Meet the Blogger: Colleen

By Colleen Riggle

Nice to meet you! I’m Colleen Riggle, a thirty-something woman, wife, step-mom, daughter, sister, aunt and endurance athlete in Georgia. Professionally, I work on initiatives to end sexual violence through education and programming and to create a more inclusive environment for women at Georgia Tech! My background is in Student Affairs Leadership and Women’s Center Work.  I have been awarded the Award of Excellence in May 2008 at Georgia Tech and the Apple Award in April 2008 from the Panhellenic Council for my work with educating about sexual violence. I’ve also been featured in Women in Higher Education for her work with sorority women on campus.  And is the newly elected co-chair of the National Women’s Studies Association Women’s Center Committee.

My interest in technology started when I was younger – I distinctly remember loading our dot matrix printer when using our ms-dos (before the lustrous Windows) computer to print off text files.  I remember my brothers and dad use to make computer and my parents still to this date have lots of random monitors, hard drives, and shells.  In high school, I remember receiving “AOL free” in the mail and being online, chatting, and always trying to get around having to actually pay for the “world wide web” as it was called.  Fast forward to college and I remember going to the computer lab in the library hashing out work on a iMac.  And packing for college, I remember buying my first computer from Sears and it ended up being larger than my entire wardrobe combined.   Lugging that HUGE monitor, desktop, keyboard, speakers, mouse to my dorm room – now we have iPads,  and can update our facebook status from our phones and post pictures online just as fast as I can get the next best seller for my Kindle!

I remember in my early days of endurance event running my brother calling me up and telling me about this new product that Apple was coming out in a few months I needed to order now – it was called an iPod.  That gadget was amazing and I remember taking that with me wherever I went for several years.  In the same year, I bought my first iBook computer – she was laid to rest this past winter.  I’m as geek as geek can get so it was no wonder that I found a geek who named all the home computer after characters in Matrix (Oracle, Neo, Niobe, and Trinity) that we were made for each other.  It was a proud day when we searched for a router that could handle 11+ devices at home.  However, we’re a house divided between the iPhone and Android.

I tweet, I blog, I’m LinkedIn and I ❤ facebook. I flickr and love reading books on my Kindle.  I am the webmistress for Women in Student Affairs (WISA) though NASPA and maintain our Women’s Center website, body image site and blog AND our sexual violence site too.

When I’m not being techy, I train for various endurance events through the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society’s Team in Training program. And I thrive on finding frugal ways of making life more fun!

Recognize any of these?:

Looking forward to being a part of this blogging team!

Meet the Blogger: Colleen

Meet the Blogger: Jennifer Keegin

By Jennifer Keegin

Do you remember where you were when you first started playing on the internet? When you found out what the internet WAS?

I clearly remember my Senior year of college (I don’t mind sharing – it was 1997) and I had just learned the previous year how to send emails and we were dabbling with “newsgroups”. We found all the dirty ones first OF COURSE and then based on the limited amount of knowledge I had on the subject, I jumped into an HTML class my senior year.

This was hard core HTML. I’m talking the kind of code that allowed you to put words on a screen  in different colors with a background image! I know. It was CRAZY. As a Mass Communication major (minor in Literature) I had yet to discover the many ways in which my love of advertising/marketing would be fused together with my other love – event planning. These were the days of  just figuring out how to work a new medium and how to use that knowledge to impress my friends/family.

I don’t suppose much has changed over the years. From that point on, I had a love of anything related to the internet, and how to manipulate the internet to find the information I wanted. I dumped my journals to blog, I joined Facebook back in the early days, I created websites that covered my interests (including Assoc. of College Unions International Region 2 & 12’s sites) and even won a Comedy Central contest in which I created a website for comedian Nick Swardson. (Gaining the experience of 4 years free labor). I still try the newest, latest and greatest internet sites for items like management and organization tools, the best browsers (I like Opera), and the newest viral videos.  I also read everyday, usually on my iPhone. Great place to get started. However, I am getting older. Without additional classes on coding etc., I don’t create as many websites from scratch anymore. I use like everyone else.

Related to general internet interests is my newest fancy – the fusion of marketing/advertising and Social Media. When Ed Cabellon and other super awesome tweeps (Twitter Peeps. Did I make that up? Or is that a real Twitter word???) got a group together at the ACUI NYC Annual Conference last year to discuss social media – I was very interested in the topic and immediately joined on to form the Community of Practice for Social Media. As the advisor for the Late Nite program here at Binghamton University , I found that we weren’t doing nearly enough to get the word out about our events. We had a tired old website and a “person page” on Facebook. We needed to upgrade! Fan page on Facebook, Twitter account, DJ account, podcasts of our concerts…you name it…we now have it!

