The 2013-2014 school year has been a time of transition for Pacific University’s Berglund Center for Internet Studies as they have seen many changes happen in the structure of their workplace.
Changes began July 1, 2013 with the new fiscal school year as BCIS was switched over to management under the new College of Business.
Some initial minor changes meant for a physical change in the BCIS office and workspace located on the lower level of Berglund Hall. What was known as the conference room is now an office space for an assistant professor of business. An additional office also had to be cleaned out to serve as a meeting space for College of Business Dean Howard Smith.
The biggest change came when program director Theresa Floyd left on administrative leave on July 15 and returned Oct. 5 before retiring on Jan. 3, 2014.
To fill her place has been interim program director, Nicole Nowlin. Nowlin is a former student fellow and employee of BCIS and graduated from Pacific in 2011. Since graduating, Nowlin had stayed involved with BCIS as a mentor to the student fellows.
As interim program director, not only has Nowlin had the challenges of having to quickly learn the ins and outs of BCIS, but she also has to manage this and her full-time job as an administrative assistant for ARAMARK.
Nowlin was originally contracted to work at BCIS for only six months but had her contract extended until March 2014 as many positions have not been filled yet. BCIS is looking to hire both a program director and a program coordinator.
Much of the first semester of the school year was seen as a time period of maintaining the status quo of what BCIS had done over recent years. This meant the continuation of the student and faculty fellowship programs, roundtable discussions and “Interface,” an open-access journal featuring both peer-reviewed and non-peer-reviewed articles.
Being that it is now the second semester of the school year, there are many questions about what plans and projects BCIS will be carrying out. Much of the future is uncertain until a new program director is hired to decide what direction to take BCIS in.
Pacific junior and BCIS Marketing and Publicity Assistant Matt Dela Pena feels that there have been both positives and negatives regarding the recent changes.
“The changes have hindered productivity since there’s less work for us to do,” said Dela Pena. “But with less supervision it has also led us to become more independent to get things done on our own.”
Nowlin also reflected similar feelings since her conflicting jobs only allows her to be in the BCIS office after 3 p.m.
As for the future, Nowlin hopes to be able to continue working with the Berglund student fellows as a mentor.