Walking around campus this fall or attending a computer training session, you are likely to come into contact with Christine Vucinich. Christine is an IT training specialist within Information Technology Services (ITS) Training Services. ITS Training Services provides learning opportunities in technology to students, faculty, and staff to facilitate learning, teaching, and professional development activities.
As an IT training specialist, Christine is responsible for providing computer and technology training to the students, faculty, and staff throughout the University. As a member of the Training Services team for over 5 years, she has enjoyed teaching hundreds of seminars and showing people the tips and tricks of using various software packages. She currently specializes in software training. Christine's seminars range from desktop publishing applications, graphics, and digital photography to Web page design. "Software training is more than just step-by-step, click here and click there. I believe that it's important for my seminar participants to know why they are doing something, how they can improve processes and use technology to become more efficient, as well as best practices for accomplishing the task at hand."
Christine is known for telling stories in her classes and sharing examples of what happens if you click on a button accidentally and what you can do to fix it. "My goal is for participants to walk away with the skills and confidence to use what they learned in class as they tackle a project at home or in the office. If hearing my stories of what not to do and common mistakes people make along the way helps them to remember, then I have done my job."
As part of the hands-on seminars that are offered, Christine is busy fulfilling special requests through the Blended Training Solutions training program. These trainings are designed for classroom groups and presented at requested times and locations. Christine says that the success of this program lies in the "just in time learning" aspect. "We provide the training when it is most needed. The students have a goal—their project—in mind, and we help them by taking them through the steps to produce their final product, such as a newsletter or Web site, using the technology available in the computer labs."
Since the Blended Training Solutions service was launched in fall 2004, ITS Training Services has supported more than 50 different courses and impacted over 1,000 students in departments such as English, Education, Communications, and Hotel, Restaurant and Institutional Management to name a few. "Going into the classrooms allows us to reach students and support faculty at the same time." The most popular requests are teaching students how to design an e-Portfolio, followed by Adobe InDesign and Photoshop.
"I'm very excited about the success of our new Blended Training Solutions (BTS) Service. With the efforts of everyone on our staff, it went from an idea to a reality." Through this service, ITS Training Services will consult with faculty about the technology training options available through ITS Training Services, which they can use to help facilitate learning for their students. "It gives students the opportunity to use technology and have the support of a technology instructor there to assist them when they may otherwise not know where to start. When you see the light bulb go off, hear students thank you for the session and have repeat faculty using our services each semester, I know our department is making a difference!"
Information about Blended Training Solutions and a link to submit an online request for training is located at: http://its.psu.edu/training/blendedtraining/index.html.
In addition to training, Christine is one of the program coordinators for the ITS Trainers' Forum. This is a University-wide group of trainers who meet (in person and virtually) to discuss partnering opportunities, tips, and techniques for providing training to various audiences within the University.
She also manages the ITS Instructor Assistants, part-time staff who assist with many of the hands-on seminars. "Our Instructor Assistants are the eyes and ears to the instructors while the training sessions are in progress."
Christine has earned a Bachelor of Arts from Seton Hill University in Communications-Interactive Media Design & Public Relations and a Masters of Education in Adult Education and Communications Technology from Indiana University of Pennsylvania.
In addition to her work here at Penn State, Christine is an active member of Soroptimist International of Centre County, a professional service organization for women.
If you don't run into Christine on campus, you can find her in her office or via e-mail: Christine Vucinich, ITS Training Services, 23 Willard Bldg., email@example.com.
If you have questions regarding ITS Training Services or the Blended Training Solutions program, go to http://its.psu.edu/training/ or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.