Women Who Rock IT at UC Berkeley

March 18, 2024


Congratulations to Annette Rios, associate IT director at the Goldman School of Public Policy (GSPP), for being selected to represent UC Berkeley in the annual Women Rock ITarticle in the UC IT Blog!  

Every year UC Women in Technology (UC WIT) recognizes the outstanding contributions of women in IT across the UC System in the Women Rock IT article, published by the UC IT Blog. This year, UC WIT representatives and their campus colleagues from every UC location selected one woman from each campus for recognition. Learn about the bIT women nominated this year, and their stories, that serve as a testament to the thousands of women who are driving and supporting IT that underpins the mission of the University of California. 

Congratulations to Annette Rios, associate IT director at the Goldman School of Public Policy (GSSP)

Annette received mutiple nominations for her work and generally rocking IT this past year. The GSPP has doubled its square footage and is in the process of modernizing classroom IT systems. Since joining GSPP in 2022, Annette has equipped numerous classrooms (some not at Berkeley) with hybrid capabilities and she sets up run-throughs before each semester to help faculty learn and adapt to these new systems. She even stops by classrooms for the first few meetings to ensure instructors are supported. On top of her day-to-day work, Annette also finds time to serve on the Future of Work committee. Read the full article in the UC IT Blog to read about Annette and the other incredible women who rock IT across UC!

Annette Rios

Meet other women who rock IT across campus

The following women were also nominated by colleagues across our campus One IT community for their exemplary work.

Kellsie Adams-Briesch, Network Service Delivery Coordinator | Berkeley IT - Campus IT Infrastructure

Kellsie has provided wonderful service to the users of network services on campus for years, and she’s continued to develop her skills in ways that benefit her entire team. Recently, Kellsie has worked on the development and acceptance of a completely updated Domain Name Policy, and revolutionized the way that the Network Service team deals with outages and issues.

Sarah Bailey, Content Collaboration Service Lead, Google Cost Reduction Project Lead | Productivity & Collaboration Services

Sarah has consistently been friendly, helpful, and responsive while working on the Google Storage Cost Reduction project. It’s been described as a “very stressful project,” but she has consistently been a pleasure to work with.

Amanda Bent, Student Leadership Specialist | Student Technology Services

Amanda developed our first-ever Student Leadership Program within IT. She directs the program with an emphasis on developing our current student body to become future IT professionals. She created a community of practice for supervisors, substantially expanded our summer internship program, developed the student participation track at UC Tech 2023, initiated our student-to-staff profile series, and worked with dozens of IT teams to create new jobs for students, improve hiring and training processes, and recommend best practices around compensation, professional development, and student staff appreciation.

Juliet Bonczkowski, Data Systems Analyst | Berkeley Law IST

Juliet led the migration from the locally run room scheduling system to a new, cloud-based system for the Law School. While room scheduling may not sound exciting, it has broad implications for the daily lives of faculty, staff, and students. It was also an incredibly complex challenge, as the old system had miss-categorized data, poorly mapped fields, etc. Even the engineers from the new company had doubts it could all be done.

Jennifer Bombasaro Brady, IT Policy Program Manager | Berkeley IT - Strategy & Partnerships

Since stepping into the role of IT Policy Program manager, Jenny has brought IT policy representation to the Campus Policy Subcommittee and provided key facilitation which led to campus approval of an updated DNS policy. She’s also been a strong partner in developing guidance for the appropriate use of ChatGPT and other AI tools.

Luz Contreras, STEP Program Coordinator | Student Technology Services

Luz Contreras, in partnership with other staff, has progressively built the Student Technology Equity Program (STEP) from a Covid-relief initiative in 2020 to a critical need-based program that equips students with essential technology for their academic success. After four years, Luz and her team have provided four-year loans of approximately 20,000 laptops, wifi hotspots and other peripherals to nearly 9,000 graduate and undergraduate students. Program satisfaction is consistently above 90% and campus leadership has now allocated permanent, ample funding.

Allison Czapracki, Manager of Learning Environments and Tools | Research, Teaching & Learning

Allison stepped into her manager role at Berkeley three years ago leading the Learning Environments and Tools team at RTL and has consistently added a human-centric approach to technology. She cares about her team and champions equity and inclusion both within her team and during any hiring searches. Allison has created an environment where every existing and new member of her team feels valued and welcomed. In addition, her dedication to continual improvement of her team's tools, services, and support processes have helped progress the teaching and learning mission of the university.

Mariah Dyson-Smith, Senior Analyst, Student Information Systems | Berkeley IT - Campus Applications & Data

Mariah consistently demonstrates a remarkable ability to meticulously plan and execute projects, setting a standard of unparalleled attention to detail. Her collaborative approach and expertise elevate both the individuals directly involved and the broader team. Mariah is a valuable asset, contributing to a culture of excellence with her thoughtful insights and dedication to achieving the highest standards in every endeavor.

