This year has been one of transition—to put it lightly—at UMW’s Division of Teaching and Learning Technologies. Andy Rush announced he’ll be joining University of Northern Florida in September, which means two-thirds of the group has left (or announced their leaving) since November. And while Andy’s leaving marks the end of an era (I’ll save my real feelings for another post 🙂 ), it also ushers in the possibility of a whole new generation of instructional technology at UMW. Last week I got a glimpse of what that might look like, and I am both excited and hopeful.
Jessica Reingold started a week ago today in a new position DTLT created this Spring called the Entry-level Instructional Technology Specialist. The idea for this position came from UMW’s IT department which has been hiring recent college grads into entry-level positions for their Enterprise Application Services team over the last few years.* What was awesome about Jess’s hire is that we were almost immediately able to reap the benefits of the Digital Knowledge Center (we love you Mothra!). Jessica was one of the first tutors hired by the DKC, and her work there was phenomenal. [Those tutors are good!] What’s proving crucial for us is that she has a very good sense of the culture and how we work at DTLT. This means she hit the ground running last week. On her first day we made a visit to a faculty member to get her right in the mix, and over the course of the week we’ve been digging into the innards of how UMW Domains works as well as talking faculty development. She has a really solid working knowledge of WordPress, so next up is the venerable UMW Blogs.
It’s been a lot of fun having Jess in the office, she is already breathing new life into the group. My only issue is that I won’t be around long enough to witness firsthand all the wonderful things she’ll do. Let’s hope she blogs them so I can get a glimpse from afar. For all the uncertainty transition brings to any group, watching Jess settle in so quickly and self-assuredly has been humbling and hopeful all at once. There is a new day rising at DTLT, and with people like Jess there is no reason why it can’t be even greater than yesterday.
* The necessity for it came out of fewer and fewer resources.