October 2018 – Updates from the Chair

SIGUCCS ECThe SIGUCCS Executive Committee (EC) had a great series of meetings at the 2018 Annual Conference in Orlando. While we “see” each other once a month during our regular meetings, our in-person meetings are always productive and enjoyable. I also appreciate the opportunity to host an Open Board Meeting where we welcome input from the community.

My favorite part of the conference is celebrating our annual awards – the Penny Crane Award 2018Hall of Fame 2018, and Communication Award Recipients 2018. Thank you to all who attended the general session, where we celebrated these achievements together!

danger sign from hotelHere are highlights of the SIGUCCS EC’s accomplishments this quarter:

  • Created a SIGUCCS “elevator pitch” and materials to spread the word about SIGUCCS. See the resources online at: Share SIGUCCS
  • Hosted a champagne reception for the 2018 award recipients and conference committees
  • We are working on identifying volunteers interested in roles in the Mentoring Program Leadership, Awards Committee, and future Conference core committees. If you’re interested – or would like to recommend someone – please email us at chair_SIGUCCS@acm.org
  • Exploring new ideas for marketing, such as promoted ads on LinkedIn and Facebook, advertising in print media for higher education, and leveraging our enthusiastic community. Did you know that the #1 way people hear about SIGUCCS is from a colleague?
  • Formalizing policies and procedures related to our operations, including: marketing committee roles and responsibilities, SIG travel expense policies, award guidelines, and EC-sponsored conference activities (plenary speakers, pre-conference seminar facilitators, and events).

In addition to these initiatives, we have also identified projects and plans to work on in the upcoming months. If you are interested in reading more details of our activity in the Executive Committee’s meeting minutes, they are posted online: Executive Committee Meeting Minutes.

SIGUCCS 2019 LogoWe are looking forward to SIGUCCS 2019 in New Orleans. Join us November 3-6 at the InterContinental New Orleans.

The Call for Proposals will be announced in January. http://siguccs.org/Conference/2019/

Why is mentoring important?

Mentors are one of the not-so-secret weapons to a successful career and subsequent promotions. This person is not likely to be your boss. Instead he or she is a personal coach guiding you through job challenges toward new opportunities. A mentor starts out as a stranger, but will become a substantial part of your professional network.

At the last team meeting before my boss’ retirement, he gave us all a piece of paper with the word career on it. He explained that for him, a successful career was staying ten years at his job. Advancing came through hard work and loyalty. Promotions came when your boss noticed your hard work.

He told us, “Those days are over. No one ‘advances’ in that way anymore. You need to learn how to take charge of your job and your career”. Then, he asked us all to write down the name of one person who had contributed to our success in our prior job. And to write down the name of one of our references for our current position. He stated that at least one name on that list was one of the many mentors we had already had.

One can find mentors in many places. SIGUCCS is one of them. Our organization is small enough to meet and network with people about real-world problems and solutions. It is no surprise there is a free SIGUCCS Mentorship program for members, or that 128 people have gone through the program in the past four years.

SIGUCCS harnesses the power of its members –many people contribute a little bit instead of one person doing it all. This high level of involvement allows the mentoring program to match mentees with practicing professionals who have similar jobs at similar institutions and the specific experience a mentee needs.

The unique aspect of the SIGUCCS mentorship program is its diverse focus. While mentorships can focus on management or leadership, or preparation for a position as a CIO, past mentorships in the SIGUCCS program have focused on project management, training, desktop support, and network operations. This truly is a customized personal yearlong program with proven success. Participants have reported a satisfaction rate of 82% over the past five years.

If you are looking for someone to help you and guide you in your career, regardless of your current role, consider joining the mentoring program as a mentee. Be sure to list the specific types of skills that you are interesting in working on. The mentor program will look to match you with the best mentor available.

If you are that practicing professional, consider being a mentor. Mentors have the option to list the skills and areas they want to mentor. The time commitment is approximately 1-2 hours a month. Past mentors have found the program to be as professionally and personally rewarding as the mentees, citing they learn as much as they share.

Do not wait for your career to come to you. Take stalk of your strengths, weaknesses, and your goals. Then make a plan to work on them through the SIGUCCS mentoring program. People are waiting to learn from you and with you.

The next mentoring session will run from January through October 2019.  If you want to participate, please complete the online application form by November 23rd.  Mentors and mentees must commit to meeting (virtually) at least 1 hour a month, set goals, develop strategies to achieve those goals, and advise and support each other. Virtual training and support resources will be provided to participants. You must be a member of SIGUCCS to participate – membership is just $25 per year.

~ Gail Rankin

SIGUCCS 2019 Conference Committee Introductions – Becky Cowin

This article is part of a series introducing the SIGUCS 2019 Conference Core Committee. Each Committee member submitted answers to questions created by the SIGUCCS Marketing Committee.

