University of Oregon

UO CIO Melissa Woo named EDUCAUSE Rising Star


Melissa Woo, recently named as Vice Provost for Information Services and CIO at the University of Oregon, is the recipient of the 2012 EDUCAUSE Rising Star Award.

In selecting Woo, EDUCAUSE recognized her as a strong leader, one who is expected to achieve continued success in the profession. She has been known for her achievements in cyberinfrastructure and support for the research enterprise, IT organizational development and effective practices, and IT infrastructure deployment and management.

At the University of Wisconsin–Milwaukee (UWM), Woo led the promotion of a central, core research cyberinfrastructure service without identified funding or widespread research faculty support. She chartered and staffed a faculty/staff committee, led by a respected faculty researcher, to identify related campus issues and make recommendations. The result was a series of far-reaching recommendations made to executive leadership to improve the campus research cyberinfrastructure.

Woo is a strong supporter of staff professional development, particularly in the area of mentoring. As chair of the EDUCAUSE Professional Development Advisory Committee, she instituted a major revision of the EDUCAUSE Mentoring Information Kit to focus on new mentoring styles appropriate to 21st-century professionals and an agreement between mentors and mentees before they enter into a relationship. Additionally, she collaborated with another UWM colleague to develop two mentoring pilots for the EDUCAUSE regional conferences: “minute mentoring,” which provides advice on specific topics in a “speed dating” format, and a program to match mentors and mentees during conferences, launched at the 2012 EDUCAUSE Midwest Regional Conference.

“I’m honored to be recognized by EDUCAUSE, and am similarly honored by the warm reception that I’ve received from the talented students, faculty and staff here at the University of Oregon," Woo said. "I’m looking forward to meeting and hearing from you all as I travel around campus on my upcoming listening tour in conjunction with the UO Libraries.”

The EDUCAUSE Rising Star award recognizes an information technology professional who, while early in his or her career, demonstrates exceptional achievement in the area of information technology in higher education. EDUCAUSE® is a nonprofit association and the foremost community of IT leaders and professionals committed to advancing higher education.

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