Impacting student's lives

Impacting Student’s Lives

Key takeaways

  • Working for Ellucian gives Steven ongoing opportunities to pursue his passions for travel, helping people, and leveraging technology for student success.
  • He developed a video game tournament to enhance the culture on campus.
  • He created an online scavenger hunt for new students to get better acclimated with campus technology.

My job at Ellucian is Chief Information Officer in the Managed Services group, which means creating strategies and managing resources. But my life at Ellucian life is much more: traveling, volunteering, meeting people, using technology in interesting ways, creating annual events, and even welcoming students to college. So many opportunities to engage my passions!

Working for Ellucian has given me ongoing opportunities to travel, help people, and leverage technology for student success. Just a few examples: Our generous annual charitable leave benefit allowed me to travel to Baton Rouge with coworker Kyle Yantis to provide disaster relief after severe flooding. Our commitment to the higher education community has allowed me to meet hundreds of customers at our annual Ellucian Live conferences, like coworker Gabriel Mendiola has. And most important to me, our focus on student success has allowed me to work directly in support of students at multiple college and university campuses.

At Mercy College in Dobbs Ferry, N.Y., my team and I were responsible for hardware infrastructure, enterprise applications, and user support. But I was looking for a way to more directly impact the lives of students through technology. So Ellucian Technical Director Shabad Sood and I partnered with Facilities, Dining Services, Residence Life, the library, the Office of the Provost, the print shop, the Mercy alumni-led Gaming Battle Network, and a dozen members of the Ellucian team to create the Mercy Rushdown video game tournament. Nearly 200 high school and college students from around the region came together for a day of Smash Brothers, Street Fighter, and the chance to play on a 25-foot stadium display. I’m proud to report that Rushdown has become an annual event.

Mercy rushdown

At Yeshiva University in New York City, I helped manage a team and a portfolio of information technology projects. But the Yeshiva project I am most proud of isn’t one I managed; it’s actually a student-run project. As part of their Master’s degree in Enterprise Risk Management, students in Professor Andrew Boyarsky’s class were responsible for assembling a team, conducting research, interviewing staff, and creating an emergency response plan for the university. Over several months, I participated in their team meetings, answered questions, and even served as one of the clients for their final presentation. It was exciting to play the roles of client, mentor, and subject matter expert on the same project!

At Delaware State University in Dover, students use technology to choose majors, register for classes, take online courses, view grades, and more. But they had to learn those tools through trial and error during their freshman year, while also adjusting to college life, making new friends, and studying. So, I worked with the Director of the Office of Student Leadership and Activities and the Assistant Vice President for Enrollment Management to create an online scavenger hunt where students could learn about the systems, find relevant information, and win prizes. To prepare students for the scavenger hunt, we built a 45-minute live session for all 900 freshmen with handouts, trivia, and Q&As. Delivering that first live session and welcoming students to college has been one of the highlights of my career.

About the Author
Steven Birmingham
Steven Birmingham
Chief Information Officer, Ellucian Managed Services

Steven provides IT strategy and leadership to colleges and universities that partner with Ellucian Managed Services.