IT Times Talks To Jeanne Reese
After more than 20 years at UC Davis, Jeanne Reese has taken on the role of IET-Mediaworks' associate director. Reese received a Bachelor's degree in agricultural economics/business management at UC Davis and a Master's degree from the UC Davis Graduate School of Management. She worked with the Office of Resource Management and Planning for 12 years, with Physics for three years, and with Robert Shelton in the Office of Research for more than four years. Most recently, Reese has worked as the administrative manager for the National Institute for Global Environmental Change. According to Harry Matthews, director of Mediaworks, "During her 22 years with UC Davis, Jeanne has developed a broad knowledge of the campus and established a reputation for clear understanding of business and academic issues."
Although her office was a whirlwind of activity, we were able to catch up with Jeanne Reese during her first week at IET Mediaworks and briefly talk with her about her new campus appointment. She was busy renewing acquaintances with many of the staff whom she had met while on a 1999 consulting assignment in Information Technology.
It was evident from our brief discussion that Jeanne enjoys being around creative people and that she likes the creative aspects of the business side of things. Excerpts from our brief interview follow.
ITT: What enticed you to this position, given you have been part of the campus community for more than 20 years?
Reese: Has it really been more than 20 years? It doesn't seem that long ago when I was a UCD student standing in line to pay fees. I wanted to come to Mediaworks because this program has a treasure trove of skilled artists—more than 40—with an impressive array of expertise. This is a wonderful opportunity for me to help match that expertise to the university community. Part of my role is to assure a strong organizational infrastructure behind these artists and designers, programmers, photographers, audio and video specialists. So for me, this is a very appealing mix of art, technology, and business.
ITT: What are the greatest challenges you see for Mediaworks, immediately and in the next three to six months?
Reese: Mediaworks is a valuable campus resource and we need to target our services to the best instructional advantage. We have a lot to do to effectively convey these educational technology capabilities to the campus community. This is a big challenge in both the short and long term. The diversity of skills within our organization, while giving us strength, is also a challenge to integrate smoothly into our services. However, this is definitely worth doing, since this is where the synergy happens in a multidisciplinary group such as Mediaworks.
ITT: What are the greatest opportunities you see ahead for Mediaworks?
Reese: Computing advances have made so much more available at the desktop level. But it takes time to become proficient enough to match the technology to the concepts you want to illustrate in the classroom or research seminar. Mediaworks has a great niche—helping faculty determine the illustration method, whether a photograph, a 3-D video clip, or some line drawings on how to put together a DNA sample. Mediaworks helps match the technology, whether an elegant low-end solution or a state-of-the-art solution, to what faculty want to demonstrate in their courses.
ITT: I know you need to get back to work, but one last question ... are you an educational technology expert?
Reese: No, I'm not. And actually, just today I used that to our advantage. Several staff were showing me a very clever media clip they had developed for our new Web site. I asked how to navigate and they realized my reaction was one they needed to anticipate in how they set up the demonstration. Mediaworks has an audience with a range of technology skills; and for now, I can be the demo for inexperienced users. The staff has already threatened to send me to technology boot camp, which would be great. Whether or not I go, we need to present our Mediaworks services so those less familiar with the technology are intrigued enough to find out more.