By Emily Shane
What is one of Denison’s most notorious problems? An issue that causes a great deal of grumbling on Yik Yak? The WiFi? Well, Denison has recently hired a new person to tackle the problem.
Dena Speranza, the new chief information officer acknowledged that the wifi has been an area of concern. “We spent a significant amount of money and time over the summer replacing all of the wifi in all of the residential halls.”
Now they are looking for feedback from students about the effects of the change. “From all our testing we see it’s a significant improvement,” said Speranza.
While the WiFi is important to students, Speranza, a native of Westerville, Ohio, has a much larger role. In addition to leading the information technology employees, she ensures that all the technology is operating, and does strategic planning, along with other responsibilities.
She is the former interim CIO at Denison and has experience in IT leadership and IT consulting.
“It’s an exciting time here with a new president casting a new vision with all of the different constituents here on campus,” Speranza said. “Technology is a means to help support the institutional strategic plan, and so it’s a time of great change in technology as well. So seeing what are are the opportunities, what are the possibilities, that we could potentially bring to campus?”
She said, “a reason I wanted to come to Denison is that we have a strong team of dedicated IT professionals here who are committed to the vision and values of the university.”
Outside of IT, she enjoys working on projects with her husband, an independent filmmaker and volunteering with her church. She scuba dives, although, “you can’t really do that much in Central Ohio in the winter.”
When asked what it was like being a women in technology, Speranza said, “I have never experienced a basis in my career, and I’ve been in technology my entire career. I’ve found the opportunities to be really wide open, and I’m always challenged about why more women aren’t interested in the field and in the career. I worked a number of years ago on building a women’s networking group in Central Ohio.”
“Denison has a good representation of women in our Information Technology Services department with thirty percent of our positions filled with female engineers, developers and support staff, which is above the industry average of 24 percent,” she added.
“Technology is an excellent career path for women as there are significant shortages of qualified candidates, and the types of jobs are varied, creative, and constantly evolving. I have had several male mentors throughout my career and see a need for more female mentors available to encourage and guide young women.”
Speranza joins other new faces at Denison including Daniel Hect, Director of Campus Safety and Richard Berman, Director of Career Exploration and Development.
Photo Courtesy of Linh Nguyen