“One of my favourite things about working at the University is that there is a new challenge every three to four months, and there truly is a sense of renewal with every term.”
Having worked at the University for two years, Zelda can’t help but laugh at her unsuspected embarkment into the world of Information Technology. “I never had a formal introduction to IT! I just grew up with many gadgets, learned how to use them quite easily, and learned to care about them and how they worked.”
Information Technology was not always an area she imagined would result in turning over a new leaf and converting a passion into a fulfilling new career. "My crossing paths with IT was accidental. I initially moved to Ottawa to do a Ph.D. in translation studies, which was a fantastic experience but fell into IT naturally and am really enjoying it.”
As coordinator of the Student IT Care service, Zelda has worked closely with hundreds of students at the University, always with the same goal in mind: How can we better accommodate students?
“My experience with IT at the University of Ottawa has always been positive. Information Technology truly cares for the students it serves. This has been demonstrated time and time again."
In the early stages of the pandemic, the Faculty of Arts put together two offices to aid professors and students in transitioning quickly and efficiently to online learning and teaching. Jean Quirion, then Associate Vice Dean of Digital Learning, offered Zelda a leadership position with this team due to her interest in the IT space and evolving digital literacy expertise.
An opportunity came knocking for Zelda to make a meaningful impact in the world of Information Technology, and that is exactly what she did. This new opportunity was exciting and a unique opportunity to immerse herself in something new and challenging.
“This type of work is everything I look for to keep me interested and passionate. I believe in what we do. A post-secondary institution needs to remember who matters most, students!”
That is not to say that her journey has not been without trials and tribulations. Zelda acknowledges that the University may have the resources available for students but may not always be reaching the maximum number of students possible to inform them about the tools and resources at their disposal. Many students benefit from these services already, but Zelda’s team strives to ensure no student is left behind.
Unfortunately, that does not always mean the remaining students know how and where to utilize these resources to support their academic goals adequately.
With ambition, a collaborative team, and optimism for what is yet to come, Zelda looks forward. She continues working hard on initiatives. "Spotting a gap that our team can help fill to help students through a big transition has been extremely rewarding for me. We are a support team! I see many things coming down the pipeline.” Zelda laughs. “What’s next for us? I guess we will just have to wait and see!”