Longtime employee Laura Schartman honored for contributing to advancement of women

Longtime employee Laura Schartman honored for contributing to advancement of women
Laura Schartman with Googasian Award
2018 Googasian Award winner Laura Schartman is flanked by award co-presenters Beth Talbert, left, and Theresa Rowe. Schartman was honored during a March 27 ceremony for her outstanding contributions to the advancement of women.

For outstanding contributions to the advancement of women, longtime Oakland University employee Laura Schartman has received the 2018 Phyllis Law Googasian Award. She was honored this week at the 26th annual Phyllis Law Googasian and Women and Gender Studies Award Luncheon, in the presence of current and former colleagues. 


Schartman, who currently serves as director of Institutional Research and Assessment, started her career at Oakland in 1976. Her involvement has included participation in the AP Association and AP Assembly, which focus on providing professional development opportunities for university employees.

In addition, she has been active in the Michigan American Council on Education Network and Michigan Association for Institutional Research. Her work with university work groups – including the Retention Taskforce, Focus on the Finish Line, and Enrollment Management and Strategy Group – has helped develop pathways to student success.


Beth Talbert, special instructor of communication and 2017 Googasian Award recipient, co-presented this year’s award with OU’s Chief Information Officer, Theresa Rowe.


“I think some people are really great at analyzing data and telling you how things are – and Laura can certainly do that. But I also think there are people who can tell you how things can be,” said Talbert.


“One of the things I’ve always enjoyed about Laura is that she always looks for the positive, lays out what some of the options are, and you walk away with a sense of encouragement knowing that you can be a better version of yourself and Oakland can be a better version of Oakland.”


Rowe, who has worked closely with Schartman for the past three decades, summarized her colleague in three words: “adaptability, perseverance and resilience.” She noted the sweeping changes that Schartman has witnessed in her career, including the advent of the internet and more advanced systems for data mining and analysis.


“She’s been a strong contributor to the knowledge of what makes a student successful both at Oakland university and in higher education.” Rowe said. “She’s been a role model to all women here at Oakland.”


During her career, Schartman has presented at the Michigan Association for Institutional Research Conference as an expert and key contributor to the Michigan Statewide Longitudinal Data System, the state’s centralized education data repository. With her expertise in data-driven research, she has helped OU update its strategic plan and also worked on updating the university’s 1993 Status of Women Report, which chronicles the history of challenges and successes of women on campus. 


In accepting the 2018 Googasian Award, Schartman looked back on her career with gratitude.


“Oakland’s been good to me,” she said. “It gave me opportunities, it gave me challenges, it pushed me to grow personally and professionally. There’s been so many mentors and friends . . . this is the best place I could have spent the last 40 years.”


She also pointed to Oakland’s resilience in times of challenge and uncertainty, and was particularly proud to note that Oakland’s graduation rates are on the rise. She expressed confidence in the people of Oakland to keep the university moving in a positive direction.


“People here sometimes are in pockets and they’re doing great things,” she said. “But what I see more and more is that the pockets are coming together, individuals are coming together and the community is getting stronger.”


Established in 1992, the Phyllis Law Googasian Award is jointly presented by Oakland University and the American Council on Education Network for Women Leaders. It recognizes a member of the university community who has contributed to advancement of women through distinguished leadership, scholarship, advocacy, mentoring and program development.