Being a tech girl can be fun – my experience isn’t just internet based – I also had to learn at an early stage in my career (Oh, about 13 years ago…) how to hook up vcrs, dvd players, sound systems and the like. I have a whole post coming about one particular sound system from my past. I think the key to all tech is knowing your interests, your limits, and when to say “I need help.”

I look forward to blogging with this amazing group of ladies, learning from them, and learning about myself along the way.

Meet the Blogger: Jennifer Keegin

Linkage Love

By Kristen Abell

A little late in the day, but here nonetheless, we are going to be posting some of our favorite recent links on technology and/or student affairs every Wednesday. Ideally, these links will span the last week, but more realistically, they’ll probably be from the last few days – technology moves fast, ya know. Feel free to email us with interesting links you think we should include!

5 Things Netflix Streaming Can Teach Higher Ed – I love Netflix, I love higher ed, why not combine the two? Loved this post that takes some of the more creative and innovative ways Netflix has come bounding into the video market and compared them to ways we can do the same in higher ed.

Found in a friend’s Facebook feed (how appropriate) – Cracking the Facebook Code. This was a fascinating article based on an unofficial study of Facebook’s algorithm for deciding what goes in your news feed – and though it might be unofficial, and though Facebook refuses to share said algorithm, based on what I’ve observed in my feed, I have to admit that it feels pretty true to life.

Your Vacation Need Not Annoy Your Online Pals – This one is for that work colleague of mine who posted all the incredible pictures and comments about traveling to Italy and Greece and Egypt recently (although darn him, he actually followed most of their guidelines – okay, fine, they were fantastic, they just made me jealous). I’m not sure what’s sadder – that we have to live vicariously through each other online, or that 72% of people check email on vacation.

For the Apple Fangirls (or boys – we’re equal opportunity here) out there – the white iPhone 4 release has been delayed – gasp! I’m pretty sure the original point of the white iPhone was to show people you had the one with the bigger memory (since that was the only white one available at first). But with all the cases out there, does it really matter what color iPhone you get? You tell me.

And finally, don’t forget to check in to Foursquare on election day! This venture looks to have some pretty neat applications, especially for politicians and all others ready to rock the vote (does anyone even still say that anymore? I think I just dated myself). In any case, I love that social media has really begun to impact voter turnout, and I’m looking forward to seeing more ways we can use it to do so.

Linkage Love

Meet the Blogger: Daria

By Daria-Yvonne Graham

Do you have a friend that you call when you have questions about software, computers, the internet or your recently purchased piece of hardware?  For my friends and colleagues, I am that person.  While I do not have any formalized training in the areas of technology, tech toys and software have always come pretty easy to me.  I see things as puzzles, and technology is no different.  I have a lot of space for figuring out the complex or convoluted and enjoy when I get to do that with soft- and hardware.

My interest in technology surfaced from a bit of a selfish place.  For as long as I can remember I have loved efficiency.  The desire is not to cut corners, but instead to do my best in the smartest way I can.  Whether it is through a widget, plug in, application, or a new gadget, my hope is to make work…even life simpler.  From IBM computers and word processors to pocket pcs and ereaders I have always wanted the latest to see what (not if  there were) ways I can do the things that I have to get done.   From electronic grocery lists on my Blackberry that I can text to my partner to note-taking software on my iPad to replace the overstuffed binder in meetings, the goal has been to streamline.

My professional journey is colorful in that I came to higher education after some time working in the banking industry, working with people with mental and physical disabilities, and teaching high school all before settling in an entry level position in housing at my alma mater.  In our housing department was where I first began to work on websites and I also helped implement an automated housing assignment software.  From housing I moved to an assistant director position in the student union with part of my job responsibilities set around the use of technology.  In my current position of associate director for the Office of Multicultural Affairs, I still maintain our website and support the department in issues of technology and software.

The toys that are in my purse today...

I am often in conversations of how to balance my roles in life – professional, mother, spouse, daughter – with who I aspire to be as a woman.  I understand and celebrate that I am more than what I do and who I am to others.  My hope is to be a woman who is whole, healthy (that’s a journey and another blog), and pursuing those things that feed my soul.  By spending time talking technology, I am blessed to incorporate those things I love with those things that call to me everyday.  Thank you for allowing me to do that in this space.

Follow me on Twitter.

