Two new directors join FSU’s division of Finance and Administration

Sandy Lyall and Michelle Baragona.
Sandy Lyall and Michelle Baragona.

Sandy Lyall and Michelle Baragona have joined Florida State University’s division of Finance and Administration as directors who specialize in employee development and well-being.

Lyall is the new director of the Employee Assistance Program (EAP), and Baragona is the new director of training and organizational development.  

Lyall most recently served as a senior consultant at Mass General Brigham in Boston, where she provided clinical counseling services and managed the peer support program at Brigham and Women’s Hospital. Baragona comes to FSU from Tallahassee Community College, where she served as a senior consultant at the Performance Innovation Institute. 

Renisha Gibbs, FSU’s associate vice president for human resources and its finance and administration chief of staff, expressed excitement about the new additions. 

“As we continue weathering the pandemic’s effects, we can see that employee needs have shifted,” Gibbs said. “To address these changes, we have welcomed two exciting new hires who will help navigate the evolving needs of our faculty and staff. Employee development and wellbeing  are top priorities, and we look forward to Michelle and Sandy’s leadership in these areas.” 

Lyall is a Licensed Mental Health Counselor, Certified Employee Assistance Professional and Board-Certified Mental Health Counselor. Her most recent position required her to help in clinical counseling services, managing the peer support program in addition to a range of leadership consulting services. 

Prior to her work in Boston, Lyall served as the EAP Director for Tallahassee Memorial HealthCare. She has a long career as a mental health professional, plus roles as an adjunct professor, a homeless outreach clinician and a crisis clinician. She also has experience in leave and disability management.

At FSU, she’ll lead an EAP program that provides services for brief intervention and short-term counseling, supervisor consultations, organizational development, mediation services, debt management and emergency loan fund relief. 

“It’s an honor to have the opportunity to lead the Employee Assistance Program at FSU,” Lyall said. “EAP is a confidential resource that is a key partner in FSU’s well-being and belonging strategy, and I am passionate about empowering employees and leaders to realize their personal satisfaction and harmony with their family, work and community.  

She added: “I am very excited to collaborate with the FSU community to enhance awareness of EAP’s transformative resources.”

Baragona, an FSU alumna, has more than 20 years of experience in employee training and organizational development. At TCC, she managed a team that provided performance solutions, including hiring support, customized training, coaching, management analyses and process improvement. 

As director for Training & Organizational Development/Continuous Improvement, Baragona guides efforts to assist in achieving university strategic goals and objectives through a focused delivery of workplace training and personal development opportunities. Additionally, she oversees continuous improvement initiatives for the university, identifying areas for improvement and increased efficiencies. 

“As an alumna of FSU, I am excited to have the opportunity to support the university in its continued excellence by partnering to develop sustainable solutions to improve the work life of people,” Baragona said. “Our people are our strongest asset, and creating an environment where people love to work is exceptionally important. Building trust-based relationships is a key priority for the Continuous Improvement & Training office.”