Sustainable Technology Repair Initiative Manager position now open

by Shawn Warner, Director of Professional Development
Wednesday, September 11, 2019 9:19 AM

The Sustainable Technology Repair Initiative is a University-supported pilot program (July 2019-June 2020) primarily designed to 1) gather data associated with student technology repair needs, 2) organize two, separate, day-long, technology repair pop-up events on campus, and 3) create the network and infrastructure necessary to help make technology repair a permanent, subsidized service on campus. They are looking to hire a graduate student assistant to help launch this initiative on campus. Join their team to raise awareness about the social and environmental dimensions of technology, provide a service to students to reduce social inequalities and e-waste, and help seed a culture change on campus towards repair.

This initiative is designed to meet both equity and environmental goals. First, providing students with on-campus technology repair services helps to ensure that technology is an enabler for student success, rather than a means through which existing inequalities are reinforced. Second, by extending the lifespan of students’ devices through the proposed repair service, as well as do-it-yourself repair education and tools, this project will reduce the level of e-waste in landfills and the energy used to recycle e-waste. The Sustainable Technology Repair Initiative is co-managed by the Center for Information Technology & Society and the Blum Center for Global Poverty Alleviation and Sustainable Development on campus. 

Sustainable Technology Repair Initiative Manager Job Description (Graduate Student Assistant)

Are you interested in helping deliver a digital device repair training program? Would you like to manage a team of undergraduate student technology repair specialists? Do you want to be part of a solution that addresses both social and environmental justice aspects of technology repair? 

Dates of Employment: October 1, 2019 - May 30, 2020

Time Commitment: 10 hrs/wk for approximately 10 wks/quarter

Salary: $25.00/hour *This position does not provide tuition or fee remission.

The Blum Center for Global Poverty Alleviation and Sustainable Development (Blum Center) and the Center for Information Technology and Society (CITS) are spearheading a Sustainable Technology Repair Initiative on campus. While there are multiple goals attached to this initiative, the most visible output will be the provision of free minor software and hardware repairs of smartphones, tablets and computers to UCSB students during two Pop-Up repair events in Winter and Spring 2020. The Sustainable Technology Repair Initiative Manager will work closely with the Academic Coordinators of the Blum Center and CITS to implement this initiative. The main duties and preferred skills associated with this position include:


  • Refine and implement a training program for undergraduate technology repair specialists
  • Help manage a team of undergraduate students working on repair and related activities
  • Assist with the planning, purchasing, and overseeing of the technology repair parts inventory
  • Manage two, day-long, technology repair pop-up events (tentatively scheduled during the 3rd weeks of January and April 2020), including troubleshooting, resolving and appropriate triage of minor hardware and software issues in cooperation with undergraduate team.
  • Manage the e-waste recycling associated with the pop-up repair events, in collaboration with campus (and other relevant) partners
  • Assist in the planning and implementation of a learning series associated with the digital divide, the right to repair, and related environmental/social justice issues
  • Acts as a leader while exercising own judgment within defined IT guidelines and best practice.

Preferred Experience

  • Experience repairing digital devices, specifically laptops, mobile phones, and/or tablets. Both hardware and software knowledge is helpful, as is previous experience working at a retail electronics store and/or certified repair shop (e.g., Apple/Apple Genius Bar, Best Buy, Samsung)
  • Experience training others on repair

Preferred Skills

  • Experience performing software and/or hardware repairs on electronics
  • Familiarity with more than two Operating Systems
  • Exposure to advanced computer configuration & command-line tools
  • Above-average mechanical and/or electrical aptitude; Broad knowledge of IT-related products and services.
  • Keep up with news about new consumer electronics devices and manufacturers.
  • Enjoy working in a team and interacting with others
  • Detail oriented with serial numbers and model numbers, etc.
  • Ability to elicit and communicate technical and non-technical information in a clear and concise manner.

Graduate students from any UCSB department who are in good standing are welcome to apply for this position. Please include the following in your application package:

1)  A cover letter (no more than 1 page) explaining:

  • Your interest in the position
  • Relevant experience (paid, volunteer, hobby) in tech repair activities – repair experience in general is also worth noting; and
  • Your strategies for training a group of undergraduates with varying levels of technology repair skills and familiarity with digital devices.

 2)  A CV (no more than 3 pages).

Apply via Handshake by Sunday, September 15th, 2019 at 12PM PST. Search for the job by job number (#3084620) or title. Interviews will take place the week of September 23rd, 2019.

To learn more about this initiative or if you have any questions, please email Joanne Nowak (Blum Center for Global Poverty Alleviation and Sustainable Development)  or Melissa Bator (Center for Information Technology & Development).