Staff Spotlight: Sue Breeyear

Susan-BreeyearTitle/Position
Associate Director

How Long Have You Been at SMC
15 years

Role in the IT Department
I started out as Language Resource Center manager, where I managed the student crew until I hired a grad student to do that. Then moved on to Assistant Director, managing the instructional technology group, which included classroom technology and design, the Helpdesk, Media Services, the learning management system, and day to day planning and organization of projects. Currently I’m one of the two Associate Directors of the Learning Technology Center team, focusing especially on the Helpdesk, the learning management system (Canvas), the MakerSpace, and classroom renovations.

How Did You End Up in IT
My background, consisting of a degree in Education with a concentration on English, would suggest that I’d end up in a teaching field. But after teaching ESL in St. Louis, Senegal for the Peace Corps, my interest in classroom teaching changed to language and language learning. That had to wait for awhile until my husband and I had moved about eight times, first to the University of New Hampshire and then back to the University of Vermont, had two children and raised them at home till they went to school, and floundered for a few years while bouncing around in various departments — Forestry, Career Development, and finally Romance Languages at UVM. At UVM (this was many years ago!), my department set up the first server (aptly named Polyglot) outside of the College of Medicine, and I was hooked. From Gopher to Netscape, I was thriving in the brave new world of computing. My interests finally converged in the UVM Language Lab, where I was abl e to set up the first computer-based language lab. The rest is history.

Technological Advice To Our Community
Don’t be afraid to try new things and different processes. It may feel like jumping off a cliff, but there are people around that will support you and provide you with a safety net. Failure isn’t the end of everything, but the beginning! While change is scary, it can give you a whole new perspective and provide you with some startling life changes for the better.

What’s Your Best Technology Time-Saving Shortcut Or Life Hack?
Following my colleague Joann’s advice, I’m trying to force myself to go paperless in the office. There are a lot of advantages to be had once you get there. It’s not time-saving in the beginning, but I suspect I’m going to like it once the work is done. Life hack – just because you can, doesn’t mean you should. Think it through first, then dive in if it’s worth it!