Community News

#GEANTwomeninSTEM: Maja Wolniewicz

In honour of Women & Girls in Science Day and International Women’s Day, we are celebrating the women in our community. As our wonder women are involved in many fields, we decided to focus on specific fields and this year we are highlighting the women in Trust & Identity! Like everything in the world of GÉANT, our trust and identity team is a strong collaboration between women (and men!) all over the globe.

There is no one-size-fits-all when it comes to our colleagues working for T&I, which shows perfectly in this series.

Let us introduce you to Maja Górecka-WolniewiczTrust and Identity hero of the Polish academic community.

 

Who are you and what do you do?

My name is Maja Górecka-Wolniewicz and I am the Head of the Network Services Group at the Communication & Information Services Centre at the Nicolaus Copernicus University in Torún. I have been cooperating with PSNC in the field of middleware services (AAI infrastructure and eduroam).

What is your study and professional background?

I studied computer science at Technical University in Gdansk and then returned to my home town to start work at the University Computer Center. My main interests these days were operating systems. Since 1990s, besides network and services administration, I focused my interests on middleware services.

What made you pursue a career in STEM?

In high school I definitely preferred mathematics and computer science. Initially I planned to study mathematics, because these days opportunities to study computer science in Poland were limited.  Finally, I chose computer science studies in Gdańsk and never regreted it.

Are there any challenge(s) you face as a woman in STEM (personal, in the sector, in T&I)?

I never felt that being a woman had any influence on my professional career so I can’t specify any women-specific challenges. It happened of course that I stumbled on some difficulties during my work but definitely these issues weren’t related to my gender.

What is it you do in the field of T&I?

I deployed LDAP based services at NCU and also participated in the SCHAC and TF-EMC2 working groups. I also initiated the implementation of university services around the CAS system. This deployment made a widespread adoption of CAS in the Polish academic community. Since 2004, I have been managing the Polish national eduroam service. And as of 2014, I have been involved in PIONIER.Id federation tasks. Since 2009 until today I’m working within the GEANT projects in the area of eduGAIN and eduroam services.

Name your greatest experience or achievement in T&I work

Receiving the GEANT Community Award in 2017 was probably one of my most satisfying moments, but there were many others over the years, mainly pioneering in the Polish academic community like: setting up the first X.500 directory service, the first LDAP directory, the first university SSO service (based on CAS), setting up the Polish eduroam and identity federation infrastructures, connecting the first Polish institution to eduroam and then to eduGAIN.

Feeling that one is considered to be an expert if some field and helping fellow admins from other universities (almost always men) is very gratifying.

Any inspiring words for our readers?

Love your job and be curious for new challenges.

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From all the men and women at GÉANT, we would like to show our gratitude to the female career tigers, young professionals, researchers, students, mothers, experts, in short all the hard working women contributing to not only trust and identity, but all the work we are doing in R&E networking.

Make sure to keep an eye on the GÉANT blog and social media channels and follow the campaign under #GEANTwomeninSTEM.

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