Although pop culture portrays Information Technology departments simply asking “have you tried turning it off and back on again,” the College of Nursing and Health Professions (CNHP) IT team does so much more than that. They promote and encourage technological innovation, facilitate an equitable experience in learning, solve problems, educate users and, of course, fix computers. “We are here to take away the roadblocks that are preventing someone from accomplishing what they want,” Robert Feenan explained.
The COVID-19 pandemic made the contributions of the CNHP IT team overwhelmingly clear. “There were enormous amounts of change in every department,” Chip Myers said. The entire college shifted to remote learning and work, and the common thread between every individual, department, research lab and clinical practice was technology. But through the team’s leadership and creativity, the college thrived.
Accessibility was the first hurdle to jump. To ensure all CNHP students around the world, with a broad spectrum of backgrounds and environmental infrastructure, could continue their education, they loaned laptops to those who needed them and created best practices for faculty using technology. The team worked with researchers to find tools they could use to collect data and implemented a telehealth system for CNHP clinical practices. They also provided support for everyone who was suddenly attending class or conducting business exclusively through Zoom or Microsoft Teams.
Once faculty, staff and students have access to technology, both prior to the pandemic and now, the CNHP IT team makes sure they know how to use it. “We educate people on how to use and take advantage of the resources at hand,” Brian Thomas shared. “As people become more comfortable with it, it humanizes the technology.” By giving members of the college a fundamental understanding of how their devices and programs can help them, as well as how to fix their devices when things go wrong, they aim to advance CNHP and its mission.
“Helping people is really the bottom line,” James Lipczynski said. “It might seem like we’re just working with computers, but we’re actually working with every single person in the college,”
“It's a good feeling, knowing that they can go forward with their day and they're a happier person than when they came in,” Feenan added.
CNHP IT TEAM
Jack Cordivari, Robert H. Feenan, James Lipczynski, Aila Luneau, George M. Merritt, III, Chip Myers, Marc Scott, Steve Surgalski, Brian R. Thomas, MS