Smith Celebrates 35 Years of Service

Lisa Smith headshot.

In 1987, Lisa Smith was the first financial aid advisor employed at Central Ohio Technical College (COTC) and The Ohio State University at Newark. Today, she’s proud to be a contributing member of the shared campus, a place she says is a wonderful asset to central Ohio.

Smith’s journey began as a part-time financial aid advisor and eventually elevated to her current role as financial aid coordinator with primary responsibility for the student employment program for both institutions. Prior to joining the campus, Smith worked in higher education in Columbus. But 35 years ago, when she and her husband decided they wanted to start a family, Smith started looking for a job closer to their home in Newark. “I was excited to see the posting. It was a perfect fit for me,” said Smith.

Since starting at the campus, Smith has experienced many technological changes. “Internal phone calls used to be completed by dialing just three digits, and we didn’t have personal computers on our desks. Another big change was going from paper documents to digital imaging.”

She also noted that six new buildings have been added to the campus during her tenure, most recently the John and Mary Alford Center for Science and Technology which opened in August 2021.

In 2017, Smith was selected as one of COTC’s Legends of Loyalty, a presidential award recognizing individuals who have made a significant impact on the history of the college and who have gone above and beyond their required duties and proven unselfish allegiance. Smith was recognized in part for her work in reorganizing and updating the student employment program, which she commented is a personal point of pride.

“Working on campus is of huge value to the students. It’s more than the money,” Smith observed. “It helps them gain connections around campus, builds their work experience for their resumes, and provides them with individuals that may serve as references for future jobs.”

She noted some of the reasons for her long legacy are her love of learning and enjoying a great work-life balance. She meets all different kinds of people — faculty, students and staff — from whom she learns. And she likes a challenge.

“Working in a position that serves two institutions creates unique challenges,” said Smith. “I mean that in a positive way. The shared structure is a great benefit and provides more opportunities for me to learn.

“I’m just thankful to have this opportunity and that’s the truth. I’m grateful.”

COTC is a fully accredited, public college dedicated to providing high-quality, accessible programs of technical education in response to current and emerging employment needs. COTC has four campus locations: Newark, Coshocton, Knox and Pataskala.