Student Cindy Sumida-Scott Blends IT with Information Science

Community Profile

San José State University School of Information student Cindy Sumida-Scott blends her information technology savvy with her MLIS studies to gain new insights into her job as a manager at a corporate research center.

Sumida-Scott decided to earn her MLIS more than four years ago because she wanted to understand how to organize information. At the time, Sumida-Scott was in a more hands-on IT job that involved implementing software, such as Lotus Notes and Microsoft Windows SharePoint Services. Eventually she headed up a knowledge management group. Along the way, Sumida-Scott found that her MLIS classes helped her broaden her perspective at work.

Her courses provided her with “the conceptual and practical framework for managing information,” she said. Her studies also gave her the knowledge to take on new roles at work that she feels she “might not have been able to take on otherwise.”

Sumida-Scott earned her undergraduate degree in art history from Wellesley College and has worked for the same corporate research center for 30 years. She started out as a typist, “using actual typewriters!” She moved on to work in roles such as computer programming, desktop publishing, Web development, and testing and implementing software systems.

“From the time I was a child, I’ve always liked creating things and learning new things,” she said. “My involvement with technology evolved as technology evolved, and I was very fortunate to work for an organization that provided me with opportunities to keep trying new things. With technology changing so quickly, the learning never stops, and I love seeing what new things can be done.”

Sumida-Scott takes classes while working full-time, and she expects to graduate in spring 2012. In addition, she’s been working for several years with her father, who is 93, on his biography. She just edited a portion of it, describing his years as a student at Lahainaluna Technical High School on Maui, and she hopes to publish his full bio on a self-publishing site.

Sumida-Scott at times was in school at the same time as her sons, now ages 23 and 27. “I have an incredibly supportive husband and family,” she said. “They are my inspiration. They are as excited about my being in the MLIS program as I am, and I like to think that my experience will encourage my sons to be lifelong learners.”