Laurie Burns McRobbie

Technology for Social Good: Celebrating Five Years of ServeIT

Opening Remarks

Good afternoon. I’m Laurie Burns McRobbie, and it’s my great pleasure to welcome you all here today to help us celebrate five years of ServeIT.

We’re really celebrating a great partnership—between Indiana University and the Bloomington community, united around the shared goal of expanding the use of technology in Bloomington-area nonprofits so that they can fulfill and extend their critical missions.

To say that ServeIT is a collaborative effort is almost an understatement. From the beginning, ServeIT has been the work of many hands, on and off the IU Bloomington campus, and it is constantly enriched by the clients and the students who form lasting relationships as they engage in building technology for social good.

ServeIT is the bridge that connects IU students who have in-demand technology skills with the non-profits who need them—you’ll discover what all this means as you interact with others today, when you watch a special video we’ve produced to mark this moment in ServeIT’s history, and when you listen to the panelists who will be up here shortly.

Before we get to the video, I want to extend my thanks to a number of people:

  • to ServeIT’s current interns and our growing group of alumni who bring their brilliance, passion and enthusiasm to their work every day;
  • to our growing group of clients who have dedicated themselves to working with our student teams and helping them grow as professionals;
  • to the wonderful ServeIT Advisory Council, which I have the privilege of chairing and which is made up of our partners across campus and across the community;
  • to Matt Hottell and Una Winterman, who along with our SPEA graduate assistants provide exemplary leadership for the clinic; and
  • to ServeIT’s co-founder, Maureen Biggers, for sharing the ServeIT vision with me from the very beginning.

I want to give a special shout-out to the nonprofit representatives who have joined us tonight, and also to our new Mayor, John Hamilton and his wife, Dawn Johnson for all you both do for the Bloomington community.

We have a wonderful panel of students and clients lined up to talk about the impact of the clinic, that Maureen will moderate, and to kick off the program I now invite you to enjoy a short video on ServeIT.

Closing Remarks

Thank you, Maureen [Biggers], and many thanks to our panelists: Jack [Young], Shawna, Liz, and Steven [Chen]—it was great to hear firsthand, both student and client perspectives, and witness the impact ServeIT has on the non-profit community in Monroe County. 

As you can see, ServeIT interns really reap the benefits of this program as well—putting their education to work, gaining real-world experience, and as we heard, discovering new passions and relationships along the way.

It’s also worth noting, and Matt [Hottell] alluded to this in his remarks, that it’s been the nonprofits’ projects that have helped expand the clinic as much as it’s been the energy and knowledge of the students; the clinic learns from its clients as we hope the clients learn from the clinic. And we look forward to many more years of helping Bloomington-area nonprofits grown in their effectiveness and ability to fulfill their missions, and our students to expand their horizons and grow in their professionalism.

To the non-profit leaders who are with us tonight, I encourage you to apply to become a ServeIT client, even if you’ve been one before. You can catch Matt or Una tonight to discuss the application process, or go online. The link is in your program.

Please explore the posters set up around Henke Hall and take the opportunity to network with this great group of attendees, and enjoy some refreshments.

Thank you all for coming.