Becky CowinHow many SIGUCCS conferences have you attended?
3 (2016-2018)

Which previous SIGUCCS conference was your favorite, and why?
2017 in Seattle was the first year I really got involved, and that totally changed the experience for me. I enjoyed my first SIGUCCS, but being a volunteer and really making an effort to get out of my shell and meet people in 2017 made a huge difference in not only the experience AT the conference, but afterward, sustaining new professional relationships and friendships.

How did you get involved as a volunteer in SIGUCCS?
I don’t remember! Somehow I ended up on someone’s list and it snowballed from there.

What’s an accomplishment that you are especially proud of?
Raising my twin daughters. They are five years old and I’m so proud of the clever, thoughtful, goofy girls they are growing up to be.

SIGUCCS 2019 LogoYou could always stop and talk to me about…
Scooters and motorcycles, sheepadoodles (mine is called Scout), and sewing

What do you do for fun?
I love flexing my creative muscles by sewing clothing for myself and my kids, designing graphic t-shirts for my shop (CleverDuchess.com), and writing a little fiction when the mood strikes.

SIGUCCS 2019 New Orleans … what is your favorite French food?
I’m not one for a lot of classic New Orleans foods but you can always hook me up with some Cajun pasta – is that French enough?

SIGUCCS 2019 Conference Committee Introductions – Bob Haring-Smith

This article is part of a series introducing the SIGUCS 2019 Conference Core Committee. Each Committee member submitted answers to questions created by the SIGUCCS Marketing Committee.

Bob at the Great WallHow many SIGUCCS conferences have you attended?

Which previous SIGUCCS conference was your favorite, and why?
The 2005 fall conference in Monterey. It was the first conference for which I served on the core committee, so I got to enjoy the whole process of planning the conference and then seeing it benefit the attendees.

How did you get involved as a volunteer in SIGUCCS?
I signed up to be a session chair at the first conference I attended. The next year, the conference was taking place in the city to which I had just moved (Portland, OR), so I volunteered to help out and was put in charge of the email room. Of course, now people carry the email room in their pockets.

What’s an accomplishment that you are especially proud of?
Helping to raise a smart, well-adjusted, caring son, who is now working on doing the same for his own sons.

SIGUCCS 2019 LogoYou could always stop and talk to me about…
Travel. I was born in Taiwan, finished high school in London, backpacked around the world after college, and worked for three years in Egypt in the late 90s.

What do you do for fun?
Competitive swimming, travel, NYT crossword puzzles.


SIGUCCS 2019 New Orleans … what is your favorite French food?
Crepes and galettes.

The SIGUCCS 2019 Site Visit

Many of us have just enjoyed the 2018 ACM SIGUCCS conference in Orlando, but now we want to let the good talks roll into New Orleans for next year’s conference, taking place November 3-6, 2019. You can help by thinking about presentations you could make and informing your colleagues (including those at nearby institutions who may not be familiar with SIGUCCS) of all that SIGUCCS and its conference have to offer. The call for participation will go out in January, but people can sign up now to the SIGUCCS mailing list and connect to SIGUCCS via social media. Visit siguccs.org for details.

2019 conference teamWe ramped up planning for the 2019 conference in August, when the conference’s core committee gathered on site to brainstorm about the conference and experience New Orleans as those attending next year’s meeting will. The conference hotel will be a great venue for the diverse programming and interpersonal networking that are SIGUCCS hallmarks, as well as putting us in walking distance of Bourbon Street and other New Orleans sights. Plan now to participate in the 2019 ACM SIGUCCS conference and encourage others you know in higher education IT support to do the same.

#SIGUCCS18 – How to Make It Work

You’ve seen the hashtag, but wonder “how can I contribute?”

This post by Lisa Nielsen (The Innovative Educator) provides tips on using social media to its fullest during conferences and events – https://theinnovativeeducator.blogspot.com/2018/05/8-tips-for-quality-posts-during.html

People with social media conceptLet’s make #SIGUCCS18 a hashtag that people who cannot attend the conference want to follow. Let’s make this a conference that people wish they were attending. Let’s make people say “I want to attend that conference next year!”. Contribute to #SIGUCCS18 during the conference by providing quality posts about our content to Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn.

Before & After – What will you gain from SIGUCCS 2018?

2018 conference logoWith the ACM SIGUCCS 2018 Conference (October 7-10, Orlando, FL) approaching in few weeks’ time, it’s time for attendees to start strategizing about what they can gain from the conference.

Here are several tips for conference preparation, from a learning standpoint.

