Tara Hughes


Tara Hughes is the Deputy Chief Information Officer at California State University Maritime Academy. In this role, she oversees the day-to-day operations of Cal Maritime Information Technology (IT) services including campus-wide user and facility support, service delivery, application management and development, compliance and reporting, and voice services.

Tara previously served as the Interim Assistant Director of Student Success Communication and Chatbot where she supported student retention efforts at California State University Channel Islands in Camarillo, CA. In this role, she led the work on establishing procedures for the campus chatbot, building the bot knowledge base and creating effective campaigns, as well as collaborating with various groups across campus to discuss communication strategies and how the bot could enhance current practices.

Tara first joined the CSUCI staff in 2014, where she developed and implemented a shared services center that acts as the campus’ first tier of support for a growing list of services including IT, HR, Student Business Services and campus main line calls. She led a large mixed team of staff and student employees where she was afforded unique opportunities to impact students through coaching and mentoring, with the goal of developing the work ethic and traits necessary to succeed in a professional environment.

Tara holds a Bachelor's degree in Counseling and a Master’s Degree in Public Administration with a concentration in Leadership from California State University San Bernardino. She is an EDUCAUSE Leading Change Institute Fellow (2019), and a graduate of EDUCAUSE Management Institute (2018) and the Disney Institute (2015).

Tara is a customer service evangelist whose goal is to infuse the area of technology with a broader set of skills related to emotional intelligence and interpersonal communication. She shares her love of helping people develop the ability to interact more harmoniously and effectively as a guest lecturer within California State University Channel Islands and abroad with public speaking engagements at conferences such as LOCKDOWN 2019 (keynote), EDUCAUSE Security Professionals Conference, Security Camp 2019, Women Advance IT Conference, CSU Tech Conference and ResNet Student Technology Conference.

EDUCAUSE Presentations