Staff Profile: Judy Doherty

All over campus, Judy Doherty is known as Colgate’s most important resource for student computing. She coordinates many of the latest news and tips that students receive in webmail inboxes from ITS Communications. Doherty, along with Claudia Servadio-Coyne, the system administrator, technology planner and a technical expert and Vinny Nguyen from the Class of 2004, manager of the student support services, have made SOURCe (Student Operated User Resource Center) a valuable resource to students with computer problems. Doherty is as vital to Colgate University and specifically to SOURCe as SOURCe is to the student body.Doherty has done a tremendous amount of work for Colgate University as a whole, as well as the Hamilton community. She graduated from Colgate in 1985 and has been working at the University for 15 years. Doherty worked for an engineering consulting firm for three years shortly after she graduated from high school. It’s pretty interesting that Doherty spent most of her post-graduation years working at engineering and computing companies, such as Engineering Planning & Management, Inc. and BeneSys, Inc., considering that she graduated with a B.A. in Philosophy. From engineering and nuclear power to computer technology to even teaching classes and community service, Judy Doherty has done it all. Doherty returned to Colgate in 1990 as the Assistant Director of Alumni Affairs. In that position she managed Alumni Club programs and reunion weekend events. In 1993, Doherty was asked to join the Information Technology Services staff at Colgate to manage changes that were needed in Colgate’s administrative systems. Doherty is one of the founding members of the Collaboration for Enhanced Learning (CEL). She served as the Director of Technology Training from 1996-1993. In 2003 she became the Director of the Student Technologies Resource Group, formerly known as Student Computing.Do you remember when, in August of 2003, the Blaster and Nachi virus bombarded Colgate’s network and hundreds of students whose computers were vulnerable were infected? Do you remember Thursday, December 17, 2003 when the network went down for 21 hours and many students were studying for their final exams? This all happened after Doherty was named as the director of Student Technologies. Her first months on the job were ones of extreme pressure and high stress, however, Doherty does not reflect on that time in any other way than with pride. ITS (Information Technology Services) professional staff and SOURCe student staffs worked tirelessly to solve the problems of that time and make the Colgate network infrastructure and personal computer network more secure. Doherty is proud to say that since January of 2004, thousands of viruses have continued to wreak devastating havoc on networks around the world, but not at Colgate. The network (and e-mail) have not “gone down” since the fall of 2003. “It was bad, real bad. We will continue to do all we can to never ever have to go through anything like that again,” Doherty said.Despite all of the hurdles Doherty has experienced, she is proud to say that she loves her job and that what she does is more than just a job. “I love what I do because everything I do is for Colgate students. I also have the great fortune of employing an incredibly talented and dedicated group of more than 50 students who work for Student Technologies. You have no idea how amazing they are. They are the best. Top that off with the ITS professional staff with whom I have the privilege to work. What more could anyone ask for? Nothing. You could not ask for a better, a more rewarding job.” Director of the Student Technologies Resource Group Judy Doherty said. Doherty speaks affectionately and with respect about her student employees. “They come to Colgate knowing so much,” she said. “Through this job experience, they learn so much more. More than I think they ever imagined they would learn. I venture to say that in many cases, they leave Colgate not realizing how much they have actually learned! It’s so exciting to watch students grow in their job and change as people, both academically and personally.”Working with students has helped Doherty to round out her professional experiences. She began her career with large systems implementations and project management. She moved into training and support services for faculty and staff. She was missing direct front line support, and work with students. Now she has done it all.Every day that Doherty goes to work, she feels excited, intrigued and especially motivated by the teamwork that she experiences with the students on a daily basis. In dealing with unexpected network problems or viruses, adware and spyware outbreaks, Doherty’s approach is to be as prepared as possible using the latest protection softwares, such as McAfee VirusScan. “It’s critical to be able to react and respond quickly, to diagnose and analyze the problem as well as to thoughtfully respond to the problem,” she said. What Doherty does is a challenge in and of itself, and each experience is a challenge for her and the ITS and SOURCe staff members. “Problem solving, tapping resources and responding with what you think is best at the moment is important,” she said. Doherty was put in a very stressful position in August of 2003, but is pleased with how the situation was handled. “As a team we reacted very well and I am proud of how well the SOURCe students managed that stress,” she said.When the Colgate network is confronted with such quandaries, Doherty does not want to feel out of control, and the last thing she would want is for students to feel that way. When something doesn’t work, ITS staff focus on fixing the problem. That’s the easy part. The hard part of the situation is the person, the student, that is affected by what doesn’t work. It could be a virus infected student personal computer, a broken floppy drive, an e-mail account that’s over quota, or a Blackboard course that’s unavailable. It is the stress of the student who can’t do what they need to do that Doherty worries about most. My stress is nothing compared to the stress that any student feels at that moment when they can’t do something or get to something that they need. It’s not about me but rather how it’s going to affect the students,” Judy Doherty says. Doherty has also been very involved in advising the Maroon-News editorial staff and guiding them through recent technological updates to help improve newspaper production. The Maroon-News staff is very grateful.At the end of each work day at Colgate, Doherty goes home to her other full time job: her job as Mom and wife. She is the mother of three children, ages 14, 11, and 8, and husband of Mike Doherty, the Men’s Varsity Soccer Coach at Colgate. “Viruses? They’re nothing compared to challenge of being the mother of 3 amazing children and wife of a wonderful man!” Doherty said.