Posted by Susan Shen, UCB Student Intern, UCOP. Taking your first steps onto university grounds is a momentous occasion, but for college students who come from difficult backgrounds, this excitement might be coupled with apprehension. Luckily, if they attend UCSB, they can find a helping hand in Joe Sabado, Acting Executive Director for Student Information Systems and Technology (SIS&T) and his department’s dedicated and talented team of IT professionals.
A Filipino native, Sabado moved to Salinas, California, and went on to attend UCSB, graduating with a degree in political science and a minor in Asian American studies. His interest in student affairs sparked during his college days. He was an active member and leader in various Asian American organizations and Campus Learning Assistance Services.
Upon graduating, Sabado was initially hired as a web developer at UCSB, but dabbled in the private sector before returning to work in student affairs, his true passion. “I see myself as a student affairs professional working for IT,” he said. Every day, his division provides IT services and communications to the entire campus, and oversees the distribution of important student data. “Things like financial aid are stressful to work with, and we make sure that students don’t have to worry, and can enjoy a great college experience,” he explained.
For instance, he takes special pride in a suite of applications that creates a health data-sharing network for local health professionals and health care providers so that appropriate care can be provided to the students. It also includes a referral system so that students can be given access to certain services, such as the Disabled Students Program (DSP), whenever necessary.
Whether working as an executive director or as a mentor to campus organizations, Sabado is motivated by serving the students. He said, “These students are more than just numbers…they all have stories behind them.” He noted that technology is conducive to student success, and each technological innovation is an opportunity to improve IT services for students.