Inside DELTA: 5 Questions with Stacy Gant

Image of Stacy with her son Oliver

Stacy Gant has been a DELToid since DELToids became a thing. 

Gant began her career with DELTA in April 2001, less than a year after DELTA was formally organized under the direction of Dr. Tom Miller. Since then, she has tackled various roles and projects, leading her to her current position as director. Not only does she lead the Instructional Support Services team, Gant also serves as a role model to her friends, family and colleagues through her dedication to raising awareness about childhood cancer.

Here is what she said in a recent online interview.

How would you describe your job to someone outside of DELTA?

When filling out the “occupation” line on a generic form, I often pause because it’s hard to encapsulate my job in a succinct phrase. I could write director, but that conjures up visions of megaphones and movie cameras. Rather than knowing the day-to-day details of my job at DELTA, I hope people see me as a helper. I work with faculty to help them use instructional technology creatively in their courses to benefit their students and themselves. I help people on my team when they need resources, direction or a morale boost. Regarding my NC State colleagues more broadly, I help by being positive, productive and accountable when collaborating on projects. The motto of my department, Instructional Support Services, is “we are here to help” and I try to model that each day through my professional conduct. 

DELTA has grown immensely since you started working here. Tell us about the vision you had when you first began and how you have seen it develop over the years. 

I joined the Wolfpack in April 2001 soon after DELTA was formed. I vividly remember being overwhelmed (in a good way) by the challenges before me. These challenges included getting to know a new city, a new job, new colleagues and a new set of academic technologies. When I started, DELTA was comprised of several distinct teams consolidated under one banner. It was like the beginning of a relationship, exciting but a bit awkward since many of us were unfamiliar with one another. Fast forward 16 years and DELTA has matured so much, and together we have created an organization that is cohesive, high-functioning and staffed with very talented and creative people. It has been great to observe this evolution over the years and to see innovation blossom throughout DELTA, whether that be in the ways we produce courses and content, the ways we teach our workshops or in the ways we manage and maintain our systems

What do you like most about your job?

My colleagues, hands-down, are job perk number one. And to be more specific, I am impressed daily by the growth mindset held by so many of them. My colleagues are continuously looking for ways to grow personally and professionally. We have people taking workshops, earning leadership certifications and going back to school for graduate degrees. We have DELToids actively involved in philanthropic work and artists who pursue their passions through painting, photography, dance and acting in local theater. And you thought we were are all just a bunch of nerds! In part because of the great examples all around me, I am committed to begin my doctoral studies, which I put on the backburner for a few (or more) years.

What has been your favorite project at DELTA?

I enjoy any project that is challenging and interdisciplinary, requiring people with diverse skill-sets and perspectives to work together. One project that comes to mind is the work required to create a new front-end for our synchronous learning management system, Collaborate. This particular project had an aggressive timeline and we had to deploy a lean project management approach to get it done. The work required the team communicate well, make quick decisions and tackle problems head-on, leaving ego and self-interest at the door. To accomplish this work, a diverse team came together representing nearly every specialization in our division: designers, developers, project coordinators, trainers and support technicians. The development pace was fast and furious but we hit all goals and ended up with an effective solution for campus by the deadline. It was really fun, and when you get to say that about work, you know you’re in the right place!

You recently shared some exciting news about participating in a  St. Baldrick’s childhood cancer fundraiser event on March 18. What led you to do this?

A very personal reason! My son was diagnosed with cancer just a few months shy of his 2nd birthday. And while he was going through treatment at UNC, we learned about St. Baldrick’s through one of the oncologists, Dr. Stuart Gold. He showed up on the floor one day totally bald where he had a full head of hair the day prior. Of course, this peaked our curiosity! That’s how we learned about St. Baldrick’s, a volunteer-powered charity that funds the most promising research on childhood cancers. They organize shaving events all over the country where people who raise money for St. Baldrick’s get on stage and “brave the shave,” going bald in solidarity with children in treatment. To date, my husband has shaved three times and has raised thousands of dollars for research. I felt it was my turn to go under the clippers, so that’s why I’m rocking the bald look in the photo below! I hope that through our participation all these years, we are making an impact and helping rid the world of childhood cancer.

Photo of Stacy's St. Baldrick
Stacy receives big smiles after her new haircut. Stacy is pictured with Donna Petherbridge, husband Jed and daughter Nora. Photo credit: Emanuel Brunson