Birsen Kaya, director of IT customer services and circulation at UC since 2005, has lived in Cincinnati and worked at the university for 38 years. A native of Turkey, Kaya worked at Syracuse University, where her husband was a master’s student, before coming to UC. She began taking classes while working as a course coordinator in the registrar’s office. While working and raising her children, Kaya received her second bachelor’s degree in Information Processing Systems and an MBA in Management and International Business. "I am very thankful for the opportunity,” she says.
Prior to her current position, Kaya held various positions in the health sciences library and has worked on many interesting projects, including providing technical support for the NetWellness Consumer Health Information Network grant project and participating in the planning and managing of the technical aspects of the UC Cancer Education Symposium. Kaya has also served on the College of Medicine CART IT Integration sub-task force, and as a member of this committee, she evaluated curriculum management software for the new curriculum.
When did you become an employee at UC?
"I started working in the Health Sciences Library, now the Donald C. Harrison Health Sciences Library, on December 4, 1974. The new library facility in the Medical Sciences Building had just opened. When I passed the library to get to the human resources satellite office, located on the R level at the time, to look for a job at the university, I thought the library would be a nice place to work. Interestingly, I was invited to interview for a position in the Interlibrary Loan Department of the library. You can imagine how happy I was to have the opportunity to work in this wonderful place and organization.”
What are your duties?
"My current responsibilities include directing the activities of IT customer services and circulation to ensure customer satisfaction; formulating direction and strategy for the department and developing policies in line with UC Libraries, UCIT and UC policies; managing circulation services, computer labs, electronic classrooms, presentation services, video conferencing and video production; preparing and managing IT Customer Services and Circulation budget; supervising IT customer services and circulation team, providing work direction and performance feedback; planning College of Medicine lecture hall IT needs; and liaising with customers, vendors and other UC departments necessary to perform duties and support organizational development.”
What is your favorite part of your job?
"The favorite part of my job is customer service. My job offers me the opportunity to work with and provide services to many bright, innovative and dedicated professionals. It is also lots of fun to experiment with cutting edge technologies.”
What do you like to do when you aren’t at work?
"When I am not at work, I like spending time with my family, gourmet cooking, exercising, traveling and watching "Masterpiece Theatre” and mystery movies.”
What is a fun fact about you—something that others may not know?
"I was a teacher before I moved to the States in 1973. I taught English as a foreign language to Turkish students in a high school and at a teacher’s college.”