Spotlight: UCSC’s Scott Simmons, Specializing in Applications, Ergonomics, and Accessibility

Posted by Leah Burns, IT Communications Coordinator, UCOP.  Scott Simmons has a natural curiosity, a passion for his job, and is committed to the University. Celebrating ten years at UCSC as of May 2016, he’s an IT programmer analyst working on enterprise academic systems and UC systemwide projects. He is an ergonomics advisor and has served on several committees including the Accessible Technology Committee, the IT Applications and Project Management Architecture Team, and the User Interface Guidelines Committee.

While an undergraduate student and an employee at the University of Alaska in Fairbanks, Simmons realized how much he enjoyed being close to natural areas. “Being in Alaska was formative for me. Life 198 miles south of the Arctic Circle wasn’t always easy, but I managed to thrive thanks to many wise and caring people of the campus community – Howard Zack, Carla Szeitas (Chico Girl), Wayne Skidmore, Louie & Joanie, Dr. Tim Fullam, Dr. Susan Moyer,  and above all Morna Mellor, now of UC Davis.  The experience of the wilderness and startling beauty of Alaska had a permanent impact on me. I knew that I wanted to live and work as close to natural areas as possible, and I knew at some point in my career that I would return to a University environment.”

Although Simmons had a blast in Alaska, he ended up transferring to California State University, Chico, to pursue a degree in computer science. “Since I was a California native, I knew I wanted to come back, and the University of Alaska didn’t have the major I ultimately decided to pursue.”

Simmons took his first job as a programmer at HP in Santa Rosa. After working for twenty years as a senior tech support analyst and software engineer for several Bay Area technology companies, he made the switch to UCSC in 2006. He joined as an applications administrator and after six years jumped back into development. “I have had some great jobs and experiences in my life, and I feel fortunate to have landed at UCSC. I love what I am doing and I get to work on projects that are both challenging and meaningful. I’m often given the opportunity to explore my ideas and I have a lot of ideas!” He laughed.

Simmons’ current focus is the cross-campus enrollment system (CCES), enabling students across the system to enroll in online courses offered by other UC campuses.

When not at UCSC, Simmons is hiking, mountain biking, and working on his vegetable garden. “I’m always looking for new places and things to explore!” he said.

Comments (3)

  1. Mark Cianca

    Scott, you’re such a great UC employee – it was a nice surprise to see this profile piece and to catch up with the projects that are keeping you busy these days. Keep it up!

  2. mary eriksen


  3. Nathan Donovan

    Even though we’ll still never forgive you for leaving our app admin group and going over to development, we still love ya! Way to go on your spotlight piece! =)


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