Kiem Sie, Instructional Technology Administrator

Kiem joined the university back when the Oakland Campus was filled with candy-colored iMac G3s and Pixar iMac G4s. Since then, she’s had the privilege of working on initiatives that have significantly impacted Northeastern’s educational framework. Outside of work, Kiem enjoys spending time with her rescued pups and helps run the Shelter Playgroup Alliance, a non-profit focused on providing education, guidelines, and support materials for animal welfare organizations. Take a moment to learn more about her career over the last 25 years.

What was your first role at the university? 
I was part of the computer training team as a graduate student at Mills College, now part of the Oakland campus. My job was to assist faculty and staff with their computer and application needs. 

What did you do before you joined the university? 
I worked for the Mathematical Sciences Research Institute (MSRI) now called the Simons Laufer Mathematical Sciences Institute (SLMath) as part of the staff that managed billing, payroll, benefits administration, and a myriad of administrative and operational duties. 

What was the first project you worked on? 
In my role as the Instructional Technology Administrator on the Oakland campus, I led the planning and implementation of our first use of a learning management system. We selected Blackboard and I was the sole person managing and training faculty and staff on its use until the merger in 2022. 

What was technology like back then? 
25 years ago, I was finishing up my MA coursework in the Interdisciplinary Computer Science program. We were an Apple campus and filled with candy-colored iMac G3s and Pixar iMac G4s. Instructors would visit our offices in Sage Hall for in-person training workshops or for individual assistance. Prior to using Blackboard, I was managing course website sites by editing HTML pages via the command line editor.  

What’s your current role?  
Instructional Technology Administrator aka Academic Instructional Technologist based out of the Oakland campus. I am a part of the Academic Technologies department. 
What accomplishment or contribution in your current role at Northeastern are you most proud of?  
In my current role at Northeastern, I’ve had the privilege of working on initiatives that have significantly impacted our institution’s educational framework. Among these, two accomplishments stand out: assisting with the migration and merging Oakland’s Canvas and all other historical LMS data to Northeastern and my work fostering accessibility and inclusive language in our training offerings, materials, and resources.  

What’s the best piece of career advice you’ve ever received? 
Every new challenge is an opportunity to learn and grow; don’t let fear hold you back. 

Do you have any pets? 
I currently share my home with three former shelter pups, Bimo, Winston, and Chuck Norris aka Nori. All three pups are found on the streets of Berkeley and Richmond. 

What’s your preferred way to unplug? 
Hiking, training, and competing with my dogs in canine scent detection trials through the National Association of Canine Scent Work. 
I also help run a small nonprofit called Shelter Playgroup Alliance that offers shelter professionals and volunteers educational programs through online and in-person workshops focused on animal behavior and enrichment using humane, science-based practices. Our programs have reached shelters across the United States, Canada, and beyond. 

Kiem Sie with her rescue pup, Bimo.
Kiem Sie with her rescue pup, Bimo.