Maureen G.

Staff Assistant, SVP and Administration — ISC Office of CIO
Portrait photo of Maureen G.

ISC service(s) or programs/projects:  Several University committees, Penn’s Way campaign, Penn VIPS, ISC Green Team

Length of time in ISC:  Joined ISC in 2016 and Penn in 2002

Previous work experience:  Director’s Office, Penn Museum

Tell us about a challenge at Penn that made you proud to be part of ISC.

In May 2023, it was very challenging to organize our ISC All-Hands celebration at Penn Park — things had changed quite a bit since the pandemic. We had to navigate a lot of new vendor rules and changes in what they were able to provide, and we had to absorb all this for several vendors in a very short time, instead of working with just one as we usually do. Then there was the need to identify and follow procedures for engaging new campus spaces. The executive support team really appreciated each other and relied on sharing ideas. It was a very difficult time, trying to get the event together for hundreds of people, but we did it.

What’s an interesting technical or business problem you’ve faced with ISC?

Over the span of my time here, from shortly after I joined ISC, there have been several periods when the executive support team has been in transition — sometimes due to personal leave, and other times just from retirements and normal staff turnover. We readily fill in for each other and make sure everything is taken care of, which requires a great deal of adaptability and coordination.  Something I’m very proud of is that when we’ve been short-staffed, we’ve somehow kept the business running. We’ve got each other’s backs.

What do you like best about working with colleagues across campus?

I don’t think people understand, unless they’ve worked in a place like Penn, how many different roles there are and how much you can learn from each other. It’s amazing how many different kinds of people are here. For example, I have had the opportunity to serve as a staff representative to several University-wide committees with faculty and students. Participating on these committees took me beyond my everyday scope of work, giving me a chance to learn more about different organizations and roles across campus, as well as a wide range of perspectives.

How do you stay connected with colleagues in our hybrid work environment?

I built more relationships when we were in pandemic mode because it was necessary. When working for our Associate CIO, who had to be in numerous meetings with large groups of people across campus, I attended in a recordkeeping capacity — and met so many more people than I had prior to the pandemic. It was a very organic way that I expanded my network at Penn. There were people I’d collaborated with for years while at Penn, but had never actually seen. Ever since we’ve all been relying on Teams and Zoom, I’ve learned what these people look like — so I’ve had the chance to connect with them on a more personal level when we bump into each other on campus.

What do you appreciate most about the time you spend on campus?

I enjoy the many art spaces on campus — I love spending time at the Penn Museum, where I once worked, and also at the Arthur Ross Gallery. I also enjoy the public art throughout the campus. I like spending time with people at the White Dog Café — my favorite happy hour beverage is their Dirty Dog!

What are you passionate about in your free time?

I’m not a gardener, but I love gardens. Botanical gardens, beautiful outdoor spaces like Longwood Gardens or the Morris Arboretum. I really like the John Heinz Wildlife Refuge. It’s a freshwater tidal marsh, and it has nice trails. I’ve spent a lot of time there, especially during the pandemic, to get outside and breathe different air. I’m also a subscriber to the Walnut Street Theater and I try to see theater elsewhere when I can too. And I have family in the area that are in periods of their of their lives where they need help. So I like being helpful and useful to my family.

What would you like people at Penn to know about you?

I think the thing that people probably don’t know about me personally is that I am an introvert at heart, but I present as an extravert. I love spending time with others, but I also value my time alone.