2010.05.11: Belize RPCV Ann Kovalchick is Chief Information Technology Officer at Drake University

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Belize RPCV Ann Kovalchick is Chief Information Technology Officer at Drake University

Belize RPCV Ann Kovalchick is Chief Information Technology Officer at Drake University

"In the spring of 2005, I took a position at Tulane University in New Orleans. Three months later, Hurricane Katrina hit the city and the levees failed. Through the fall of 2005 and the spring of 2006, I built a team of staff ready to return to campus and rebuild while we were all under tremendous personal stress. It was a life-changing experience and I consider it an achievement to have created a work environment that allowed people to gain a sense of purpose and that could be a refuge from the tremendous uncertainties of that time."

Belize RPCV Ann Kovalchick is Chief Information Technology Officer at Drake University

You should get to know ... Ann Kovalchick

May 11, 2010

Chief Information Technology Officer, Drake University, Des Moines

Job description: My work is focused on leading a team of information technology professionals charged with directing and managing the resources necessary for the effective use of technology tools across the university.

Background: I have a doctorate in education from the University of Virginia, a master of arts in anthropology from American University and a bachelor of science in communication from Ohio University. I spent several years in the mid-to-late 1980s living and working abroad in Nigeria, Belize and Honduras as a Peace Corps volunteer and video producer for Project Hope and the U.S. Agency for International Development before completing my graduate studies.

Notable achievements: In the spring of 2005, I took a position at Tulane University in New Orleans. Three months later, Hurricane Katrina hit the city and the levees failed. Through the fall of 2005 and the spring of 2006, I built a team of staff ready to return to campus and rebuild while we were all under tremendous personal stress. It was a life-changing experience and I consider it an achievement to have created a work environment that allowed people to gain a sense of purpose and that could be a refuge from the tremendous uncertainties of that time.

Why I do what I do: I enjoy creating new systems and processes that help people function more effectively. Most problems that people have using technology are as much a result of poor tool design as it is lack of skill or knowledge. I like helping people think about what they need to do, identifying the best tools available and then provide resources when required so they can master a tool's use and gain some value from the effort.

What I do to get away from work: My work requires a lot of people interaction, so when I am away from work, I enjoy things that provide more solitude. This includes reading, gardening, biking, listening to music or talk radio and just doing nothing.

Words to live by: Whatever you do, wherever you go, bring a sweater.

My leadership philosophy: I believe that if you set high expectations, give people the resources they need, and leave them alone to do the work you ask of them, success happens. It is also important to let people fail, so long as you provide an opportunity for reflection and correction upon failure. Being honest and transparent in your goals allows people to chose to follow - or to make a case for moving in a different direction. You should always make sure your team gets the credit for success, and as a leader, you need to be prepared to take the blame for the lack of success.

What Iowa can do to attract more people like me: Ensuring that diversity is less segregated, more apparent and celebrating the differences that exist would help those not familiar with Iowa to better appreciate its richness. That includes offering opportunities for creative and innovative risk-taking in the social and business sectors.

One thing I would change about the Des Moines area: I'd like to see a daily flight to Chicago's Midway Airport, as well as a high-speed transit system. Mountains would be nice to have, too, but I have been pleasantly surprised to find the lovely ravines and rolling hills.

If I could do something else, I would: I'd love to be an NFL head coach or a rancher. I love the strategy of football in that you have to weave together a game of chance, power and skill. I'd like to be a rancher because it seems so romantic. I love riding horses and the scenery is always beautiful.

If you want to contact me: E-mail me at annk@drake.edu.




Links to Related Topics (Tags):

Headlines: May, 2010; Peace Corps Belize; Directory of Belize RPCVs; Messages and Announcements for Belize RPCVs; Information Technology; Iowa





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Story Source: Des Moines Register

This story has been posted in the following forums: : Headlines; COS - Belize; IT

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