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Jesse Receives UI Staff Excellence Award

Maggie Jesse Margaret (Maggie) Jesse, director of the Stead Technology Services Group (STSG), was one of two UI staff members to receive the 2006 David J. Skorton Staff Excellence Award for Public Service. Given annually by the UI Staff Council, the award recognizes individuals who have made significant contributions and have shown "exceptional imagination and dedication to improving the University community."

In her position as STSG director, Jesse provides support for the use of technology in teaching, learning, and research, not only to the Tippie College of Business but to the entire University community. She is involved in many campuswide activities, including formative work in information technology and is regularly invited to give conference presentations across the country. Her participation in two key University projects—the E-Learning Project and the campus instructional technology review—are two examples of her commitment to excellence for the University.

The E-Learning Project is an ongoing effort to understand the University's current state of e-learning usage and to lay the foundation for building an e-learning strategy for the University. As a member of the core group leading this effort, Jesse has provided vision and leadership in helping the campus to understand the efficacy of adopting a single, campuswide course management system and to lead by example in the selection and adoption of the new system. Under her direction, the Tippie College of Business was the first college to fully adopt the new system (ICON) and pave the way for other colleges by sharing their experience with the campus.

"In her role as a member of the core group, she has championed the needs and expectations of the colleges while keeping in mind the larger vision of what is best for the University as a whole," wrote Molly Langstaff, director of ITS-Academic Technologies, in her nomination letter. "Wearing these two hats is not an easy task but one that Maggie has handled with grace and diplomacy."

The Campus Instructional Technology Review Committee was commissioned by President David Skorton in fall 2005. As a member of the planning subcommittee, Jesse has provided leadership for the review, including developing timelines; interviewing faculty, staff, and students; conducting open forums to give hundreds of people the opportunity to provide input; creating draft documents; and completing the final report.

"As a well-respected IT director, Maggie has fostered open discussion and sharing of ideas about the strengths of Iowa IT and the opportunities and challenges we face going forward," Langstaff wrote. "Through her efforts, Maggie has helped lay the foundation for campus IT to make the University stronger and better prepared for the future."

In addition, Jesse was a founder of the national organization, Technology in Business Schools Roundtable, a group of directors of information technology at business schools. Formed to meet the unique technology challenges faced by colleges of business, the group fosters collaboration among the leadership of these schools. While it is less than four years old, Jesse has helped increase the size of the group to include more than 70 U.S. schools. The group meets on a regular basis to share ideas, best practices, and techniques on topics such as hardware/software evaluation, staffing, networks, and the delivery of services.

"It has always been her policy to stay at the forefront of emerging technology and to decide what will be a good value and enrichment for the College," wrote Jim Grifhorst, STSG database analyst, and Joyce Ruplinger, STSG coordinator of technical support, in their nomination letter. "Deploying these initiatives with the budget constraints the University has faced in recent years is an enormous accomplishment."

Jesse has been with the Tippie College of Business since 1989. She received an MBA degree from The University of Iowa in 2003.

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