Sharon Stoerger, former Director of Information Technology and Informatics (ITI) at the School of Communication and Information (SC&I), has recently transitioned to the new position of Assistant Dean for Instructional Support and Assessment, replacing Steve Garwood, who left SC&I for a new position at Thomas Edison State College in Trenton.
In this new role, Stoerger will focus on faculty members and students, in a broader sense than she did in her previous position. Stoerger said she will now work to ensure that programs at the undergraduate and graduate levels within SC&I are enabling students to achieve their academic goals. Her role will involve assessing the student experience in these programs to continue to work to improve teaching and learning within SC&I.
Stoerger hopes to produce a culture at SC&I where the assessment process is viewed in a positive light.
“I’ve been investigating different ways to conduct assessment. An example is thinking about how we can take the burden associated with additional assessment activities off the faculty, while giving students artifacts that they can show to employers,” she said.
Ultimately, Stoerger wants to create a strategy for assessment that makes it, “Something that we can use to ultimately improved the educational experience for students and instructors and at the same time not be viewed as a form of punishment.”
Although this change in responsibility means that Stoerger will shift her primary focus from students to faculty, she said that students will always remain at the heart of her focus.
“Moving into this role is stepping back and viewing the students at a distance, but at the same time, still keeping them as my main focus point,” Stoerger said.
Stoerger will also continue to conduct research in partnership with the Rutgers Honors College, the Department of Computer Science and the National Center for Women and Information Technology, asking questions such as, “Are there activities within the programs and classrooms that motivate or discourage particular groups of students? What can we do differently to support students pursue their interest in technology?”
This research aligns closely with the Rutgers student organization she helped to found, Women in Information Technology and Informatics.
Stoerger explained that her past role of Director of ITI was very student-centric. She said, “I worked toward giving students the ability and the support needed to successfully accomplish their goals in completing the major.”
Stoerger explains she is still committed to the success of her former students, and she urges them to continue to seek her out for guidance or stop by her office to simply say hello.
“If my door is open, please stop in, even if it’s just to say hi. I always love seeing students. If possible I’m always willing to make time to talk with them…I just love it when students share their successes. Even if they’re trying to brainstorm ideas or simply talk, I’m here to help.”
When asked for any final comments, Stoerger emphasized the importance she places on students, even in her new position.
“Even in this new role, my main focus is student success.”