10 Things to Know about Donna Greer, Online Coordinator
- She’s one of you. Donna earned her Master’s degree online from UIS in Management Information Systems.
- She’s proud that MIS is the first program at UIS to go completely online. UIS taught its first online class in the 1997-98 academic year, and in 1999, MIS became the first online program offered. Donna considered doing her MBA but chose MIS instead because it brought business and IT together “That combination is what sold me,” she says.
- She is the on-campus contact for all online MIS students: “I am a communication link between students and their faculty and the processes and paperwork they have to complete to reach their educational goals.” She spends a lot of time listening to students. She also makes sure their paperwork gets to the right people.
- She understands what online students want. “When I did my master’s, I had a lot going on in my life with family and work. In my online classes, I just wanted to reach a goal, so I appreciated that the faculty were there if I needed them but stayed out of my way otherwise. I just wanted a smooth process to get my degree accomplished. That’s what I try to achieve for my students.”
- Growing up on a farm has more to do with her career in MIS than you might think. “I have a farming background,” she says, “and the technological thinking side is pretty prevalent in my family. Farmers know how to take equipment apart and put it back together, and how to make it work with sometimes just a piece of bale or twine. So it’s natural for me to want to know how things work.”
- She’s a teacher, first of all. She worked for the University of Illinois system in Peoria as a grant coordinator, and after earning her master’s degree, she became the department director for the computer information systems degree at Midstate College in Peoria, where she created and taught online courses.
- She’s a country girl and always will be. One of her favorite pastimes is fishing, usually for catfish. “I like the calmness,” she says.
- A bowl of Chunky Monkey will always make her happy.
- Her favorite movie is Jurassic Park. “What can I say?” she asks, laughing. “It’s sci-fi and dinosaurs meet people!” Her favorite author is Michael Crichton (a fitting follow up to Jurassic Park). She suggests starting with Prey “because it includes nanotechnology and artificial intelligence.”
- Her thoughts on artificial intelligence: “Computer technology is based on one’s and zero’s in binary code. That’s the way it is, and that’s the way it’s going to be. But when humans make decisions, even just whether to walk to the next room to get something, it becomes a big thought process…while I am in there I could also do this or maybe before I go in there I need to do this other thing. Artificial intelligence is a long way away from that level of thinking.”