Penny Crane Award 2019

2019 Penny Crane Award Recipient – Kelly Wainwright

Kelly Wainwright

Kelly attended her first SIGUCCS in 1993 in San Diego. It was still early in her career as a User Support Specialist in the IT department at Lewis & Clark College in Portland, Oregon and the first conference she had ever attended. Kelly appreciated the opportunity to connect with colleagues from across the country to share common challenges and explore creative solutions. A few years later at the 1996 Fall User Services SIGUCCS conference, Kelly presented a paper for the first time. Her topic, Lewis & Clark’s program to introduce students to the campus computing environment. 

In 2001, Kelly served as the Program Chair for the Fall User Services conference in Portland Oregon. Her involvement in the conferences continued to grow from there and over time she served in many different roles including session chair, volunteer coordinator, publications chair, registrar and conference co-chair—twice! Kelly was elected to the SIGUCCS Executive Board in 2008 and served three consecutive three-year terms, first as Vice-Chair/Conference Liaison, then as Chair and finally as Past-Chair.

As Kelly remained active in SIGUCCS, she also progressed in her 25-year career at Lewis & Clark College, serving in various roles that culminated as the Senior Director of Client Engagement overseeing the Educational Technology department and the IT Service Desk. These roles allowed her to meld her interests in technology in the classroom and customer service as she strived to enhance the technology experience for the entire campus community. Kelly also had the opportunity to teach a graduate-level course, “Technology Tools for Teaching and Learning,” and be a co-leader for an overseas program in Vietnam.

Kelly also received her Bachelor’s degree in Foreign Languages with a minor in Communications from Lewis & Clark. She maintains that studying foreign languages helped her explain computers to non-technical people, since it is like a foreign language to many. Later, she continued on to earn her Master’s degree in teaching.

In 2017 Kelly’s position at Lewis & Clark was eliminated forcing a little soul searching resulting in the decision to leave higher education in order to stay near family in Portland. This also meant that she had to spend time re-developing her network.  She is currently trying her hand in the corporate world as the Director of Customer Success at zeVez, a small accounts payable automation software company. She gets to continue cultivating her passion of helping individuals understand and use technology effectively.

All of this helps Kelly follow her true passion of traveling and exploring new places and cultures. From participating in an overseas program to Costa Rica and Guatemala, to living in Japan for a year teaching English, to co-leading an overseas program to Vietnam with Lewis & Clark to tasting wine in Argentina, Kelly has had the opportunity of visiting many countries. She looks forward to visiting many more!