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2012 Award Recipient
For demonstrating excellence in cyberinfrastructure and support for the research enterprise, IT organizational development and effective practices, and IT infrastructure deployment and management.
Vice Provost for Information Services and CIO
University of Oregon
Melissa Woo, recently named as vice provost for information services and CIO at the University of Oregon, is recognized as a strong leader, one who is expected to achieve continued success in the profession. She has been known for her achievements in cyberinfrastructure and support for the research enterprise, IT organizational development and effective practices, and IT infrastructure deployment and management.
At the University of Wisconsin–Milwaukee (UWM), Woo led the promotion of a central, core research cyberinfrastructure service without identified funding or widespread research faculty support. She chartered and staffed a faculty/staff committee, led by a respected faculty researcher, to identify related campus issues and make recommendations. The result was a series of far-reaching recommendations made to executive leadership to improve the campus research cyber-infrastructure. She has presented numerous times on the high-performance computing support model, which could be fully adoptable by other universities.
One of the infrastructure initiatives started by Woo was the UWM identity and access management (IAM) program. Since its inception in 2010, the program has aggressively completed a number of significant milestones: the campus Active Directory was transformed from a service with no identified support to one with a stable support structure; a SAML service was deployed to support federation and enterprise single sign-on; and UWM became a member of the InCommon and eduroam federations. As a result, UWM is actively engaged in activities supporting establishment of InCommon Silver compliance implementation best practices for use by other higher education institutions.
Woo is a strong supporter of staff professional development, particularly in the area of mentoring. As chair of the EDUCAUSE Professional Development Advisory Committee, she instituted a major revision of the EDUCAUSE Mentoring Information Kit to focus on new mentoring styles appropriate to 21st-century professionals and an agreement between mentors and mentees before they enter into a relationship. Additionally, she collaborated with another UWM colleague to develop two mentoring pilots for the EDUCAUSE regional conferences: “minute mentoring,” which provides advice on specific topics in a “speed dating” format, and a program to match mentors and mentees during conferences, launched at the 2012 EDUCAUSE Midwest Regional Conference.
Woo is a collaborative change agent and natural leader, still early in her career, and able to accomplish what is needed for campus information technology. She is an ideal recipient of the EDUCAUSE Rising Star Award.
This award is sponsored by Moran Technology Consulting, An EDUCAUSE Silver Partner.