For those of you who only know Courtney at Western as the admin behind Western’s social groups on Facebook, it may be shocking to learn that she is living, breathing and closer than you would think — she’s actually sitting in the Registrar’s Office at the back of Student Services Building.
Courtney Hern, a.k.a. Courtney at Western, has been working at Western for the past 19 years. After graduating with a BA in psychology, Courtney gained a position in the Registrar’s Office and has since made her way up the ranks. Today, she is the team leader for telephone and online client services at the Registrar’s Office.
As a part of her job, Courtney managed the first Facebook social group for the class of 2017. It was with this class that a couple of the kinks were worked out, and Courtney marks the launch of the class of 2018 social group as the pivotal year for the program.
While Western students may take for granted, the concept of a class social group gained a lot of popularity at other universities who followed Western's lead.
“We’re at over 70 per cent of the class population in 2018, 2019 and 2020. So we’ve got over 70 per cent in each of those three classes [which] is a huge tool to be able to reach out and say ‘don’t forget this deadline is coming up,' " Courtney said.
Courtney manages all of the social groups herself, with some assistance in the summer peak periods. She says that the questions from students can be unique and overwhelming at times. According to Courtney, summer is when she's the busiest. She remembers one summer day where she got 300 private messages.
Courtney has also been approached with some pretty distinct concerns, such as students asking where to buy underwear. Courtney replied, assuming it was a joke, and found out that the student’s roommates had stolen her underwear and was genuinely in need of some advice.
“You can’t ignore anything that a student asks [even though it might] seem trivial, for that is not the case for the student who doesn’t have any underwear, who doesn’t know what to do, and is probably too ashamed to call mom,” Courtney said.
Before working with the Registrar’s Office at Western, Courtney was a competitive dancer. Her dream was to become a professional ballerina in Toronto.
“I did [pursue dancing as a career] but then I blew my knee when I was 19, so I came to Western,” Courtney said.
Today, Courtney is a mother of two competitive dancers and in her time off she can be found mostly at Elan Dance Arts, the dance studio in London where her children practice.
Courtney wants to remind students that she is willing to respond to student’s messages 24/7.
“I’m approachable. Ask me anything; I don’t mind answering,” Courtney said.