ACANS News & Information Center
Norma Grijalva heads to Frye!
Norma Grijalva, ICT Director of Telecommunications and Networking Services, continues to exceed as she was recently chosen to participate in The Frye Leadership Institute this upcoming summer (June 2007). The Frye Leadership Institute is no ordinary training institute, as to even be considered one must first be nominated by a member of the institution’s senior leadership. After the nomination process, each nominee undergoes a competitive selection process with other individuals who also feel compelled in the areas of innovation in higher education, the impact of technology on college and university economics, budgeting, and organization, leadership in an era of transformational change, and other issues relating to higher education (click here for more information on The Frye Leadership Institute). The institution will ultimately decide on those applicants with tenacious leadership qualities, vision within the department they lead, and a proposal project which relates to a higher education technology initiative that they would carry out (upon being chosen) within their own institute.
Grijalva’s excelence in leadership and her strong technological vision in higher education earned her a spot in this annual two-week residential program which is held at Emory University. According to the Institute ’s objective, “The purpose of the Frye Leadership Institute is to develop creative leaders to guide and transform academic information services for higher education in the twenty-first century.”
Those who have worked with Grijalva, feel as though there is no better candidate to be chosen to attend The Frye Leadership Institute, as they understand her desire to aspire to more significant leadership roles in order to help provide more technological resources to NMSU. The institute seeks candidates who embody a desire to learn along with “the willingness to take risks, the capacity to understand the environment outside one ’s immediate surroundings, and the ability to apply critical and creative thinking to problem solving, ” thus as a note to The Frye Leadership Institute, “you have found somebody who exhibits all of those attributes and more!”
Like many leaders, Grijalva has worked her way through the ranks to the director’s position that she currently holds. Being born in a small rural New Mexico town, Truth or Consequences, Grijalva wasn’t around much technology, not to mention the schools were often sparse when it came to books and basic classroom needs; a typical scenario for most farm families in the town, including her own family who grew chile and alfalfa. Upon graduating from high school, Grijalva moved to Las Cruces so she could attend NMSU. From her first job as a student working with the Office of Admissions, to her current job there is no doubt that she has maintained a love of challenging work. When asking her what the most challenging aspect of her job is, she says “lack of money,” however to most it often appears as though this “lack of money” has little affect on what she has been able to do for our university.
Her present job duties could be written on a scroll and still need to be condensed, as she is responsible for the telecommunication infrastructure and services for NMSU, which includes the campus network, telephone, classroom technology, fire alarms, 911, the Internet, interconnecting to other campuses, campus cable and various other services. And yet when asked about why she continues to come to work everyday, she affirms that it is a rewarding feeling knowing that she has helped improve NMSU, and “accomplished as much as possible with the money available.” In comparing NMSU with other similar institutions, she feels “that NMSU compares very favorably with other universities that have much more money to spend of information technology. ” Much of this very fact can be attributed to Norma Grijalva, who will sustain the driving force behind NMSU’s continual technological advancements.
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