Colgate Named Third Most Tech-Friendly Campus by Unigo

Colgate was named the third most tech-friendly university for 2013 by Unigo, an online college review guide.

Included in the category of “WiFi? WiFi Not?” Colgate is listed as one of the “Top 10 wired schools on the cutting edge of technology.”

Unigo featured a few of Colgate’s technological resources as justification for its placement on the list, including the 2010 switch from Blackboard to Moodle, the campus-wide wireless system, its 30 percent computer-to-student ratio and its independent computer science program.

“I’m not surprised that we were honored because Colgate has made some really big investments in technology in recent years, most notably upgrades in classroom technology and our infrastruc-ture,” Interim Chief Information Officer Patricia St. Leger said.

St. Leger highlighted Information Technology Services (ITS) as a key resource for students, as well as the Student Operated User Resource Center (SOURCe) team, which is stationed in multiple locations in Case Library and Geyer Center for Information Technology and the O’Connor Campus Center Com-puter Lab. She also cites the Residen-tial Computer Consultants (RCC), a team of students designated to serve students in residence halls.

Additionally, the Anita Grover MD ’74 and Tom Hargrove P’14 Digital Learning and Media Center was dedicated last week.

10 students who work in the lab help fellow students with image and movie projects, navigating pro-grams such as Final Cut and Pho-toshop, according to Media Mentor sophomore Will Reisinger.

“Colgate has a long history of using technology to enhance teaching and student learning,” St. Leger said.

Some of the technologies that Colgate utilizes to aid its education-al initiative include student response systems [clickers], iPads, web confer-encing, concept mapping, Wikipe-dia authoring, online map author-ing, video narratives and blogging, according to St. Leger.

“I think most people have a perception that a liberal arts school and technology are at cross pur-poses. But here at Colgate, I think there’s an extra liveliness to the lib-eral arts because of the infusion of technology and the very unusual ways that we use it,” Vice Presi-dent for Communications Debra Townsend said.

“Open and available resources makes you a good tech school, and I think Colgate has a lot of that,” ITS student help desk worker junior Mary Rose Devine said.

First-year Mimi Kornfeld said she appreciates online services provided by the university, such as Moodle.

“It extends the classroom so you can look further into things,” Kornfeld said.

“We are successful when the technologies we employ are ones that are not only easy to use, but that people want to use them,” St. Leger said.

However, St. Leger acknowl-edged the rapid rate of technological advancement at Colgate.

“A tech-friendly school is one that helps its constituents navigate these changes,” St. Leger said.

Colgate has many goals for furthering and improving its technologies on campus.

“Some of the current projects that may be of interest to students are implementing a simpler device registration process, wireless net-work printing and email for life,” St. Leger said.

Colgate will employ the services of LyndaCampus, an online training provider, to help students, faculty and staff learn new technology.

In addition to developing tech-nological innovations on campus, Colgate will continue to manage its technological presence through its new Chief Information Offi-cer (CIO). St. Leger, who was ap-pointed as the interim CIO in June after the departure of David Baird, is actively searching for someone to permanently fill the position.

“I’ve learned so much over the past three months about the chal-lenges and opportunities of leading this organization. I look forward to working with our next CIO to advance our goal of becoming even more of a technology leader among liberal arts institutions,” St. Leger said.

“I think with a new CIO com-ing on board at some point this year, that the opportunities for everything from online communi-cation to social media to our new website just being really closely in-tegrally linked, and allowing us to communicate better and learn bet-ter, is just an awesome opportunity for all of us,” Townsend said.

Colgate’s ranking on the Unigo list also has implications for the university from an admission perspective.

“Any time we show up in an in-teresting ranking like this, it’s good for us,” Associate Dean of Admis-sion Katryna A. Swartwout Ryan said. “The Communications of-fice has been promoting it on our Facebook page and on Twitter, and alumni have shown a lot of interest in the fact that we’re on this rank-ing, so I think it’s good press for us regardless of how many prospective students might actually stumble upon this specific ranking.”

Contact Julia Queller at [email protected].