Naomi Boyer will tell you she’s not your “typical” Chief Information Officer.
But she is one of the best, according to the Tampa Bay Business Journal, which recently named Polk State’s CIO and vice president of strategic initiatives and innovation its 2017 CIO of the Year.
Without formal technical or educational backgrounds in technology, “the role challenges me every day,” Boyer said.
“But I learn from my team every moment,” she said. “This award is really a testament to the team’s hard work and amazing accomplishments.”
Boyer and her team of 34 employees are responsible for everything tech at Polk State – from WiFi and Internet speed, to keeping student and employee data safe, and ensuring classroom technology is working properly.
While the faculty are like the blood flowing through the body delivering oxygen and nutrients, Boyer explained, her team is like the nervous system – unseen but facilitating that process.
Boyer was anonymously nominated for the CIO of the Year award and chosen as a finalist from more than 100 applicants. Twenty-five applicants were named finalists in six categories, one of which Boyer also won – the nonprofit or government category.
“Boyer uses her innovative, academic mind and skills to improve technology initiatives for Polk State College, with an ultimate goal of improving education and opportunities for students at the school.” – Tampa Bay Business Journal.
“Boyer uses her innovative, academic mind and skills to improve technology initiatives for Polk State College, with an ultimate goal of improving education and opportunities for students at the school,” according to the Tampa Bay Business Journal.
She has a doctorate in curriculum and instruction with a concentration in interdisciplinary education from the University of South Florida, as well as bachelor’s and master’s degrees from the University of Florida.
She started her career as a special education teacher and came to Polk State in 2011 after nine years at the former University of South Florida Polytechnic, where she ultimately served as an assistant vice president.
In 2014, then-Polk State President Eileen Holden asked Boyer to add the CIO role to her existing responsibilities.
“I didn’t have a background in computer science or information technology,” Boyer said, “but I was, and still am, an educator who believes in the promise of technology to empower the learner in the learning process.”
Today, she oversees Infrastructure Technology and User Services, Instructional Technology and E-Learning, Enterprise Systems and Programming, as well as Help Desk Services and application support.
Boyer and her team have moved internal email to the cloud, changed out the firewall, and – their latest undertaking – is transitioning the College’s learning management system from PAL to Canvas, all while on boarding an enterprise resource planning system for the organization.
“I am humbled that this award allows me a forum to share how great Polk State College is and to thank Dr. Holden and President Angela Garcia Falconetti for believing in me,” Boyer said.
“I am proud of Dr. Boyer and her ability to integrate all aspects of technology in support of Polk State’s mission to provide access to affordable, quality higher education,” Falconetti said. “This recognition underscores the College’s quality technological infrastructure as critical to what we do here every day at Polk State College.”