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Meet the Staff

Administrative and Event Planning Staff

Rene Kauder, Administrative Services Manager

Sophia Florestal, Faculty Support Administrator

Erin Phillips, Facilities and Event Coordinator

Joanne Espinoza

Rene Kauder

Senior Manager, Facilities and Event Operations

kauder@american.edu | (202) 885-1915

Rene Kauder has been with the Kogod School of Business since December of 2008.  Prior to her arrival, she spent over three years coordinating AU's orientation programs for new students and their families with New Student Programs.  As the Senior Manager of Facilities and Event Operations, Rene manages Kogod's physical plant including offices, classrooms, and meeting spaces.  Much of her time is spent overseeing and maintaining reservations for Kogod's event spaces as well as serving as an event planning resource.  In this position Rene acts as the Kogod emergency preparedness representative as well as the key contact person with Public Safety.  If you are planning an event or an office move, requesting keys or in need of a repair, please feel free to contact Rene directly. Rene's door is always open and she welcomes any feedback or suggestions you have.

Sophia Florestal

Faculty Support Administrator 

floresta@american.edu | (202) 885-1962

Sophia Florestal is the Faculty Support Administrator and has been with Kogod since October of 2008.She manages every aspect of the course material ordering process including obtaining desk copies from the publishers.Sophia is the person to see if you need to order supplies, sign out a laptop, obtain a parking pass for guest lecturers, or turn in your syllabi.Sophia comes to Kogod with a very diverse employment background. She has over 14 years of experience in client relations at places including Viacom and Discovery Channel.


Erin Phillips

Facilities and Event Coordinator

ephillip@american.edu | (202) 885-1969

Erin Phillips joined Kogod School of Business in December 2009 as the Facilities and Event Coordinator. In her role, she works collaboratively with the Administrative Services Manager to manage and maintain Kogod’s physical plant including offices, classrooms, and meeting spaces. Additionally, Erin provides event planning support by processing space requests, managing inventory of event related equipment, as well as providing assistance to constituencies holding events onsite. Before joining Kogod, Erin served the Guest & Visitor Services team at American University planning conferences and events for both internal and external groups. With over four years of event planning experience in both the private and academic sectors, Erin is available to assist if you have any questions on the planning process.

Joanne Espinoza

Administrative Services Coordinator

espinoza@american.edu | (202) 885-2005

Joanne Espinoza joined the Kogod School of Business in September 2009 and manages Kogod's Copy Center and Mail Room services. Prior to her arrival, Joanne attended the Royal Institute of Business and Technology, Trinidad and Tobago West Indies and worked at the Royal Bank of Trinidad and Tobago Ltd for six years. She then moved to the United States in 1995 and worked at Calvert Mutual Funds for nine years as an Investor Relations Representative where she also acquired her FINRA series 6 license. Joanne is currently pursuing her BS in Finance at UMUC, College Park.