Before the conference:
  • What are your learning objectives? Can you find sessions which hit the sweet spot between your institution’s business needs and your professional learning goals?
  • Have you identified any subject matter experts whose brain you want to pick, or exhibitors who may offer potential solutions for your institution’s needs? It may be a good idea to reach out to them before the conference (be sure to bring business cards to the conference).
  • Have you created an itinerary of the sessions that you want to attend? Be sure to use SCHED for up-to-date session information.
After the conference:
  • Have you joined the SIGUCCS Community Facebook page yet? Stay in touch with SIGUCCS all year long at https://www.facebook.com/groups/siguccsfolks/?ref=bookmarks.
  • Are you on the SIGUCCS-L listserv? This email list offers an opportunity to ask questions throughout the year, as well as keep informed about upcoming events.  See our Email Lists page for more information on how to subscribe.
  • If you want to learn from the experts in the SIGUCCS community (or want to share your expertise), consider becoming involved with the SIGUCCS Mentoring Program (learn more about the program during the conference, or on the SIGUCCS website).
  • Were there conference sessions which you wanted to attend but missed out on? Fear not—many of the popular conference sessions may be reprised as SIGUCCS webinars, which are hosted throughout the year. Additionally, be sure to check out the digital library (https://dl.acm.org/dl.cfm) to see if the sessions you missed have associated papers.
  • Were you excited about the vibe and the mission of SIGUCCS? Please help spread the word by letting your colleagues at your school and other institutions about our annual conferences. We’d love to see you again next year!

~Mo Nishiyama

A SIGUCCS Celebration!

SIGUCCS 2018 Conference General Session & Awards

Tuesday, October 9th  10:30am – Fiesta 5

On the second full day of conference activities in Orlando, attendees will gather to recognize and celebrate the accomplishments of SIGUCCS volunteers and award winners.

2017 Hall of Fame winnersJoin the SIGUCCS Board as we recognize our Award Winners: the 2018 Penny Crane Award winner, new Hall of Fame inductees, and SIGUCCS Communication Award recipients. We will also discuss accomplishments and plans for the upcoming year, including the location of SIGUCCS 2019!

To add the General Session to your conference schedule via Sched, visit https://siguccs2018.sched.com/event/FRGb/general-session-and-awards-celebrate-with-siguccs

Bob Haring-Smith Tim FoleyAt first glance, this might seem like an opportunity to skip outside for some Florida sun … but we hope to see all attendees in Fiesta 5!




SIGUCCS 2018 Volunteer Introductions – Karl Owens

What is your volunteer position for 2018 and how would you explain it to someone new to SIGUCCS?

I am publicity chair for the 2018 Conference. The publicity chairs primary responsibility is to track when publicity is to occur and then confirm that publicity and announcements took place when they were planned.

When I volunteered, I wasn’t sure if I would be able to attend the annual conference. There are lots of positions to server year around either in support of the organization or in preparation of the annual conference.

How many SIGUCCS conferences have you attended?


How did you get involved as a volunteer in SIGUCCS?

About the time I joined SIGUCCS I also became very interested in photography. Volunteering to take photos was a great opportunity to practice taking pictures. It also turned out to be a great way to meet people at conference.

What’s an accomplishment that you are especially proud of?

Family is number one, but I am particularly proud of the work I did establishing the large-format printing facility for the College of Design at the University of Oregon. It provided a reliable service to the students and faculty that it served and generated a substantial revenue stream that let that IT organization do many projects that otherwise wouldn’t have been possible.

Something that you could always stop and talk to me about

I’m definitely a fan of nerd pop culture. Not a walking encyclopedia, but love talking about it and participating.

What do you do for fun?

I enjoy most things Sci-Fi, board games, movies, books, etc…

SIGUCCS 2018 Orlando … who is your favorite Disney character?

Classic Disney (Mickey Mouse), Pixar (Baymax), Marvel (Hulk), Star Wars (Ewoks)

There is Life after College, part 2

… Miss Part 1 ? Read the first article.

Jeffrey Selingo offers college students great advice for making the most of their college years in his most recent book, There is Life after College. But how do we as IT professionals in the colleges and universities that these students attend fit in?

2018 conference logoIn his chapter, entitled “Learning to Launch”, he provides four tips to students:

  1. Find a Rhythm to your Day
  2. See Models for How to Fail
  3. Cultivate a Sense of Confidence
  4. Seek Out a Mentor

What opportunities can we, as IT professionals in the colleges that these students are attending, provide that support “learning to launch”? Do we provide students with enough opportunities to fail or to succeed? Are we providing mentorship opportunities to students?

Think about these before joining us at his keynote address at SIGUCCS 2018. For more information, visit the SIGUCCS 2018 Plenary & General Session web page.