Women in ITS @ Colgate
By Jen Servedio
It’s a great time to be a woman in Information Technology Services (ITS) at Colgate. The number of women in technology roles is increasing everywhere and it’s becoming apparent right here at Colgate. In September 2018, ITS hit its all-time record high of 10 full-time women out of a staff of 46 highly skilled technologists. That’s about 22 percent of our workforce. The ratio of women to men in ITS at Colgate is about 1 in 4.6 as compared to 1 in 3 at big tech companies like Apple, Google, and Facebook.
There is evidence to show that having a diverse workforce creates teams that are more productive, especially when working with complex, multilevel tasks. Scott Page, a social scientist and professor of complex systems, political science, and economics at the University of Michigan, claims that diverse groups provide “diversity bonuses” because they bring different perspectives that leads to improved problem-solving, increased innovation, and more accurate predictions. A good example is when you get stuck on a problem and someone else offers insight that helps you move forward. Diverse teams produce an array of creative ideas whereas a homogeneous team will generate very similar ideas.
Although recruiting has been a challenge, ITS at Colgate is committed to creating a diverse workforce that supports individuals from all backgrounds. We noticed that once there were more women in our division, the number of female applicants started to grow. The number of focus groups for women in technology has been steadily increasing too. In 2016, some colleagues in the New York Six Liberal Arts Consortium and I formed NY6WiT to create a shared space for women in technology at our schools to find mentors, network with peers, and support each other. There are currently 54 women involved in this group. Our monthly virtual meeting, “Coffee with Colleagues,” provides a face-to-face discussion of a predetermined topic that easily accommodates our busy schedules.
The women in ITS at Colgate are extremely talented technologists, many of whom have been here for a number of years. Chances are pretty good that you have interacted with one or more of us, whether you called the helpline, planned an event that required technology, attended a technology training workshop, needed custom Banner reports, or needed help with technology in your coursework.
Saba, J. (Reuters: May 17, 2018.) Retrieved from www. reuters.com: https://www.reuters.com/article/us-tech-genderbreakingviews/breakingviews-closing-techs-gender-gap-willtake-decades-idUSKCN1II20E
Princeton University Press Blog. (Princeton University Press, 2017.) Retrieved from http://blog.press.princeton. edu/2017/10/02/scott-e-page-on-the-diversity-bonus/
Jen Servedio, director of budget and strategic planning, office of the CIO I have had many different roles over my 19 years at Colgate, including tech support, network and systems administrator, director of Infrastructure and operations, and interim CIO. I currently work directly with the CIO, Steve Fabiani, to develop and manage our technology budget, set strategic direction, and create policy. Each opportunity has given me the motivation to prepare for the next step in my career. My current role inspired me to continue my education. In 2018 I earned a master’s degree in Information Management with Advanced Studies in Data Science from Syracuse University.”
Laura Rickard, IT support specialist In my 10 years at Colgate, I have held various roles in the IT department. As an IT support specialist, I enjoy working with the community of people here, and supporting them in the innovative use of technologies that enhance the learning experiences of our students and add value to our organizational services and operations.”
Sarah Kunze, instructional designer for innovative media I love to work with faculty to craft digital assignments and teaching techniques and applications to the students. I also manage the Digital Learning & Media Center here in the library and supervise a great group of students, the DLMC Media Mentors. I’ve worked at Colgate for 14 years.”
Bridget Gaudreau, senior systems analyst and programmer Currently my job mostly entails getting Raiser’s Edge NXT ready for launch. I enjoy working at Colgate because I am constantly learning something new and my peers are all at the top of their game. I’ve been here for four years.”
Sarah Curtis, digital media and events coordinator I’ve worked at Colgate for five and a half years. Prior to coming to ITS, I worked in circulation in Case Library. I partner with the ITS leadership team and key event stakeholders to help plan and coordinate successful events. My hopes are to engage with the Colgate community to build relationships and create a culture of collaboration. This allows my team to anticipate technology needs and provide quality support for events and classroom support across campus. Colgate has been a part of my life ever since I was born. My mom worked here until I was 10 – so I grew up visiting campus. I am very grateful for the professional development opportunities Colgate has given me. I am also thankful for the many opportunities on campus to get involved and give back to the Colgate community.”
Kelly Dempsey, instructional designer for learning platforms I’ve worked at Colgate for two and a half years. I support faculty use of learning platforms for pedagogy, scholarship, and creative work, including learning management systems (e.g., Moodle, Google Classroom), collaborative tools (e.g., Google Apps for Education Suite), and interactive classroom technologies (e.g., clickers). What I love about my work is the great team of colleagues I get to work with and the fact that no day is ever the same and I am constantly learning new technologies as they evolve and change. Keeps me on my toes!”
Robin Bridson, professional development and training I started working at Colgate seven months ago. My job entails supporting members of the university community in their efforts to learn and effectively use technologies and technical tools available at Colgate.This is done with needs assessments, workshops, and special projects. And I bake cookies.”
Christine Moskell, instructional designer I’ve been working in ITS for seven months although I’ve been at Colgate since 2016. I support faculty in their use of digital technology and ‘connected learning’ pedagogy to support teaching, learning, and digital scholarship. I get to explore the ways that new and emerging platforms on the web can enhance teaching and learning in the liberal arts, which I deeply value. Something that attracted me to instructional design and the Learning & Applied Innovation (LAI) group in ITS was that it serves as an ‘alternative academic’ career for me. I have a PhD in Natural Resources from Cornell University and a background in teaching at the college level. In teaching at Colgate, I developed a new interest in the ways that technology can support learning after seeing how it enhanced student engagement in my course. Wanting to further explore this area, I pursued instructional design in LAI/ITS so that I can support other Colgate faculty who share an interest in exploring the new possibilities for teaching and learning afforded by digital technology. As an instructional designer, I’m able to use the skills I gained from my PhD research to collaborate with faculty and students to evaluate the effectiveness of technology in teaching and learning.”
Denise Bolognone, senior administrative assistant I’ve been providing administrative support to the ITS division for 14 years. The best part of my job is the people that I get to work with every day!”
Corinne Sartori, IT support specialist I started work at Colgate in early September. Before coming to Colgate, I worked at other universities. I am excited to be working with ITS and the support team, since I love troubleshooting and solving problems. It’s important to me to put a smile on people’s faces. I may be new, but I know a smile is worth the craziness that is ITS. I am loving Colgate and cannot wait to learn and grow with my peers and coworkers.”