City College tech guru wins prestigious statewide award

Paul+Bishop%2C+vice+president+of+Information+Technology+at+City+College+plays+%22Friday+Blues%22+in+his+office+on+Feb.+21.+Bishop+won+the+2013+Technology+Leadership+Award.

Dani Novoa

Paul Bishop, vice president of Information Technology at City College plays "Friday Blues" in his office on Feb. 21. Bishop won the 2013 Technology Leadership Award.

GIULIA DE PAOLI, Channels Staff

From traveling the world to jamming with his tech friends in the office, Dr. Paul Bishop, vice president of the Information Technology Department, brings an original and contemporary vibe to City College.

The State of California recognized Bishop as one of its new technology leaders by giving him the 2013 Leadership in Technology Award.

“He is an innovator,” said Dan Watkins, director of IT Infrastructure and Systems. “Technology brings up the little boy in him about what is possible.”

Bishop has been working at City College since 2005, where he started revolutionizing the institution’s organization right away with his strategic vision and innovative spirit. Electronically paying for meals and opening doors is the outcome of Bishop’s ability “not to see in an ID card just an ID card,” Watkins said.

His colleagues value his capacity to paint the bigger picture and simplify it in a way that everybody can understand. His innovations tie together his natural inclination to transform and create new and efficient organizational systems.

“We are fortunate to benefit from Paul’s vision, leadership, commitment and understanding of the impact that technology can have in strengthening and supporting the teaching and learning process,” said Superintendent-President Dr. Lori Gaskin in a press release.

Throughout his life, Bishop’s talent allowed him to travel and work on implementing computer constructional sides and administrative and planning systems around the world.

Growing up in Ohio, his childhood dream of becoming an astronaut took him to places like the Virgin Islands, Greece, Turkey, Japan and Spain.

Bishop served in the Navy for three years, making him a cosmopolitan traveler, fluent in Japanese, German and Spanish.

He eventually settled on the East Coast in 1981, just blocks away from Einstein’s house, where he began teaching at Princeton.

Bishop decided to move to Santa Barbara in 2005.

“City College has been one of the most interesting schools I’ve been working with,” Bishop said, referring to the combination of high-calibrated faculty members and administrators that the location of Santa Barbara is able to attract.

Bishop deeply acknowledges the role of the people who work with him. When he received the award, he viewed it as a team effort.

Bishop is involved in several local activities, such as CIO Technology Inc., as well as some others on a statewide level. He is an active member of the Board of the Chief Information System Officers Group. He also works with a non-profit organization, which takes care of the networks service connection across the Community Colleges, the UCs and the CSUs.

Bishop said he feels lucky for the education and opportunities in his life, and needs to pay this debt back.

“I owe the system,” he said. “It gave me great education and now I’m trying to provide people with the same service.”

Bishop’s life is not all about work. He always keeps a guitar and a harmonica in his office to relax. He is always ready to jam and rock some blues with his colleagues next door. The Information Technology Program funks it up with its own band that plays at some City College shows, like the Christmas concert.

His irresistible passion for music (he played the clarinet and the baritone when he was younger) goes along with his approachable nature and readiness to interact with people. That is why the door of his office is always open.

“He seems to enjoy everybody,” Watkins said.

Bishop loves golf and used to play some tennis. He was also in charge of the City College badminton club in the past. He often goes down to the gym to play with the students, his colleagues said.

For spring break, he is ready to set sail with some friends and play his harmonica in Playa Del Carmen, Mexico.