On the Job: Mason Money Manager Counts the Cash

Posted: April 23, 2008 at 1:00 am, Last Updated: November 30, -0001 at 12:00 am

By Catherine Ferraro

Laura Callahan
Laura Callahan

Even after marking her eighth anniversary at Mason on April 15, Laura Callahan, Mason money manager and card services coordinator in the All University Card Office, still loves meeting the people who come through her office during the day.

Callahan has met visitors ranging from incoming freshmen and their parents to visiting scholars and Robinson Professors. She helps answer questions about meal plans, Mason ID cards and department copy cards.

“One of the best things about my job is the constant learning process and being able to interact with so many interesting people who are always willing to help one another,” says Callahan.

Some of Callahan’s main responsibilities include administrating the software used for meal plans, Mason Money and departmental photo copying; processing all resident meal plan billing and departmental photo copy charges; providing customer service to students, faculty, staff and parents; and maintaining the All University Card Office web site.

Each semester, after students have submitted their meal plan options to the Housing Office, Callahan receives an abstract of this information which she then manipulates so the data meets the requirements of the software used in her office. After the information has been entered onto her computer, Callahan runs a billing utility and sends this over to Data Mart, which bills the student’s accounts.

Callahan is also responsible for keeping track of the money that comes into the office to be placed on Mason ID cards to be used as Mason Money. Mason Money can be deposited online or in the office by credit card, check or cash. This money must then be counted, organized and submitted to the general accounting office.

Another option for putting money onto a Mason ID card is to use the card management machines located in each library. These machines make it convenient for people to make photo copies or print out materials. The money that goes into these machines must also be collected and given to the general accounting office.

Callahan oversees the charges incurred to approximately 3,700 departmental copy cards at the university. At the end of each month, her report is sent to the Data Mart, where each department’s budget account is charged for card usage.

“Since I spend the majority of my time here at Mason, it has become a major part of my life,” says Callahan. “Being able to answer questions and provide service and resolutions for departments, parents of new students and students themselves is very rewarding. I realize the importance of my job every time I hear the words ‘thank you’ or ‘you’ve been a big help.'”

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