s Edge, contains information regarding alumni and donors, is essential to the efforts of the office, and is in a state of disrepair.

“We haven’t been doing enough reaching out to our alums,” says newly appointed Director of Development and Alumni Relations, Lauren Phillie. “It’s partially because we haven’t had somebody who’s really able to get into the database in a while and use it to its fullest capacity.”

The current system dates back to about 1997, according to Phillie, and has been subjected to its current fate as the result of too many different people being asked to attend to the various aspects of data-entry, without any of them being specifically qualified for the task of organizing and maintaining the database as a whole.

That’s where the new position of database manager comes in. “It needs a lot of cleaning up right now,” says Baranyay. “It’s had a lot of cooks in the kitchen, so to speak, and needs to be overhauled. So that’s going to be my first task.”

The new position is at a lower pay-grade than the recently eliminated position of Associate Director of Development, vacated by Phillie, and the database manager will be expected to cover some of the former position’s responsibilities, an attempt by the office to do more while spending less.

Baranyay’s new job will first focus on cleaning up the database, but will also involve her training people to properly use it, tracking its use, supporting Phillie in her development work, and making suggestions to Phillie on where she should focus her development efforts.

“We just got a request to find all the alums who live in New Mexico,” says Phillie. “…that’s something we are able to do – go in, do a query to see who lives in New Mexico, and pass that information on to the alums.”

Baranyay is no stranger to data management.

A former teacher in Lamoille who lives with her family in Morrisville, she most recently worked in Williston for a health records and medical billing company.

“She came highly recommended and she’s an alum, which is very nice, and she’s just picked things up and [has] run with it,” says Phillie. “We’re a very busy office, so that’s exactly what I needed.”