Meet the Blogger: Daria

Meet the Blogger: Stephanie

By Stephanie Wintling

I still remember to this day the excitement and amusement I felt when my dad brought home our first Windows computer. This illustrious beautiful contraption mesmerized both my brother and me. We would constantly fight about who got to play on the computer and my parents eventually had to limit our time on it.  Throughout my entire childhood, my family was blessed enough to afford the newest gadgets and never let me believe that in any way tech gadgets were grown-up toys or only for males. My favorite tech memory is bringing a Palm Pilot to school in the 8th grade, forget paper–I have a Palm Pilot; my classmates had no idea why I had one or what it even did at the time. I thought it was the coolest thing ever.

When I entered college at the University of West Florida, I was convinced I would be a doctor, and then chemistry convinced me otherwise.  There I was at the pivotal moment everyone reaches in college, sometimes multiple times; I have to change my major/my career/my life. I did what made the most sense and changed my major to the subject I had succeeded in: mathematics. Spring of my first year I walked in to Calculus 2, Math Set Theory, and C++ Programming and I was forced with a new reality–I was a minority. In Calculus 2, I was the only female who did not drop the course. Never in my life had I felt so uncomfortable in an academic setting. Academics had defined me for almost all of my life, and here I was uncomfortable in the one environment I had always been comfortable in. Sometimes I wish this story had a different ending, but I switched my major to Psychology by the end of that semester, although, I have to note I did make As and Bs in those classes that spring semester, and I strongly believe I’ll finish my mathematics degree one day.

Thankfully Psychology majors had an abundance of electives, so I stocked my schedule full of the most random technology classes the department would allow me to take. From Intro to the Internet to Microsoft Office, I took whatever I could, and now I am this random grab bag of computer information. I’ve contemplated getting a certification numerous times or taking advanced web design classes but I just started a new job at Texas State University so those ideas are on the back burner for a bit.  As a graduate student at the University of Florida, I created the website for the National Pan-Hellenic Council (not my best work but functional), and quickly became a tech support resource for my cohort. After receiving my M.Ed. in Student Personnel in Higher Education, I accepted a job as a Residence Director at Texas State. I’ve only been here 2.5 months and already I receive e-mails from colleagues for tech support.

Finally, I always read instruction manuals, which provides me with a wide array of random insights to how to use the tricks you never knew you MacBook had to making your life easier in Microsoft Office.

I look forward to posting more and sharing my insights in technology! Since my own personal story carries some heartbreak, I’m very passionate about women in STEM and jumped at the chance to write for this blog. Be sure to leave a comment on anything you would like for to me to post about, especially anything Microsoft Office.

Follow me on TwitterAdd me on FacebookConnect with me on LinkedIn.

Meet the Blogger: Stephanie

Meet the Blogger: Brenda

By Brenda Bethman

As a child, I always had multiple answers to the “what do you want to be when you grow up?” question. There seemed to be too many options available for me to be able to settle on one. I was convinced that doing only one thing would prove to be boring. The only thing I knew for sure is that there had better be plenty of books involved as I have never been far from a book since I learned how to read.

I am happy to say that I achieved both goals. After college, I worked as a stage manager and dresser in the theater, waited tables, bartended and finally went to graduate school for my M.A. and Ph.D. in German literature, with the intention of becoming a tenure-track faculty member. Life, in the form of graduate assistantships working in the administrative side and getting married to someone in the same field, intervened, however, and I eventually made my way to where I am now: Director of the Women’s Center, Acting Director of the Women’s & Gender Studies Program, and Affiliated Faculty in German in the Department of Foreign Languages & Literatures at the University of Missouri-Kansas City. I also teach for the Honors Program and the College of Arts & Sciences first year experience program. It’s definitely not dull and there are indeed a LOT of books in my life!

Along the way, I also picked up an affinity for computers and social media. I’m young enough that I took a programming class in high school and old enough that I still used a typewriter for my papers until my senior year in college (using the all-in-one Macintosh computers available in the lab at Dickinson). The first computer I owned was a Tandy running Windows 3.1. I’ve been through any number of desktops and laptops since then, running all flavors of Windows, finally circling back to Apple just recently. Over the years, I’ve also served as unofficial tech support to friends, family, and colleagues.

While I was reluctant to get into social media at first, I have since enthusiastically embraced it and at last count, am in some way responsible for 4 Twitter accounts, 5 Facebook pages (plus my profile), and 5 blogs. Not to mention Flickr, YouTube, and multiple email accounts. I am excited to count this blog as part of that list and look forward to engaging with you all here!

Meet the Blogger: Brenda