Penny Crane Award 2013

2013 Penny Crane Award Recipient – Terris Wolff

Terris Wolff, known by most as Terry, attended his first ACM SIGUCCS conference in 1989, making this his 25th year of participation in the annual conferences. During that time, he has served on the Board and on many conference committees.
Terry has spent his nearly 40 year career in higher education and the IT profession, starting at the University of Southern California School of Business in 1974, moving to Pomona College in Claremont in 1989, and returning to the University of Southern California School of Social Work in 2002, where he remains.

Terry started contributing to ACM SIGUCCS at his first conference, presenting a paper at the 1989 SIGUCCS User Services Conference in Bethesda, Maryland. Since that time Terry has contributed in many ways to SIGUCCS – serving on the board and board committees – and to the conferences – presenting more papers, as conference treasurer, as a tutorial instructor, as the conference registrar, as the co-chair of the conference, and as the Management Symposium Program co-chair. Terry has frequently been a session chair and he’s hard to miss with his camera always in action.

In 2005 Terry was asked by the conference chair to take over the First Time Attendee orientation program. Aside from the normal, and valuable, information that is presented at this time, Terry felt it to be a great opportunity for people to meet and to start the networking process that is so valuable to all SIGUCCS conference attendees. Terry introduced us to “People Bingo”. The game forced participants to meet, interact and get to know one another. Terry feels that one of the important opportunities presented by the annual conferences it to meet and interact with new people engaged in the same profession. People Bingo gave people this chance – the chance to meet and get to know people from around the country and the world.

In many ways, Terry epitomizes Penny Crane. Like Penny, Terry will approach the person standing alone and start a conversation, introduce them to others, and help to get them involved. He will encourage people from the same institution to break up, not sit with each other at sessions or events, to meet new people and make new contacts.

When you run into Terry be sure to ask how to do the “cork trick” and how to make a paper napkin into a rose. He will encourage you to take your new found skills and use it as a way to approach others at the conference, and to put a face to their email address.

  • Here are a few more quotes from Terry’s nomination which highlight why he was selected for this year’s Penny Crane Award:
  • “I can think of no one who better exemplifies Penny Crane’s spirit of involvement and fun than Terris Wolff.”
  • “Terry loves SIGUCCS and SIGUCCS loves him. His enthusiasm and hard work for the organization has helped SIGUCCS to thrive.”
  • “Terry epitomizes the values that Penny Crane contributed to SIGUCCS which makes him an ideal candidate for the award.”
  • “Terry pioneered “social networking” and I think the reception for First-Timers, the mentoring idea, and the bingo game were just super ideas that Terry dreamed up to enable the personal interactions that are such an essential part of SIGUCCS conferences, and the organization itself.”
  • “Terry is a perfect example of what the Penny Crane award is all about. His love and commitment to the ACM SIGUCCS organization is second to none.”