The COVID-19 crisis has affected all of us in different ways. For Kim Getz, Pitt Law’s Director of Information Technology, it has represented her department’s most significant challenges and, more importantly, highlighted their best work. When Pitt began closing campus and moving classes online, Kim and her team worked day and night to ensure Pitt Law had full use of digital resources like video conferencing tools, messaging platforms, and online learning management systems. Thanks to these efforts, the School of Law didn’t miss a beat.
“My staff and I spend hours on the phone and in virtual meetings to help people get their work done. We’ve improved our online presence and made quick reference guides that we would have never prioritized if we weren’t forced online,” Kim said. “Our focus is on empowering everyone at Pitt Law to embrace - not fear - new technologies. They can count on the IT team to offer our help.”
Since Monday’s start of classes, Kim has virtually checked on all classes to make sure there are no technology hiccups. She has spent hours ordering laptops, securing webcams and hotspots, addressing hundreds of IT tickets, and delivering on the IT aspects of virtual events such as Open House, Commencement, and Orientation.
Once the pandemic began, “Our job was to make certain that students, staff, and faculty have the technology to learn and be effective in our new hybrid model,” Kim said. “We had to move our Continuing Legal Education Program online to assist the community and our alumni, and we worked with each faculty member to turn their formerly in-person lectures to interactive online courses.”
Kim thinks that we will continue to utilize the classroom tech and tools we’re currently using to teach and learn online even when the school returns to fulltime in-person instruction. Kim and her team will assist remotely for the remainder of the semester, but when everyone can safely return to Barco, she plans to bring her beloved dog, Baxter, to comfort and support the students. “I love to take Baxter to work with me to calm our students down during the stresses of their final exams and even more so on the mornings of the Bar Exam,” Kim said.