Volunteer Highlight: Alice McCrory

IT-oLogy would not be possible without the help of our amazing volunteers who donate their time, energy, and skills to spreading the IT message. To say thank you to those individuals, we will be highlighting some of the great people who volunteer with us! First up, Alice McCrory!

1.     How/when did you first get into IT and technology?

I got into IT in 1972 when I switched my major from Mathematics to Computer Science at USC. I was flipping through the Course Catalog thinking I didn’t want to major in Math because I did not want to be a teacher, so what could I do? I stumbled across computer programming and decided I’d give it a try! The decision took no more than 5 minutes and changed by life forever! Graduated in 1974 from USC with a BS in Computer Science. Loved the field from the very beginning.

2.     What about IT appeals to you?

I am particularly interested in the software side of Information Technology. Programming appealed to me from the very beginning as I enjoy getting the computer to do what I ask it to do, but my main interest lies in the people in IT.

3.     What type of professional or personal background do you have in IT or technology?

I started at Seibels, Bruce and Company as one of the first of 12 programmers on the Policy Management System (PMS). I took the typical career path from Programmer to Systems Analyst, Project Leader, and then management. I spent about nine years of my career at South Carolina National Bank (now Wells Fargo) and was instrumental in installing the earliest ATM’s in the state. I moved on and was hired in 1984 at BCBSSC as a Data Base Analyst. I eventually become Director of IT at BCBSSC, the first female direct report to the CIO Steve Wiggins. My departments included IT Recruiting, Programming Support, Training, and Administration. I unfortunately became chronically ill in 1998 with Lyme disease and had to suddenly leave the company due to my illness.

4.     How did you find out about IT-oLogy?

I watched IT-oLogy create their workspace and open at the current location. I often wondered what it was and about 4 months ago found out more about the company and called Lonnie to set up a meeting. I continued to learn how closely tied the companies are and that they are working towards solving a problem that was so prevalent when I was over IT Recruiting at Blue Cross: Not enough resources! I am fascinated by the organization and once again so excited about being a part of promoting, teaching, and growing IT!

5.     In what capacity do you volunteer with IT-oLogy?

I have gone to career fairs at elementary, middle, and high schools. I have volunteered at Cyber Saturdays, have taught Mindstorms Robotics to middle school [students] at Cyber Saturday, and will soon be promoting the Coursepower minor degree at USC, Columbia College, Benedict, and Midlands Tech. I will be presenting at SC Midlands Summit on IT in a few weeks, representing IT-oLogy and will also be a volunteer at the Columbia Mini Maker Faire at EdVenture in mid-June.

6.  What advice would you give to women working or volunteering in the IT industry?

My advice to woman volunteering or working in IT would be to know that you are the best that you can be professionally and to give it all you got, but also realize that our personal lives need lots of our attention too! My two daughters grew up with a mother that worked all the time and now they have both become successful professional women. But, they too, even more so than I did, realize how important their children and families are and that giving them the attention, time, and love that they need is of utmost importance.

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