University of Southern Indiana

An engaging conversation with Stephanie El Tawil

Hi, I am Stephanie El Tawil. I am the supervisor of Opportunity Development and I am the gatekeeper for the department. With programs such as Technology Commercialization and I-69, we tend to break the mold. A lot of what I do revolves around making things happen.

What does a typical day look like for you?

A big part of my job is event planning. Each quarter, I do Day on the Bus, Teacher Boot Camp, the STEM Challenge, Celebration of Engagement. Most of the time I have that going on in the background. Coordinating guests, hosts, speakers or food. I also answer a lot of questions. Because we break the mold so many times, I am a person that knows what we are trying to accomplish.

What that has translated to, is now I’m the keeper of all the weird questions at USI. For example, I got a call from Security last week about a laptop that they had found and Event Services thought I might know where it came from.

What accomplishment are you most proud of?

I think what I’m most proud of, in terms of what I’ve done in Opportunity Development, is being able to connect with people in the university and outside of the university.

I have really spent a lot of time in building these relationships and learning how to navigate those processes and those people in terms of finding out what the right way to do things is at the university. In doing that, I’ve made a lot of friends, I’ve connected with a lot of divisions and I’ve opened a lot of doors between us in Outreach and Engagement, as well as the other colleges. That’s probably what I’m most proud of, is being able to connect with people.

If money were no object, what would you do?

A lot of people would say I would be an excellent director of a nonprofit. The more I put thought into it, the more it is directed towards women and children. I would love to do something for kids in disadvantaged areas or women in education and really help improve stem efforts or opportunities. I think that’s where my passion would be.

I have also always liked movies. So, if I could really do something I would probably work on a movie set, but that’s just a dream.

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