SA Snapshot: Joe Sabado

October 31, 2010

If you’ve been missing the SA Snapshots, you can catch up here. Joe Sabado is the Associate Director of Information Systems and Software Development, Student Information Systems and Technology in the Division of Student Affairs at UC Santa Barbara. Here is his snapshot:

Joe Sabado uses technology to promote student leadership, citizenship, and scholarship.

Why student affairs?

I love working with students for students. I have found that there is nothing more satisfying personally and professionally than working with students outside the classroom, seeing them develop as adults from the first day they come to campus to the time they graduate. Being a mentor to those few students I have the opportunity to develop relationships with are very fulfilling.  I’ve tried the corporate and start-up worlds but they could not compare to the satisfaction I feel working in student affairs.

How long have you been working in student affairs and which functional areas have you worked in?

I’ve been involved with Student Affairs since the early 1991 as a student at UC Santa Barbara. I experienced many facets of the profession through my experience as a student leader, as a facilitator/ intern for multicultural and leadership programs, as a tutor, and as a peer advisor and as a resident assistant.

I have been in student affairs as a technologist since 1996, although I left twice to experience the corporate and start up worlds but came back. Throughout the years, my titles and responsibilities have evolved starting as the first full-time webmaster for the division in 1996, to managing a web development team to my current position directing a team of 20 developers, managers, designers and business analysts. My team is responsible for implementing information systems (vendor systems, web applications, mainframes and desktop applications) for the Division of Student Affairs and the Graduate Division. These systems include web applications, electronic medical record systems, academic records, registration, advising, recruitment and admissions, online ticketing, financial aid and numerous administrative systems.  I have developed and now overseeing information systems for various departments including the following departments:

Admissions, Career Services, Counseling Services, Disabled Students Program, Early Academic Outreach, Children’s Center, Financial Aid Office, International Students and Scholars, MultiCultural Center, Office of Judicial Affairs, Office of Student Life, Office of the Registrar, Orientation Programs and Parent Services, Recreation, Resource Center for Sexual and Gender Diversity, Student Health Services, Visitors  Center and Women’s Center.

I also remain active in non-technical roles as an advisor for the Filipino-American interest orgs as well as for a Latino interest fraternity. In addition to my advisor roles, from time to time, I serve as a panelist for career and leadership workshops/retreats.

Describe what you do in one sentence.

I contribute to the goals of UCSB Student Affairs to promote leadership, citizenship and scholarship to our student body via technology leadership and student service.

Briefly talk about one person who has been instrumental in your career development.

I have two mentors that are equally instrumental in my career: Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs Dr. Michael Young and Dean of Students Dr. Yonie Harris. They both introduced me to the world of student affairs when I was a student while working with them on various projects. A couple of these projects include the establishment of a student resource center and efforts on improving student services to first generation students. They have been my mentors since I was a student until today. They provided opportunities for me to grow and support not only as a professional but personally as well.

If you ever decided to leave the profession, what would you do?

Form my own company and develop a suite of student affairs technology products.

What is your advice for students interested in student affairs?

Gain experience as a paraprofessional in different functions of student affairs by applying as resident assistant, peer advisor, program interns, facilitators or any other positions that will provide you opportunities to gain skills you will need later on. These skills could include leadership, public speaking, facilitation, communication, advising and technology in the context of student affairs. As important is the opportunity to gauge if this profession is something you really want to pursue.

Identify mentors that can provide you some insight in what they do, give you advice and provide you opportunities to observe what they do. They can also introduce you to a network of other administrators, colleagues, students that may be of some help to you in the future.

Final thoughts?  Anything we missed?

I feel very blessed to have a career that combines both of my passions – technology and student affairs!  I look forward to making connections with other passionate student affairs professionals I see on twitter!.

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