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Meet Our People: Chris

Every month we are profiling one of the Web Services Department’s team members. This month we hear about Chris, who is the Communications Advisor with Web Services and ITS.

How did you enter this career?

I took some Mass Communications courses during my undergraduate degree at Carleton, and I liked them so much I decided to switch my major. I graduated right around the begining of the 2008 financial crisis, and though I knew I wanted to work in communications, options were pretty slim. But I lucked out by getting a job at a non-profit in events management that had a lot of communications competencies built in. Over a few years, I was eventually able to shift my focus from events to communications. And that’s where my communications career started!

Where else have you worked?

My first “career” job was at the Ottawa Food Bank. I did a lot of fun things there – I co-edited a cookbook, I helped run a vintage wine auction, I spoke on TV and at events, I ran the social media accounts, all while raising much-needed food and funds for the people and organizations in our community that needed it. It was a fun and fulfilling place to get my start!

What are some of the technologies you have used along the way?

Learning new technologies has become a major part of my career. I was a relatively early adopter of Twitter, which I learned for my job in 2008 and which would launch my passion for social media platforms and their capabilities. As I went deeper into producing and optimizing social media content, I also taught myself a number of new tech skills, including photo, audio and video editing using platfotms like Lightroom, Logic and Final Cut Pro. And this pushed me more into the web, where I learned HTML on the job at Carleton. I’m teaching myself CSS now.

What are the best things about your job?

The warmth of the ITS community! The people I’ve met and worked with have been courteous, helpful and gracious.

Do you have some exciting projects you are working on right now?

I couldn’t be more excited to play a part in rolling out cuTheme, which is going to help our web managers around campus immensely. And our security awareness efforts, like our Terranova security platform, are really important. Out Digital Strategy, which is currently in the works, should be a game changer for digital at Carleton. I can’t wait to start spreading the word about it!

What music are you listening at the moment?

Mainly EDM, lofi and hip-hop but also soul, jazz etc. I’m obsessed with Anderson Paak and his new Silk Sonic collab. I’m also into this British musician named Look Mum No Computer who makes wacky and amazing synthesizers out of spare parts and toys. His music is great if you’re into punky EDM.

What are you reading at the moment?

The events of the past few years have prompted me to really do the work in learning about anti-racism and applying it to my life, so I’ve been reading a book called Racism without Racists by Eduardo Bonilla-Silva. It concentrates on racism in the United States, but I think many of its lessons are applicable in Canada too. I plan to follow it up with The Skin We’re In by Desmond Cole, which I know speaks more about racism in Canada.

What do you do outside of work to amuse yourself?

I’ve recently gotten in photography, so I spend a lot of time in nature taking photos of birds, flowers, insects and landscapes. I also make music, which means maintaining a small music studio in a spare bedroom in my home. I’m a bit obessed with guitars and synthesizers!

What exciting plans do you have coming up in the next year?

I’m looking forward to helping the Carleton community learn more about the great work ITS is doing, along with the ways it can help students, staff and faculty. In my personal life, I’m excited to start working with a personal trainer to help achieve my personal fitness goals.