Who's Who in the PMO

Strategic direction, planning, budget oversight, and communications for the new student system will be led by the Project Management Office (PMO) whose members will be full-time staff drawn from functional and technical areas from across our campus and the consulting firm we are hiring to serve as our implementation partner. Angela Blackstone will transition from her current role on as Associate CIO and Director of Student Affairs Information Technologies (SAIT) to lead the Student Information System (SIS) Replacement Project as the Associate CIO and Project Executive -- effective August 1, 2014.

Patrick Furze, PMP, who joined the project on August 11, 2014 to serve as the PMO’s Executive Director, reports directly to Angela, and Angela has retained her current dual reporting relationship to Harry Le Grande, Vice Chancellor of Student Affairs, and Larry Conrad, Associate Vice Chancellor and Chief Information Officer (CIO).  So, here's who's who in the PMO today.


AngelaAssociate CIO and Project Executive:  Angela has more than 25 years of experience in student-focused technology at UC Berkeley, working in collaboration with University leaders and key stakeholders to align campus technical services to student needs. Among her accomplishments, in 2006 Angela became UC Berkeley’s first ACIO representing the student experience. She and her leadership team pioneered a service model for providing technical support to Student Affairs. This model evolved into Student Affairs Information Technologies (SAIT), a consolidation and alignment of all technology services and technology programs that serve students, faculty, and staff.  In this role, Angela held a dual reporting relationship to Harry Le Grande, Vice Chancellor of Student Affairs, and Larry Conrad, Associate Vice Chancellor and Chief Information Officer, supporting a strong partnership between functional (service) and technical stakeholders. 

Previously, she founded the Residential Computing (ResComp) program, through which student technology needs in UC Berkeley’s campus residence units are run and managed by students.  Her other achievements include developing the first digitized ID Card for students and installing high-speed networks in the residence Halls. Prior to joining UC Berkeley, Angela held various technology roles at California Polytechnic State University in San Luis Obispo and San Francisco State University.

Interesting factoid: Angela is a certified scuba diver, a martial artist with a brown belt in Tae Kwon Do, and a climber who scaled Half Dome in Yosemite National Park.  Having mastered the challenges of sea, land, and sky, Angela is clearly a fearless leader who will engage stakeholders “where they are” and will embrace and overcome any challenge to deliver a new system that helps to transform the student experience.

PatExecutive Director: Pat is a skilled program director with particular expertise in implementing (PeopleSoft) Campus Solutions at large research institutions and other University of California (UC) campuses.  During his 30-year career, Pat has been responsible for the overall design, implementation, and early operational phase of several highly complex, transformational systems initiatives, mainly student systems, and therefore knows how to align organizational objectives with vendor-delivered technology. Having served within the UC system, worked for PeopleSoft and then Oracle®, and formed a successful consulting practice, Pat offers valuable experience into building teams that effectively integrate campus and external expertise.

Pat has served in various capacities—ranging from Executive Director/Program Manager to the senior technical manager ­­— on eight student systems projects using Campus Solutions, including: the University of California, Santa Cruz; California State University (Los Angeles and the system’s central program); Glasgow University (Glasgow, Scotland); Butler University; Indiana University; University of Minnesota; Northeastern University; and the Maricopa Community College District. He also has worked with many System Implementers on building a student system that integrates admissions, registration, financial aid, billing/student accounts, and advising. Most recently he built the Transition Program Management Office for the UC Path project in the University of California, Office of the President. 

Interesting factoid: While working in Scotland, Pat (an avid golfer) played the Old Course at St. Andrews, which is one of the oldest golf courses in the world. We are FOREtunate to have an Executive Director who will bring the finesse and precision of the short game combined with the long game’s power shot for going the distance.


