IT Director Honored as Trailblazer

CT State Middlesex Staff Profile: Annie M. Scott

Annie ScottAnnie M. Scott grew up in a large family environment where advocating for the underprivileged or under represented, combined with a strong moral philosophy, profoundly shaped her life.

In February 2024, state leaders took notice when Annie was honored as a Woman Trailblazer by Black Women United of Waterbury, whose mission is to unite, empower and educate women. During the luncheon ceremony, she received citations from Connecticut Governor Ned Lamont, the Connecticut General Assembly and a U.S. Senator.

“Your trailblazing efforts and commitment to advocacy has had an immeasurable impact on women and girls in the Waterbury community and brings tremendous pride to the state of Connecticut,” noted Senator Chris Murphy in his citation.

Asked what this means to her, she said, “I am at the head of the line now. There were people who I followed in many areas of my life. They have passed on. I am now seen as one of the leaders, guides, pathfinders—it’s daunting and fulfilling.”

Annie’s mother inspired her to participate in community service. She said her mother has always been very active in their church and served as president of the William Wilson American Legion Post 135, Women’s Auxiliary, for more than 50 years.

“She took us children everywhere with her when she was hosting meetings or speaking. At a young age, I learned to stand and advocate for those less fortunate (in whatever area they were lacking) by watching her preside,” said Annie.

Neither of her parents had completed high school, but they possessed dreams and issued aphorisms the siblings repeat, she added.

“Mom said, ‘Be a good listener.’ My father often recited, ‘If a task is once begun, never leave it ’til it’s done.’ ‘Be the labor great or small, do it well or not at all,’ and ‘Good, Better, Best. Never let it rest. Until your good is better, and your better is best,’” Annie remembers.

Her father was one of her educational and career mentors. As a staunch reader, she said he read newspapers, biographies, and even instruction manuals—though not much fiction.

“It was all about real life and how to succeed in respecting yourself and others, and most of all, your education and work,” said Annie.

Born in Waterbury, Annie attended Wolcott public schools. In 1984, she earned a BA in English with minor concentrations in French and economics from Connecticut College, where she received the Anna Lord Strauss Medal for community service. Later, she served as a Connecticut college trustee for two terms and earned trustee emeritus status.

Gov. Lamont’s citation highlighted many of Annie’s accomplishments, stemming from her work in public service and advocacy: “Working at Post University in 1989; YWCA, and on the grants committee; YouthNet committee, and Women’s Initiative of Waterbury Foundation boards; Mt. Olive AME Zion church; Children’s Community School, 15 years on board, 7 as president; and the Info Tech Management Group for CT State.”

Although her parents served as sources of inspiration and mentorship, other women impressed her as well.

“I read biographies of past women pioneers—Jane Addams, Marie Curie, Mary McLeod Bethune, Eleanor Roosevelt, Shirley Chisholm. I wanted to be like them!” Annie said. “My English teacher in high school, Geraldine Pelegano, told me, ‘Then go be like them.’”

Annie’s early career began primarily in higher education and has transitioned in that field ever since. She worked in admissions, counseling and alumni affairs, fundraising and development, and as an English teacher and ADL (Anti-Defamation League) trainer.

“As a hobby, I loved my Apple lle computer and coding it to play hymns my mother liked. I had a gift for picking up technology and running with it,” she recalled. “I was the director of advancement for a university and I realized, after several lunch hours spent training others in the systems they used, that I could help my university MORE by showing and teaching all of the departments how to get better or best use from the new computer system we were all forced to adopt. A few certifications later, information technology was my career move.”

From 1996 to 2006, Annie was the director of information and communication technologies at Post University in Waterbury. She joined Middlesex Community College, now CT State Middlesex, as the director of information technology in 2006.

“The success of our campus is not just built from bricks and mortar, but with the dedication and innovation of our employees. Annie is a trusted cornerstone—contributing to the building of an inclusive, collaborative and thriving culture in her own unique way,” said Kim Hogan, CEO of CT State Middlesex. “She is an inspiration for many, including me.”

In addition to Annie’s extensive duties as the IT director at Middlesex, she has coordinated events or participated in initiatives such as the MxCC Tech Trail, Black Lives Matter Forum, Council on Diversity, Equity and Inclusion, Middlesex Moments and the Courageous Conversations series.

Annie recently co-facilitated one of those conversations with a former student and author who spoke about aspects of her personal journey, from surviving addiction and other challenges, to inspiring others to find the joy and hope in life.

“After that dialogue, I’m extra happy to have been co-leading this Courageous Conversation series for the last nine years,” Annie said.

What is advice does Annie offer to potential future trailblazers like her?

“Be respectful of those who were indeed YOUR trailblazers. Remember their names. Speak their names. Be respectful of your fellow trailblazers—there are many—remember their names and speak their names. Be memory keepers, but leave a legacy.” Annie said.

“It’s not all and/or only about you.”

April 2024
Written by Thea Moritz