Session Details

Now You're Speaking My Language! Overcoming Barriers to Technical Collaboration

TIE8 Technology in Education

Location: Skyline I

TUESDAY, 9:30 - 10:15 a.m.

Less than two years ago, the largest department at Carnegie Mellon University ran a student database off defunct software, required students to complete forms by hand and collected qualifying exam documents from 25-35 students each semester via email. Since then, the university has updated its student database, built a department-wide data warehouse, introduced interactive forms and created a cloud-like solution for qualifying exam document collection. The key to these improvements has been the fruitful working relationships between academic advisors and technical staff. This presentation will provide an overview of how the presenters framed and prioritized IT requests, partnered with IT staff to make small and large-scale projects come to fruition and gained support in new IT initiatives. They will address the challenges of communicating across domains of expertise to successfully implement new technology solutions from both a higher education and IT perspective.

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Samantha Goldstein
Academic Program Advisor, Carnegie Mellon University

Samantha Goldstein, senior academic programs advisor and special projects coordinator, has been at Carnegie Mellon University since 2012. In this role, she administratively advises over 300 Ph.D. students in electrical and computer engineering and helps drive technical projects both big and small to improve the experiences of her faculty, students and colleagues. Prior to CMU, Samantha was a manager of content services at Eduventures, Inc. in Boston where she specialized in custom research projects pertaining to online higher education and continuing and professional education. Goldstein obtained her Ed.M. in higher education from Harvard Graduate School of Education and her B.A. from Northwestern University.

David Decker
Senior Systems and Software Engineer, Carnegie Mellon University

Dave Decker has been enamored with technology since he first played Pitfall on his family's Atari 2600 game console in the early 1980s. His interest in all things digital continued as he went on to earn a degree in computer media studies from Juniata College in 2000. His current role of Senior Systems/Software Engineer at Carnegie Mellon University has him creating web applications and solutions for the Department of Computer and Electrical Engineering. Dave enjoys ice hockey, photography, and spending time with his wife Bridget and daughter Evelyn.