A Montgomery County Community College senior leader recently has been added to the board of a national organization for information technology.
EDUCAUSE, a leading association for information technology in higher education, appointed Dr. Celeste Schwartz, MCCC Vice President of Information Technology (IT) and Chief Digital Officer to serve on its board of directors.
Schwartz has been an integral part of MCCC having served the College for more than 50 years. Throughout her career, she has dedicated her efforts to the advancement of innovative IT solutions always with the goal of improving students’ overall educational experience and academic success.
“It would be difficult to find anyone more dedicated to EDUCAUSE and the IT profession than Celeste Schwartz,” said John O’Brien, EDUCAUSE president and CEO in the announcement. “She has contributed in so many ways to our community, and I know she will bring a great depth of knowledge and care to her service on the board.”
EDUCAUSE’s mission is to advance higher education using IT, and it helps those who lead, manage and use IT to shape strategic decisions at all levels. The nonprofit was formed in 1998 through a merger of two respected professional associations, CAUSE and Educom, which together had more than 60 years of service to the higher education IT community. The EDUCAUSE Board of Directors is composed of leaders from colleges and universities across the country.
“It is truly an honor and my pleasure to serve on the Board for EDUCAUSE, and I look forward to continuing to work together to strengthen the higher education experience through the use of technology, especially during these times,” said Schwartz, who has been active in the EDUCAUSE community for more than 20 years, serving on numerous committees and presenting as a subject-matter expert.
In 2018, Schwartz received the EDUCAUSE Leadership Award – EDUCAUSE’s highest recognition for individual achievement. The annual award acknowledges and celebrates exemplary leadership that has a significant and positive impact on advancing the theory and practice of IT in higher education. She was only the third community college leader in the country to receive this honor.
In her role as vice president of IT at MCCC, Schwartz is responsible for academic and administrative technology, technology-supported process improvements and sustainability efforts, among other responsibilities. Her strategic planning and leadership have been instrumental in several transformative initiatives at MCCC, including an integrated one-stop service experience for students. Currently, she is co-leading MCCC’s Student Experience Framework initiative.
Under her leadership, the Center for Digital Education recognized MCCC as a top digital community college 11 times, ranking it three times as first in the nation.
During her tenure, she has not only mentored students and employees, but also technology leaders, both locally and nationally. Within MCCC’s IT Department, more than one-third of the staff are alumni, many of whom started as interns under her guidance.
In addition to EDUCAUSE, Schwartz held leadership roles with and/or served on boards and committees of numerous organizations, including the Keystone Initiative for Network Based Education and Research, Microsoft Higher Ed Advisory Group, Middle States Commission on Higher Education, The Pathway School, and the Rotary Club of Blue Bell, among others.
Schwartz is an alumna of MCCC and holds a bachelor’s degree in Business Administration from Saint Joseph’s University, a master’s degree in Computer Science from Villanova University, and a Ph.D. in Higher Education Administration from Walden University. In 2002, she was inducted into the College’s Alumni Hall of Fame.
In honor of Schwartz and her 50+-year career at MCCC, the College established the Dr. Celeste Schwartz Legacy Fund in 2019 to provide scholarships to students majoring in Science, Technology, Arts and Mathematics programs.
Photo caption: EDUCAUSE, a leading association for information technology in higher education, appointed Dr. Celeste Schwartz, MCCC Vice President of Information Technology and Chief Digital Officer to serve on its board of directors.