If you’ve ever reached out to learn more about a course or program at Brandeis GPS, you’ve most likely had a conversation with Christie Barone.

As GPS’s senior enrollment coordinator, Christie works diligently with prospective students to help them decide if online learning at GPS is the right fit for them. She also advises students who have taken GPS professional development courses.

From a relatively young age, Christie knew that she wanted to work with people in a way that would allow her to have a real impact on their lives. Christie grew up in the culturally and economically diverse Framingham, Mass. – formerly the country’s largest town and now a recently-minted “city.” When Christie was in high school and her mom went back to work, Christie received an unexpected opportunity to gain a more nuanced understanding of what it means to be a strong professional woman in a so-called “man’s world.”

Later, while working in Spain as an English teacher with high school students, Christie tapped into and deepened her capacity for patience and empathy as she helped her students learn a new language. She recalls her time working and traveling with her students very fondly, and holds on to the important lessons she learned as their teacher.

Today, Christie relies on these experiences for her work with prospective and non-matriculated students, and has found that sometimes a student just needs to hear someone say: I understand – it’s not always easy…Let’s talk about some possible solutions. Christie finds great joy and satisfaction in seeing a student who was so uncertain about their ability to get their master’s go from enrolling in a single course (just to “test the waters”) to taking that leap and enrolling in a graduate program.

Those who work with Christie know that she is dedicated, compassionate and hardworking. She deeply values her relationships with the students and prospects she advises and seeks to empower others to pursue their dreams.

Faces of GPS is an occasional series that profiles Brandeis University Graduate Professional Studies students, faculty and staff. Find more Faces of GPS stories here.