NC State Poole College of Management has announced Sasha Challgren as the newest director of information technology (IT) effective Jan. 3. Challgren will be replacing Franklin Finch who previously served in this role since 2015.
Challgren brings 23 years of IT experience to Poole College with her first role from 1998 to 2008 Middlebury College in Middlebury, Vermont, as a technical support specialist where she managed the computing HelpDesk. She and her family moved to North Carolina in 2008 to join Duke University beginning as an IT analyst for the Biology and Evolutionary Anthropology Departments. Challgren’s most recent role as the senior IT manager and system administrator made her responsible for end-to-end technical operations, budgeting, IT policy formation, vendor management and research computing support.
“We are so excited to have Sasha joining our team,” said Maggie Merry, assistant dean of finance and administration. “She brings us many years of higher education IT experience and has a passion for having an exceptional service team that supports the academic and research missions of the university. I’m very excited to see the transformational changes she is able to make and how it helps our faculty, staff and students.”
She brings us many years of higher education IT experience and has a passion for having an exceptional service team that supports the academic and research missions of the university.
As the director of IT, Challgren is responsible for all aspects related to management and oversight of technology needs in the college and to ensure IT support of the college is consistent with the mission, vision, values, strategic goals and business direction of the college. Her role also includes being proactive in determining what faculty, staff and students need and what is and isn’t working for them.
Challgren holds an associate’s degree in paralegal from Champlain College from 1996 and earned a bachelor’s degree in business management from East Carolina University in 2019.
With a family of five children and two miniature dachshunds, Challgren and her husband stay very busy spending as much time together as possible with their children, entertaining friends at their home in Raleigh or spending weekends at their house on Lake Gaston wakeboarding, wake surfing and paddle boarding. They love to travel and spend time in the outdoors hiking, biking, camping as well as exploring local wineries and breweries.
All of Challgren’s children keep her busy with their favorite activities and sports including boy scouts, travel soccer, skiing, snowboarding, fishing and hunting. Soon enough their lives will get even busier with a new grandson as their daughter is expecting her first child in May.
Q&A with Sasha Challgren
What made you choose NC State and Poole College?
My husband and brother-in-law are both alumni of NC State and we currently have a son who is a freshman in the biology program. With deep family ties, as well as a much closer commute, joining NC State’s Poole College of Management provides me with the opportunity to reach the next stage in my personal career goals. It has allowed me the opportunity to enhance, promote and build an exceptional IT department which integrates today’s hybrid computing environments needed to support the students, staff and faculty of Poole College.
What is your overall vision for IT based on the initial conversations with Poole faculty and staff?
My overall vision for the Poole College IT services is to create an IT team that enhances, supports and delivers exceptional customer service to the faculty, staff and students—expanding our current IT team to include student workers to staff a walk-in computing Helpdesk.
What do you plan to do in you first 90 days in the new job?
- Meet with everyone, faculty and staff in order to gain a better understanding of their IT needs, technical struggles and personal goals.
- Assess our vulnerabilities as an IT department.
- Create a shared vision that allows our IT team to deliver exceptional service proactively and to leverage technology in a way that enhances the educational experience for the students attending Poole.
- Establish a computing committee to promote, support and create IT departmental policies and procedures supporting teaching and learning while utilizing the university’s shared resources.