Meet: Monique Sendze – Chico State Today
During the boom of the 90’s dot-coms, Monique Sendze imagined combining her love of teaching with the rapidly advancing Internet for a career in educational technology. Her sisters pushed her to take a slightly different approach.
When information technology began its rise, so did Sendze. He spent almost 25 years in the services of libraries, local governments and higher education, always seeing technology as a tool to accomplish any mission.
She now brings her passion and experience to Chico State as Vice President and Director of Information for the University’s new Information Technology Division. With technology ubiquitous in higher education institutions, Sendze sees it as a facilitator for bigger things, not an end in itself.
“We use technology to enable the organization’s mission,” he said. “Technology itself doesn’t make sense if you can’t deploy the right technology and the right people to really affect that mission.”
After his family’s emphasis on education while growing up in Cameroon, Sendze graduated from Yaoundé University with a degree in English and then a master’s degree in education, pedagogy and linguistics. applied to the Faculty of Teacher Training of the University of Yaoundé. And, as a young daughter of parents who came to the United States for college and with two older sisters who also studied in the United States, Sendze was sure that her path would also lead here. At age 25, he moved abroad to pursue a doctorate, and eventually completed his doctorate in education, organizational leadership, and organizational development at Grand Canyon University.
Today he uses his background in English and technology to communicate often complex concepts around technology with colleagues and stakeholders.
“I talk to people about technology in the simplest way so that they can understand and simplify some of these concepts so that people can see, hear and experience it just by using language,” he said. to say.
With an educator mindset, she spent 20 years in the public library space before moving on to higher education at Colorado Schools of the Mines, where she was director of information and deputy director of operations. Regardless of the task, its goal is to support student success.
“As higher education educators, we present ourselves with a mission,” he said. “This mission is to teach, to help our students learn, and to help them participate in research that can truly change the world.”
He emphasizes that mentoring and sponsorship were vital to his success as he ascended to leadership roles in the traditionally heavy fields for businessmen and IT people.
“For me, mentors were the ones who really helped me prepare to navigate some of those challenges that I would face, or even continue to face, as a minority in a field. predominantly male-dominated, “he said.
With this private advice, support and training, he also benefited from sponsorship, which Sendze describes as a public relationship where a senior leader advocates for the promotion of the protégé and fights for them in places where they cannot defend themselves.
“Sometimes, as women, we’ve been too mentored and trained, but little sponsored,” she said. “As women, as minorities, we need those people who are willing to put their political and social capital in our name.”
Chico State’s commitment to equity, diversity and inclusion was another reason why it was attracted to the University for the opportunity to serve as the inaugural CIO of Information Technology.
“I’m looking for institutions that really have this at the core of their mission and that really live it through the lived experiences of students, faculty and staff,” he said. “When I looked at Chico State’s strategic priorities, equity, diversity and inclusion were at the forefront. I realized that it was not just one of those elements of the checkboxes, but there is this institutional commitment to make sure it really happens, that it resonates, and that when you come to Chico State, you can see it, feel it, and experience it. ”
As the University is committed to advancing justice and social equity, it hopes to be ripe for changes in other ways and sees many of the adaptations of higher education in the last two years as a reason. of optimism.
“Institutionally, we are not known to be the fastest and fastest in anything,” he said. “Change is not something we treat very well in higher education.”
But the COVID-19 pandemic forced colleges and universities around the world to change perhaps faster than ever, and there were many successes that will continue to affect the success of students and institutions. Focusing on online instruction, changing documentation to a digital format, and providing students with laptops and wireless hotspots allowed them to continue their training and career research.
“COVID has shaken things up a bit, and my hope is that we take advantage of that momentum to really advance our institutions in the service of our students,” he said. “Technology in higher education will evolve and much of it will focus on student success.”