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IT Fist Bump: Marra Austin

Part of W&M Information Technology’s mission is to develop and nurture meaningful relationships and collaborations on campus and beyond. Our work would not be possible without the partnerships we have across campus, and so many of our colleagues deserve a thank you and a (virtual) fist bump!  Marra Austin

The inaugural recipient of an IT Fist Bump is none other than Marra Austin, the university's chief supply chain officer.  

Marra is an extraordinary partner to IT in so many ways. Her knowledge of statewide procurement activities, contractual requirements, policy and regulation has been extremely important to our operation. She makes herself available to meet with our business office on a weekly basis to help us with specific IT issues and other non-IT technology procurements on campus. Through this process, she has ensured that all technology procurements and payments on campus receive our review and approval.  

Marra serves on the Internet2 Business, Procurement and Legal Advisory Committee (BPLAC) along with Deputy CIO Berni Kenney, who says that “Marra makes herself available for consultation for data governance, enterprise system selections and other relevant topics that IT oversees. We look out for one another and identify concerns relevant to each unit’s work. We can always count on her for open and honest communications. We love working with Marra!” 

Marra was a terrific partner to IT in the implementation of buyW&M. Despite her many other responsibilities, she was fully engaged in the tasks necessary to keep the project on target. She was not only open to but championed new business processes to ensure the resulting solution would streamline the Procure-to-Pay process. Marra’s understanding of the need for rules that could be programmed was key in IT's development of numerous integrations between buyW&M and Banner. Throughout the project, Marra regularly sought user input and worked toward solutions to meet the needs of campus partners. Even though the system has been live for almost a year, Marra continues to look for ways to leverage the system to get the most benefit for the university. 

For the last two years, Marra has been a critical partner in managing COVID-19 at the university. She has made herself available after hours and weekends to support health logistics and the wellbeing of our students, faculty and staff. She's overseen procurement of PPE, tests, off-campus accommodations for students, contract workers and much more. “Knowing that she'll do whatever it takes to achieve our goals has been a source of reassurance to me,” said Chief Technology Officer Corinne Picataggi. “I'm grateful for her partnership.” 

Thank you for all you do, Marra!