Get to Know: Russ Portier, Assistant to the Director

Russ Portier


Title: Assistant to the Director

How long in your current position? How long at the school?
1 year in current position; 10 years at the school.

What are the main reasons students, faculty, or staff would contact you for assistance?
I’m responsible for a number of administrative functions at the school, so I’m generally a good starting point for anyone who has a question and isn’t sure who to ask. I’m primarily responsible for working with the faculty to build the timetable of classes. I also work with the advisors and Emmy Roper on managing course enrollment. Students often see my name in Course Search & Enroll and think I’m a professor (I’m not, but when someone asks if you’re a god, you say yes!), but that’s just because I’m the primary enrollment contact. I’m also one of the primary financial managers for the school and am responsible to varying degrees for all of the school’s websites.

What’s one effective (or ineffective) strategy you’ve used to work remotely during Covid?
I’ve found a much greater need to budget my time and stick to my plan. With so many distractions from life and family, it’s become very important to have a plan, and stay with it!

What’s a recent book, movie, tv show, podcast, or album (or other) you would recommend and why?
I recently discovered the “Kurzgesagt – In a Nutshell” YouTube channel that has amazing animated videos explaining some great science concepts, which have been a lot of fun to watch with my son. I also have been really engaged with the NPR Planet Money podcast as they explore everything from corporations pushing the boundaries of “employment” vs. “contract work” to businesses that have found ways to profit off destroying environmentally toxic refrigerants.

Hobbies/other interests:
Gardening, DIY home improvement, biking, and most forms of gaming (video, board, tabletop rpg, etc.).