Article by Sally Hritz
Originally published in a different format
Victoria Getis has been selected as the director of the Digital Union. She most recently served as interim director. In that role, she introduced several innovations and projects, incorporating new and emerging technologies into teaching, learning, research, and outreach. They included themed open houses on topics such as mobile learning and accessibility; a series of staff-led, hands-on workshops on software applications; and focused research on emerging technologies to rapidly assess important trends. "All of these," Getis says, "speak to the Digital Union's mission to provide a place for faculty, students, and staff to learn about emerging technologies and serve as a center for research on emerging technologies use in higher education."
Interim Chief Information Officer Susan Metros says that Getis has already demonstrated a readiness and ability to raise the Digital Union's profile to a higher tier both locally and through national grants. "Vicky brings a grounded sensibility to the 'wild west' of emerging technologies and an academic focus to how and why the Ohio State community, its institutional peers, and industry partners choose to use technology in education, work, and play," she says.
"Vicky had strong support across all the Digital Union constituencies," says Joanne Dehoney, Interim Executive Director of Technology Enhanced Learning and Research (TELR), who served as the search committee chair. She notes that GetisÂ’ background and demonstrated experience mesh well with the requirements of the position.
The Digital Union director position emphasizes ongoing collaboration with University Libraries. Joseph Branin, director of the Libraries, points out that Getis and Science and Engineering Librarian Marty Jamison have already secured a State Library grant to create a new teaching space and experimental classroom, the Learning Collaboration Studio, and are well into a redesign of the third floor space of the library where the Digital Union is located. "Dr. Getis, as interim director, proved her leadership skills, her understanding of how information technology can make a difference in education and research, and the value she places on a collaborative approach to the operations of the Digital Union," Branin says. "We are fortunate to now have her as the permanent director of the Union."
Ohio State graduate Sagal Ali, a student participant in the Research on Research grant program, found Getis to be an "excellent" program director, educator, and mentor. "Vicky has a strong interest in seeing students succeed not only through Research on Research but also as they pursue education after they have left the program. She even provided me with advice as I struggled with the process of applying for and choosing a graduate school. She fosters an environment of community and encourages students to reach for higher goals."
Getis holds a Ph.D. in history from the University of Michigan. She arrived at Ohio State in 2002. She has worked for TELR as an instructional designer and later as special projects manager. She initiated and managed TELR's Professional Development Grant program; served as project manager for the Course Management System Evaluation, which became Carmen; and initiated and continues to oversee the popular Research on Research: Undergraduate Student Faculty ePartnerships program (r2).
Prior to coming to Ohio, she held faculty positions in history at Keene State College and Mount Holyoke College and served as consultant or project manager on several instructional technology projects. She is the author of The Juvenile Court and the Progressives and the co-author (with Kevin Boyle) of Muddy Boots and Ragged Aprons: Images of Working Class Detroit 1900-1930, and numerous scholarly articles. Her most recent article, co-authored with Susan Metros and Catherine Gynn, "The Digital Union," appears in an Educause eBook on learning spaces.
Getis says her goal is to make the Digital Union better known on campus, in the world of higher education, and nationally and internationally through broad-based academic and industry partnerships. She plans to do that by strengthening Digital Union services by collaborating with TELR and campus IT staff to build expertise in all aspects of new and emerging technologies. "The key," she says, "is showcasing and integrating our collective staff's talents, creating opportunities to employ them together in innovative projects that demonstrate the possibilities of technology in the academic setting."