Inspiring Students to Stay On Track And Finish Strong
Confidential Executive Coordinator
Office of Student Affairs
“ANNETTE understands that our personal touch can make all the difference,” said Dr. Brian Mitra, Vice President of Student Affairs and Enrollment Management, who nominated Annette for the C.A.R.E.S. Award. “After the College's Department of Strategic Initiatives and Digital Transformation launched the new Transparent Insights Dashboard widget, that provides daily data insights, Annette took it upon herself to begin calling students who dropped out of the college about how we can help them get re-enrolled after seeing that number tick higher and higher. She inspires students to stay with us and finish strong.”
“I have great compassion for students and want to do everything possible to retain them and keep them on track toward graduation,” said Lazaro, who repeatedly calls and emails scores of students who enrolled but then dropped out.
She added, “Students’ obstacles to stay enrolled range from uncertainty about what courses to take next, a change in family obligations, a lost job, or a lack of strong connections on campus. Also, a high percentage of students with a low tuition balance drop out of college before earning their degree.”
Lazaro began her career at Queensborough in 1992 as a CUNY College Assistant in the Office of Admissions. Over the next several years she served as CUNY Office Assistant for the Director of College Discovery. In 2001, she was named a CUNY Office Assistant for the Dean of Student Affairs and Student Judicial Affairs Officer and in 2012 was promoted to CUNY Administrative Assistant in the same office. In 2013 she was reclassified to aHEO as confidential executive assistant to the Vice President for Student Affairs and Enrollment.
She has seen five Queensborough presidents come and go as far back as Dr. Kurt Schmeller and has worked with six Vice Presidents in the Office of Student Affairs including Ellen Hartigan, Michel Hodge, Brian Kerr and currently Brian Mitra.
This amazing scope of higher education experience has empowered Lazaro to create the culture of care that is at the heart of Queensborough’s mission.
And when you factor in her larger-than-life personality and infectious laugh, she is a superhero in action.
She oversees Freshmen Orientation and works directly with the Office of the President on the annual Commencement ceremony. In 2021 Lazaro and her colleague, Reynald Pierre-Charles were key players in successfully pulling off—in just one month-- the 2021 Virtual Commencement Ceremony. She spearheads the Veterans Day Remembrance Ceremony, QCC Veterans Dinner, and the student veteran representation in the New York City Veterans Day Parade. She also assists Gianna Berry’s Melissa Riggio Program and the Women’s Forum Education Program.
“I love it when students drop by to say hi, or to ask a question or two or let me know they are doing well. They really are the college’s face, the college’s future. Whether I’m managing an event or watching from a distance, I’m always looking to the next thing-the next parade, the next graduation. It is the power of community that keeps the wheel turning.”