Women in Tech: Featuring Spencer Dhupa, Rhode Island School of Design

Spencer Dhupa has spent more than 20 years in technology facing roles. As a Lead Application Specialist at the Rhode Island School of Design (RISD), she focuses on helping other departments achieve their technology goals.

Her journey into tech

My first position out of college was in the nutrition industry. The company was implementing a computer system and asked for volunteers to help. I volunteered and loved it. Once this install was over, I moved to the role of a consultant and implemented clinical applications for a software vendor. Since then, I have been an analyst managing projects in healthcare and in higher education. I am thankful that I pursued this career path because I find it very fulfilling.

Her current role

As a Lead Applications Specialist in the Office of Information Technology department at RISD, I lead projects throughout the project life cycle. The project can be to implement new systems or functionality, upgrade existing systems, find a system replacement, or define a new integration.

My favorite part of my job is working with a user or a team and helping them use the technology to meet their needs and goals. Since higher education technology is constantly advancing, I am always learning, developing new skills and fine tuning my expertise.

On the future of auxiliary enterprise technology

I believe the future of auxiliary enterprise technology in higher education will be to focus on solutions that are quick, relevant, social, integrated and personalized for all constituents. These solutions will need to be sustainable and flexible. Also, the technology needs to interface with all types of devices for the constituents to get the most benefit.

Advice to the next generation of women in higher ed technology

Spend time upfront to learn about emerging technologies in the industry, outline current state workflows and define future state goals that align with strategic plan of the department and the institution.

This is a great industry because it is ever changing and emerging. Strive to be a role model and leader in higher education technology. Whatever role you aspire to, it is possible in this industry.