This spring, Fordham’s Office of Human Resources and Information Technology (IT) department were awarded a $25,000 grant from Ellucian, a global software company, as a reward for their work in modernizing the University’s hiring system.

“Historically, we had hundreds of new hires every year, and all of those were handled manually,” said Damarie Cardona-Reilly, senior director of human resources information systems. “This new system takes away all of the tedious manual effort involved in both the front and back ends. Now applicants have a much more streamlined way of getting access to open positions and being able to apply for them.” 

The move to modernize the University’s hiring system began in 2019, said Cardona-Reilly.

“IT has always been in the forefront of finding new technology and better ways of integrating different systems. A few years ago, their strategy for system integrations transitioned from flat file to Ethos, and the Office of Human Resources decided to leverage the Ethos integration for our applicant tracking system implementation,” she said.

Throughout the pandemic, IT and the Office of Human Resources worked together to integrate data from two platforms, Ellucian Ethos and PeopleAdmin, in order to create an online platform where prospective talent could easily apply to jobs and new hires could “seamlessly” enter the University system, said Cardona-Reilly. 

“In the past, applicants used to apply for positions by completing a paper application. When hired, they would complete paper onboarding forms that included personal information. We also had a team that manually input information for personal, employee, and job records. Now all of that is seamless. Instead of filling out paperwork and applying for a position manually, it’s all automated. This increases transparency, streamlines the process, and helps us to better secure personal and confidential information,” said Cardona-Reilly.

Thanks to the new online system, Fordham has been able to expand its reach to prospective hires, said Cardona-Reilly. From 2020 to 2021, nearly 1,000 applications were received for 60 open positions. In addition, 50% of recent hires are coming through this new award-winning system, while the other half are still coming through the older system, which is transitioning to the updated version.

The $25,000 grant was awarded to Fordham in April, in recognition of the University’s ability to use technology to operate more efficiently and to offer a better employee experience. The grant will be used to further enhance technology and streamlining processes at Fordham, said Cardona-Reilly.

“This integration was a huge effort by many members within HR and IT, and this could not have been achieved without the support of Fordham’s leadership. This is also the first time that HR has received an award in technology,” Cardona-Reilly said. “To see that our colleagues at Ellucian and other schools understand and appreciate the effort that was involved in that—that’s important to us.”


Taylor is a visual storytelling strategist in Fordham University's marketing and communications department, where she documents University life through photography and video. Since joining Fordham in 2018, she has served as a writer, photographer, videographer, and social media manager, dividing her time between University Marketing and Communications and the Office of the President. She earned her bachelor's degree in journalism from Stony Brook University's School of Communication and Journalism and her master's degree in public media from Fordham University's Graduate School of Arts and Sciences. Her work has appeared on NPR, NBC New York, and amNewYork METRO.