Author Profile

Heather Chakiris | Director of Student and Alumni Services in Extension and Global Online, UC Los Angeles

Current Position and Past Experience
Heather Chakiris is the Director of Student and Alumni Services at UCLA Extension and UCLA Global Online, where she serves a leadership role in Strategic Enrollment Management. Before joining UCLA, Chakiris worked at Penn State, both in their World Campus and Continuing Education divisions, holding several leadership roles including the Associate Director and Director of Advising and Learner Success, Assistant Director and Associate Director of Student Services and Marketing Manager and Strategist.

Chakiris started at Penn State as a Writer/ Editor for the Department of University Publications (now Office of Strategic Communications), which led to a role as an Account Specialist and a Program Marketing Manager in Penn State Continuing and Distance Education (now Outreach and Online Education). Chakiris has 20 years of experience in distance and online education and is a passionate advocate for learners in pursuit of a better life through education.

Chakiris has authored and co-authored several chapters on the subject of online higher education and has served as Chair, Associate Chair and Chair-Elect for various UPCEA regions and networks.

Education, Honors and Achievements
Chakiris earned her B.A. in the Liberal Arts (Writing for the Arts) from Penn State and an Executive Management II Certificate from the University of Michigan Ross School of Executive Education. She earned her M.Ed. in Higher Education from Penn State.

In 2012, Chakiris was awarded the Distance Education Innovation Award from the National University Technology Network. In 2011, she was awarded the Vice President’s Award for Leadership and, in 2009, the Vice President’s Award for Entrepreneurship, Innovation and Creativity from Penn State Outreach and Online Education. In 2010, Chakiris was awarded the Miscellaneous Interactive Marketing Award from UPCEA for the World Campus Second Life Island.

Personal Details and Community Involvement
An avid music fan, on weekends Chakiris can be found scouring Los Angeles record stores for rare treasures from the Replacements, Afghan Whigs, and Smiths. She buys more books than she reads, is a foodie who hates to cook, and spends an obscene amount of time and money spoiling her rescue animals: dogs Milo Augustin and Marvin K. Mooney, and cats Mercy Mays and Rhoda Morganstern. Chakiris is a diehard football and tennis fan and gets a little too competitive playing air hockey. She will wrestle you for the last piece of spanakopita.

You can connect with Chakiris through LinkedIn and on Twitter @UCLAxHeather.