Cindy Sanders had been at Oberlin for just a few months in winter 1999 when streakers dashed through the Center for Information Technology (CIT) main computer lab, close by her office. Her boss, John Bucher, came by to check on her, worried that his new director of client services would be discomfited by such behavior.
“To be sure, it wasn’t like being at the Naval Academy,” says Sanders, who had come to Oberlin that summer shortly after retiring from the U.S. Navy, “But I was not at all troubled by the event, as he had feared,” she says with a laugh.
Sanders went on to spend 14 years at Oberlin, leading CIT’s client service team, which is responsible for all aspects of client information technology support on campus, including operation of the CIT Help Desk and support of faculty and staff desktop and laptop office computers, open-use and departmental computer labs, and student personal computers. Among her many duties were supervising a staff of eight professionals and as many as 15 student workers and overseeing the CIT website and wiki.
“My favorite memories of Oberlin will always be about my staff and some of the others with whom I have worked,” says Sanders. ”What an incredibly wonderful group of individuals!”
Because her responsibilities included participation in projects requiring a client-services perspective, Sanders has played a pivotal role in many highly visible projects. These include the development of Mudd Center’s Academic Commons and construction of the Kohl Building. She led efforts to install a high-volume printer in the Academic Commons, acquire an advanced backup system for all campus administrators’ office computers, and adopt Google Apps. She increased the visibility of and access to the CIT Help Desk by relocating it to the main level of Mudd at the start of the 2012 academic year.
Sanders was active in several professional organizations, including the Association of Computing Machinery ’s Special Interest Group on University and College Computing Services (SIGUCCS), to which she belonged for 13 years; the Consortium of Liberal Arts Colleges; and the Great Lakes Colleges Association’s information technologists group. Besides leading sessions and presenting workshops and papers at many of the 11 annual SIGUCCS conferences she attended, she cochaired the group’s 2005 conference.
Elected several times by her colleagues to the Administrative and Professional Staff (A&PS) Council, Sanders twice chaired the council, and she served on the A&PS grievance, orientation, conditions of employment, and professional development committees. She and two other A&PS members developed the current, approved, A&PS Handbook. She personally established the practice of A&PS members being recognized annually by the college president for their years of service at an A&PS breakfast.
Sanders has many plans for her retirement, the first of which is to “sleep for a couple of weeks,” she says. Next on her list is skydiving for her 60th birthday in July. She already has started a digital photography business, selling her photos—mainly landscapes, flora, and fauna—at local and regional art fairs.
Other projects on her list include playing the guitar more; training her dog to become a therapy dog for visits to nursing homes, hospices, and hospitals; writing a book on leadership/management and a historical novel about the Civil War battle of Cold Harbor; working on family genealogy, and, she says, “so much more.”
“Oberlin College has been a great place to work, and I am so going to miss my staff, but it’s time to move on and try new things,” says Sanders. “Life is too short. It’s time to relax, enjoy life, focus on my health and fitness, and check off more things on my bucket list!”
As of now, Sanders plans to continue living in the Oberlin area.
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