- Tech Insights
Troy Hahn, CIO at Queens College, is the design and creative force behind the college’s technology strategy and services. His penchant for tech innovation, efficiency, and transformational leadership has propelled the college toward modernization and distinguished Queens College as a pioneer within the City University of New York. Troy’s joie de vivre technology approach has led to the development of an integrative unified communications strategy that leverages the use of single sign-on (SSO) with cloud technology, simplifying modern business communications. This project includes the replacement of on-premise infrastructure with an enhanced cloud-based email system. This also includes upgrading the current telephone system to a cloud-based VoIP.
Troy doesn't look to build a department; he builds a team. He is driven to invest in the people who work around him and help them grow to their full potential. This inspires loyalty and drive, as well as the desire to excel in tasks for the college. Troy provides his staff with opportunities to excel while expecting results and is quick to direct the acclaim to the team. He is fiercely defensive of his people and stands up for them at every level.
Troy is the first person to jump into a project, regardless of the direction, and refuses to ask his people to do anything that he wouldn't do. Often, he will do something first if it means that his people don't have to. Troy is curious about new ideas and new technologies. "Because it's always been done that way" is anathema to his thinking. He's willing to try new things and see if they can do better than what's done before. Being in technology one must understand you are in a constant state of change.
One of the defining aspects of Troy is his love of Star Wars and his ability to use this love to demonstrate “be yourself.” It is extremely common to find Troy wearing a suit with his signature Star Wars Shoes. This welcome approach has helped demonstrate that you can embrace who you are regardless of where you are in the organization. Troy openly states that IT is made up of more than mere computers, cables, ones and zeroes; but ultimately, it is made up of unique individuals.
"Technology happens to be a tool. What is truly important are the diverse individuals who use that tool. One must take the time to learn and invest in the unique individuals and personalities of the team if they wish to succeed."
Technology happens to be a tool. What is truly important are the diverse individuals who use that tool. One must take the time to learn and invest in the unique individuals and personalities of the team if they wish to succeed. Having a simple discussion with everyone within IT, not for the sake of just meeting; but, to learn who the individual is and to understand if they are happy in their current role. This is critical to jump-start a vital transformation of technology at the college. In many cases, individuals who were unhappy with their roles were provided opportunities on other teams. This culminated in an organizational and cultural shift and provided the pathway for individuals to grow within the organization.
Ultimately this approach has allowed people to develop and grow within the ecosystem. “One of the most enjoyable moments is when you get to watch an individual develop to the point where they are moving into a leadership role within another organization; that is a shining moment of success.”
“I have the privilege of collaborating and providing technical services to a diverse and equity-driven student, faculty, and staff community. The faculty of Queens College are not only leaders within their fields but individual leaders on and off-campus. Over the past two years, I have had the privilege of watching the faculty go beyond that of teaching in a class,” says Troy. “They teach through their daily interactions with students and ultimately carve out time to help every student that asks for it. However, one of the most powerful moments for me, and one of the numerous reasons I love Queens College Faculty, is that I observed a faculty member buy lunch for a student and her kids; their lunch was unique, as it became a tutoring session. The faculty continually go out of their way to help in irreplaceable ways; but ways that help the individual learn, regardless of circumstances.” IE
Chief Information Officer and AVP of Queens College
Queens College graduates the most teachers, counselors, and principals in the metropolitan area. It also contributes to the city’s talent pool as a powerful economic engine and a leader in tech education, with more undergraduate computer science majors than any New York City college. Students from across the country and around the world come to the Aaron Copland School of Music. Its renowned faculty and alumni include nationally recognized composers, conductors and performers who have received nearly 40 Grammy Awards and nominations over the past 40 years.