Linda Jorn, associate vice provost for learning technologies and DoIT director of Academic Technology, is this year’s recipient of the EDUCAUSE Leadership Award for her visionary contributions to academic technology, collaborative skills, scholarship, and commitment to mentoring.
“I have always believed in the power of technology to connect us as human beings, collaborate on a global scale, and access information. Technology shapes us and we also shape technology,” Jorn noted as she accepted the award in front of over 8,000 peers during the EDUCAUSE Annual Conference on October 15, 2019.
Throughout her career at both the University of Minnesota and here at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, Jorn has collaborated with partners across the IT and teaching and learning domains to shape technology to support student success.
“It’s very important for IT organizations to have people that have backgrounds in teaching and learning, learning science and theory, research methodologies, and design methodologies,” states Jorn during her interview for the EDUCAUSE Review article “2019 EDUCAUSE Awards.” “Professionals who know how to build, plan, create and support teaching and learning ecosystems.”
Leading teams with this mindset has established Jorn as a visionary in the academic technology field and resulted in successes like bringing the active learning classroom paradigm to the University of Minnesota. She continues to apply this mindset as she advances university initiatives in learning analytics, online learning, high-enrollment courses redesign, and next generation digital learning ecosystems.
Prior to entering the academic technology field during its infancy, Jorn was a registered nurse where she witnessed first hand how technology could revolutionize lives, but also how critical it was to help people adapt to changes. Jorn reflects upon that lesson even today by noting “Yes we’re designing new technology ecosystems, but along with this we need to concurrently work on cultural change, policy, and workflow improvements.”
Committed to sharing insight from her experience, Jorn mentors colleagues throughout the university, nation and even the world as a faculty member with the Council of Australian University Directors of Information Technology (CAUDIT) Leadership Institute.
In addition, she presented the session “Our Leadership Journeys: Becoming Bold and Connected” at the EDUCAUSE Annual Conference. During the presentation she explained her six principles, which are the following: do your best every day, be curious, practice gratitude, be mindful of your words, laugh, and be generous with time and knowledge. As part of a group activity, she asked participants to reflect upon what they want their own principles to be. She finished by encouraging people to follow their passions, build off of their strengths and develop a constellation of mentors.
The October issue of the EDUCAUSE Review announced Linda Jorn as the winner in the article “2019 EDUCAUSE Awards.” The online version also has a video of Gerry Bayne’s interview with Jorn. The magazine previously published “Attracting, Supporting, and Retaining Senior Academic Technology Officers in Higher Education” in August 2018 that Jorn co-wrote with Donalee Attardo, Matt Meyer, Stacy Morrone, Jennifer Sparrow and Heath Tuttle who are part of the Big Ten Academic Alliance (BTAA) Learning Technology Leadership (LTL) group with her. The article focused on the emerging role of the senior academic technology officer (SATO) and the need to further define the role, mentor future SATOs, and advocate for its importance.