Laurie Graham, Senior Manager, Data Management | Berkeley IT - Campus IT Infrastructure

Early in her career, Laurie managed Control-M for the UC system before transitioning it to UCOP. She also played an active role in leading the UC ServiceNow User Group, an area she is passionate about, which goes above and beyond her daily work. Recently, Laurie has stepped up to serve as Data Management and Data Center Manager. Laurie brings a great attitude and energy to the job and she inspires those around her.

Allison Henry, Chief Information Security Officer | Information Security Office

As part of a significant, multi-year information security initiative, Allison met with the leadership of every academic and administrative unit across campus to support their onboarding into the campus information security management program. This unprecedented outreach effort has introduced unit leadership to the campus information security program and related roles and responsibilities, supported units in identifying and managing their information security risk, and built key relationships and partnerships across campus.

Collette Jackson, Information Systems Analyst | Enterprise Service Management

Colette has 20+ years of service in bIT. In that time she has worked on many projects for the Telecom department. Most recently she completed the Universal Cabling project, which will make cable labeling and testing easy to track and update. This project required an immense amount of work and collaboration across sub-groups. She also works with many other departments across IT. Colette helped found the bIT Action Team and served a 5-year term as co-chair. She's a current member of the Chancellor's advisory committee, and she somehow finds time to mentor others on their professional development journey.

Amina Kirby, AV/IT Engineer | Berkeley Law IST

Amina has been a key contributor to the advancement of technical operations in the Law School's classrooms and event spaces. She ensures the seamless functioning of current systems and actively engages in research to identify opportunities for upgrades and technical improvements. Amina's diverse skill set encompasses a range of technical expertise, allowing her to approach challenges with versatility and innovation.

Terri Kouba, IT Solutions Architect | ServiceNow/Service Management

Terri successfully led the transition from the Pinnacle billing system to ServiceNow. She has demonstrated exceptional dedication, resilience, and leadership throughout this complex project, which has significantly impacted our institution in profound ways. By transitioning to ServiceNow, she has not only helping modernized our billing system but also paved the way for significant cost savings and enhanced user experience for our campus community. Throughout the project, Terry actively engaged with stakeholders from diverse backgrounds, with diverse needs, ensuring that their voices were heard and their needs were met.

Britt McClintock, DEIB Lead | Berkeley IT - People, Performance, and Culture

In Britt’s 1.5 years at Berkeley IT, she has worked tirelessly to improve the culture of our department. She’s launched Culture Champions (a team of individuals who advocates for representation and cultural change from each unit), and Non-Native English Speakers Support Association (which creates a safe space for those with English as a second language). Britt also hosts a DEIB speaker series where she touches on topics such as Neurodiversity and Afrofuturism.

Annika Meri, Senior Analyst | Graduate Division Operations

Annika is an outstanding collaborator across campus, exhibiting an unparalleled dedication to detail in every project. Her meticulous approach goes beyond expectations, considering all stakeholders to enhance the project experience. She is an invaluable thought partner, elevating both the quality of work and team morale. Annika's exceptional contributions make her a standout professional, demonstrating a remarkable ability to exceed expectations and enhance collaborative efforts across the campus community.

Lani Pittman, Release Analyst | Berkeley IT - Campus Applications & Data

Lani coordinates the work of 12+ developers, 18 business analysts, 3 security analysts and 3+ system administrators from multiple units to keep Berkeley's SIS working smoothly. She knits together the different software development lifecycles (SDLC) of SIS’s multi-system ecosystem. Lani also maintains the calendar of five major feature releases and four vendor critical security patch cycles within the operational needs of Berkeley's 14 schools and colleges and leads daily scrum meetings to ensure things work smoothly. She also participates in the Cal Women's Network!

Jennifer Sierras, Chief Technology Officer | University Development and Alumni Relations

In her 14 months with Berkeley IT, Jennifer has succeeded in creating a data and technology governance program for the division. We’ve needed this for years and had many false starts in trying to put something in place. She cultivated trust, navigated entrenched cultural norms, and facilitated inclusive collaboration. It was imperative to have this foundation before launching a $12M project, and we are now well-positioned to proceed. With governance in place, we are confident that roles and processes are clear as we look to make myriad consequential decisions

Judy Stern, Kaltura Service Lead | Research, Teaching & Learning

Judy manages Berkeley’s instance of Kaltura, the video management platform hosting lecture captures and academic media content. In Fall 2023, she diligently tested the latest video player for its accessibility and usability, laying the foundation for a seamless campuswide rollout. Simultaneously, she spearheaded a technically intricate upgrade of the Kaltura integration with the learning management system, executed over winter break after months of meticulous planning and coordination. Judy’s dedication to continuous improvement promises numerous benefits for our academic community, including a more accessible user experience, enhanced security, and greater visibility of media for over 35,000 unique viewers each semester.

Congratulations to all our nominees! Once again, thank you to everyone who participated in the nomination process and to women across campus who rock their work each day. Warm regards, Gabriel Gonzalez Interim Associate Vice Chancellor for IT and Chief Information Officer