3 minute read

FOCUS Podcast Celebrates Season 5

9/27/2022 7:00 PM

When we started FOCUS in early 2020, we set out with the mission of hosting great thought leaders from higher education institutions, industry organizations, and higher ed tech providers. With four seasons and 32 episodes under our belt, we are proud of the conversations we’ve had and the insights brought forth. Together, we’ve explored modernizing payment and id management systems, improving the student experience, innovative technology, industry research, and so much more.

As we enter season five, we look to continue bringing top notch guests and topics to the table that can serve as guideposts in the higher education community and light the way to deliver on the mission of higher education. Listen to explore ways to simplify processes to support staff, reimagine the student experience to meet today’s expectations, and strengthen connections across campus to empower smarter decisions.

New episodes air weekly on Tuesdays beginning on Tuesday, October 4.

FOCUS Podcast Season 5 Guests

Episode 501: Elevating the Campus Card Office with NACCU

Dawn Thomas, CEO, NACCU

Dawn discusses the importance of empowering the card office to serve as data heroes that can help inform decisions to enhance campus operations.


Episode 502: Going Cashless with Eastern Michigan University

Beth Hardcastle, Assistant Controller, Student Business Services, Eastern Michigan University

In this episode, Beth shares how Eastern Michigan University transformed campus payments by going cashless and in the process, improved cash flows year round.


Episode 503: Driving Innovation within the Higher Ed Community

Laura Ipsen, President and CEO, Ellucian

Heather and Laura catch up on the power of the technology community in higher education, what's driving innovation, and how to keep students at the center of solutions.


Episode 504: Building an Integrated Student Payments Experience with George Washington University

Jen O'Quinn, Student Accounts Director, The George Washington University

From tailored payment plans and specialized deposits to consent manager, tuition protection and more, follow along as Jen outlines how GWU delivers an integrated payment experience for students.


Episode 505: Redesigning Student Services with California College of the Arts

Michelle Ziegmann, Associate Vice President, Technology Services, California College of the Arts

Vicki Breitinger, Director, Student Accounts, California College of the Arts

California College of the Arts’ Michelle and Vicki join Heather to share how CCA took an introspective approach to overhaul the student experience with a campuswide Services Redesign Initiative.


Episode 506: Maximizing Campus Card Operations with University of Louisiana at Lafayette

Kari Foti, Director of Cajun Card Services, University of Louisiana at Lafayette

In this episode, Kari shares her experiences with creating better experiences for students and staff through the Cajun Card office.


Episode 507: Cryptocurrencies 101 for Higher Education

Gloria Rismondo, Senior Director of Product Strategy, Global Payments

Gloria shares her expert knowledge on all things related to cryptocurrencies and how universities and colleges may be able to add them into their payments ecosystem.



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Produced by TouchNet, the podcast FOCUS: On The Business of Higher Education features leaders in higher ed and technology thought leaders. Host Heather Richmond, Vice President of Marketing at TouchNet talks with guests about challenges facing today's higher learning institutions and the technology-driven solutions campuses are using to address them.


Heather Richmond is the Vice President of Marketing at TouchNet. Heather has more than 20 years of experience specializing in innovative software platforms tailored for higher education complemented by her background in training campus professionals in PCI security and campus commerce best practices. Heather leads the marketing team with passion and thought leadership that reinforces TouchNet’s position as the industry leader in campus commerce and credentials, security, compliance, and more. Before joining TouchNet, Heather led the customer success team for an alumni fundraising and engagement technology company. Heather earned her bachelor’s degree in business administration with a marketing emphasis at Missouri Western State University.