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Pandemics, Plans, and Pivots: Leading Academic Computing in a Post-COVID-19 World

Block I – October 29, 7:00 PM - Keynote Speakers

Pandemics, Plans, and Pivots: Leading Academic Computing in a Post-COVID-19 World

COVID-19 has disrupted higher education in unprecedented ways, and, in many cases, has changed both the trajectory and timeline of academic computing and its related functions. This keynote will explore experiences from two very different higher education institutions as they navigated the emergency pivot in the spring and worked through plans and adjustments for the fall. The presenters will discuss strategies, surprises, and lessons learned, providing examples of what is going well six months later and areas of need highlighted by the pandemic. The session will also include forecasting on the future of academic computing, both in the short term and long term, and the audience will be encouraged to engage in a dialog as the presenters will solicit ideas, questions, and feedback from participants throughout the session.

Keynote Speaker: Sherri Braxton

Presenter Bio:

With over 20 years of experience in higher education, Dr. Braxton currently serves as the Senior Director of Instructional Technology at UMBC where she is responsible for leading the Division of Information Technology’s (DoIT) strategy for end-user support of instructional technologies including online, hybrid, and traditional “face-to-face” technologies. She also leads the micro-credentialing initiatives at the institution. A co-director and faculty of the EDUCAUSE Learning Technology Leadership Program, Sherri has also served as co-leader of the EDUCAUSE Instructional Technology Community Group. She served as a task force co-lead for the IMS Global Consortium Open Badge Extensions for Education (OBEE) initiative and continues to serve as a member of IMS Global Open Badges and Comprehensive Learner Record working groups as well as the Adaptive Learning and Digital Credentials Innovation Leadership Networks.

Sherri is an avid equestrian who also enjoys beach vacations, trying new foods, and reading a good mystery novel. She is the mother of two kids, 2 cats, and one horse.

Follow her on Twitter: @sherrinbraxton

Michael Cato

Presenter Bio:

Michael leads Bowdoin College’s Information Technology strategy and operations through the Information and Technology department. Michael came to Bowdoin in March of 2018 with 17 years of experience in Higher Education IT having served in roles at Vassar College, the University of North Carolina at Charlotte, and the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

Michael is a faculty member of the EDUCAUSE Leadership and Council of Australasian University Directors of Information Technology (CAUDIT) Institutes, a member of the Society for Information Management (SIM) and the Information Technology Senior Management Forum (ITSMF), an Educause Leading Change/Frye Fellow, an alum of Leadership North Carolina, and serves on the board for the American Institute for the Biological Sciences (AIBS) and the Northeast Computing Association (NERCOMP). He holds a B.S. in Zoology from Andrews University and an M.B.A. from Wake Forest University.

Michael loves to learn, read, eat, occasionally cook, and starts most days being humbled by CrossFit. He is raising an awesome toddler son with his partner and wife Heather. Follow him on Twitter @mgcato


Dr. Sherri Braxton & Michael Cato
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