Below are the members of the Program Management Office, which will continue to take shape as Pat and Angela build out their leadership team:

Karen Kato, Implementation Director, most recently served as UC Berkeley's Director of Enterprise Data in Information Services & Technology and has been supporting the project part-time as the Technical Lead. As a member of the Phase 1 Leadership Group, Karen played a key role in the vendor selection process and ensured that the technical team received the orientation on PeopleSoft Campus Solutions (Oracle®) they need for a strong start to the project's implementation.  Her 25-year career includes 15 years with UC Berkeley, where she has implemented PeopleSoft products with the same Oracle® database that will house our student information system data.  Her previous experience includes delivering technology services requiring the processing of a high volume of data in a manner that is scalable, sustainable, and secure.
Karen’s strong technical, leadership and client service skills led to positions with increasing breadth and responsibility at UC Berkeley. Initially an analyst and trainer with the Data Warehouse group, she then led the teams responsible for administering the current student systems and other campus databases, meeting client needs through Service Level Agreements.  In short succession, Karen’s responsibilities expanded to include the management of the data warehouse and Identity and Access Management (CalNet) teams. She received a BS degree from San Francisco State University.  Her outstanding work in her interim role as Technical Lead for the SIS Replacement Project led to her earning a key leadership position in the PMO.

Interesting Factoid:  Karen’s secret passion is DIY (Do It Yourself) home improvement projects from house painting to building a garden bench.  Her combination of innovative resourcefulness at home and team building at work produces the ideal skills set for a strong leader with a creative, “can-do” attitude.

Anne Aaboe, Functional Lead, has more than 33 years of experience at UC Berkeley with deep expertise in student services and the systems that support those services.  Most recently, Anne served in the Portfolio Management Office in SAIT, where she was responsible for managing the technology portfolio for the Dean of Students, and Admissions & Enrollment (undergraduate).  Previously, Anne served as Manager of Undergraduate Academic Advising for Molecular and Cell Biology and Integrative Biology, and as the Undergraduate Academic Advisor and Curriculum Coordinator in the Department of Spanish & Portuguese. 
Anne has a long history of participating in change initiatives designed to improve the student experience.  She was a member of the Advising Task Force, which predated and influenced the work of the Operational Excellence (OE) Student Services Initiative (SSI). The recommendations of the OE SSI team led to the formation of the Advising Council, as well as the development of CalCentral, a student service portal, and Cal Student Central, an online and in-person resource for financial aid, fees and billing, payments, disbursements, registration, and enrollment. Anne received her BA degree from Boston University and earned a Multiple Subject Teaching Credential for the State of California.

Interesting Factoid:  Anne had a back-stage pass to the final Grateful Dead performance at the Greek Theater over 25 years ago while working at Cal Performances.  Like the band that merged diverse styles of rock, folk, bluegrass, blues, reggae, country, improvisational jazz, and psychedelia, Anne is uniquely qualified to support the integration of our campus’ diverse functional needs into a new student system.

Katie Dustin, Start-up Manager, is a Cal alum with a personal mission to give back to her alma mater every day. She has over twenty years of professional experience at UC Berkeley with particular expertise in student services, project management, organizational assessment and analysis, and strategic planning.  Most recently, she was the Student Affairs Information Technologies Portfolio Manager for Residential and Student Services Programs (RSSP). Working closely with senior leadership and administrative managers, as well as students and staff using RSSP systems, Katie applied technical expertise and process analysis to provide cost-effective solutions that improved student services.

Her UC Berkeley experience also includes lead author on the Operational Excellence Advising Toolkit proposal, policy analyst in the College of Letters and Science Office of Undergraduate Advising, and Academic Advising Coordinator for the International and Area Studies Teaching Program.  Katie also is the founder and chair of the 800-member Cal Assessment Network, a community forum for sharing best practices on data-driven decision-making.

Interesting Factoid:
As a young anthropology student, Katie worked on an Olmec dig in Guatemala and a howler monkey research project in Panama.  With her keen observational skills, which she keeps sharp through bird watching, Katie will have no difficulty in identifying what the project needs for a strong start-up.