IT manager opts for people-oriented degree

Editor’s Note: This is the fifth feature about a UCCS staff member who participated in Commencement May 18.

Kirk Moore, director of computing services, Department of Information Technology, is one of several UCCS staff who received degrees at UCCS Commencement 2012.

Kirk Moore

It is not unusual for staff to earn degrees, nor is it unusual for such degrees earned to include the Master of Public Administration. But co-workers at UCCS might think it unusual for an IT guy like Moore to be picking up an MPA.

“In IT most people concentrate on the machines and technology and often the people are ignored,” Moore said. “Leadership in IT is extremely important, and nothing is done without the people who make it work.”

While his degree in computer science served him well on the job, he admits it wasn’t what he considered the normal prerequisite for an MPA. But he became interested in leadership after working in the IT field for many years and the program took him in the right direction.

“I feel my MPA degree has helped me learn to be a more confident leader,” he said. “This program has forced me to look at myself first and solve my problems before I expect anyone to accept me as a leader. “

Moore was pleased and grateful for the tuition waiver benefit, recommending its use to other staff. School takes a lot of time, so be prepared, he advised.

“But if you do not start you will never finish,” he added.

Getting started offered Moore an extra challenge he doesn’t often discuss.

“I have always had trouble reading and spelling and I constantly thought it was because I was not working as hard as my peers in school,” Moore said.

He came to understand his difficulty about six years ago when his wife, Tamara, told him about a lecture on dyslexia given by Elaine Cheesman, assistant professor, College of Education.

“My wife explained to me that a lot of the things Dr. Cheesman was talking about were things I had trouble with. I contacted Dr. Cheesman and fortunately she let me sit in on one of her yearlong classes. This class was teaching future teachers how to work with K-12 students diagnosed with dyslexia. Dr. Cheesman explained why I and others with dyslexia learn differently, and what can be done to help dyslexic individuals learn.”

Dyslexia remains an obstacle, but Moore credits his wife and Cheesman with helping him meet the challenge. He is grateful to them for their contribution to his education, career and life.

And it demonstrates how valuable people and leadership can be to an IT guy.

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