The past two years have been unbelievably challenging for higher education as we’ve navigated a pandemic that seems never ending and with no playbook to follow. Out of this disruption, however, we have witnessed higher education move quickly to embrace digital transformation and enable hybrid learning modalities, remote work, new curriculum for changing students and jobs, and imaginative funding models. There is a renewed focus on the reason we persevere in higher ed: student success and engagement.
US higher education is the best in the world, and the pandemic has forced us to rethink how we deliver on its promise and imagine the future. It is with this lens that I’m thrilled to join Apogee as its new chief technology officer. Apogee is the managed technology services provider of choice for innovative colleges and universities that are passionate about student success and solving the big challenges the world faces.
I have spent a large part of my career working for or with educational institutions, most recently as the CTO and Enterprise Architect for the California Community Colleges Technology Center (CCCTC) which serves the nation’s largest higher education system of 116 campuses with millions of students in degree-seeking, CTE, and Strong Workforce programs. I decided to embark on a career at Apogee because the company shares the same aspirations that I do for how solutions, purpose-built for education, can unlock innovation in all areas – from teaching and learning, to research, to increasing enrollment, equity, and accessibility, to fundraising, to pedagogy that prepares students for the future of work, and more.
I love solving business problems in higher education with technology; not because I like technology, but for what a well-designed solution enables. I joined Apogee to drive an innovation agenda that will enable our growing customer base of 400+ colleges and universities that serve over 1 million students to digitally transform, to not only overcome the challenges of the last two years, but also to come out stronger and better in the long run.
On top of its laser-focus on higher ed, Apogee has a “secret sauce” that deeply inspires me as I start to roll up my sleeves and lead the company’s product development and management efforts. Apogee has a unique ability to turn raw platforms and application technologies into fully leverageable solutions for higher ed via an operationally superior managed services model. This model enables higher ed IT teams to offload daunting projects and technology operations to us so they can focus on innovations that will enable their institutional mission. Many vendors in the education space ignore or give only passing thought to the organizational and process changes inherent in most technology implementation projects. Apogee lives and breathes this aspect of enabling digital transformation.
Most small and medium-sized colleges and universities just can’t take on projects that require internal iterative work over long periods or the daily operational headaches and frequent upgrade cycles that most technologies require to work and stay fresh. Enabling these schools to “play in the big leagues” in terms of taking advantage of the latest and greatest technologies with our Managed Campus offerings is so exciting for me. Likewise, Apogee ResNet enables CIOs and Housing Directors to get out of the business of building and managing a demanding consumer-grade network while getting the credit for delivering an exceptional residence hall connectivity experience.
I’m starting to sink my teeth into the product roadmap, product development investments, and quality assurance, security, and data protection processes, but one of the things that is also quite motivating about this new role is the opportunity to meet with you at conferences and webinars and to publish papers and blogs on technology in higher ed. I’ll be tackling topics that range from addressing the digital divide to the future of Wi-Fi, from student engagement to student analytics, from cyberthreats to identity access management.
I’m energized about the future and dedicated to higher ed’s success. I was in your shoes for many years, so I begin each day at Apogee like all Apogee employees do, by asking how we can leverage our resources and expertise to advance the needs of higher ed and enrich the campus and student experience.
Thank you for reading! You can learn more about me here, and please follow Apogee on LinkedIn. I look forward to connecting with you online or in person at an upcoming conference soon.