Emerson College’s only independent, student-run newspaper since 1947

The Berkeley Beacon

Emerson College’s only independent, student-run newspaper since 1947

The Berkeley Beacon

Emerson College’s only independent, student-run newspaper since 1947

The Berkeley Beacon

‘He was an incredible person’: Colleagues remember Faizan Siddiqui

Photo courtesy of Brian Basgen

Emerson colleagues mourn the loss of Faizan Siddiqui of the Information Technology (IT) team, who they remember as a truly friendly character and bright data analyst. 

“Faizan devoted a lot of time and energy beyond the task and did a great job,” said Mia He, the assistant vice president of enterprise data and solution management, in an interview with the Beacon. “He was an incredible person.”

Siddiqui, who has been working at the college since the beginning of the year, passed away on Oct. 12, according to college officials

“We suffered a great loss to lose a very fine person, a great teammate, and worker [at Emerson],” He said. 

Siddiqui was initially hired in January as a consultant to help aid the IT department in creating a summary dashboard for the college’s data visualization assessment on enrollment, admissions, student demographics, and other related information. Siddiqui’s work and determination formed a key piece of the project’s presentation, according to He.

“[IT] worked together as a team … and Faizan was the primary resource on that project,” she said. “He designed and did all the data visualization pieces of the dashboard.”

In June, Siddiqui made the leap into working full-time as a data visualization specialist, largely with the college’s relatively new Business Intelligence team in the IT department. Within this role, Siddiqui was tasked with building visualizations on top of the college’s data to make the information more accessible to understand, said Andrew Greene, the director of business intelligence. 

Greene, who regarded Siddiqui as a friend, said he worked very closely with Siddiqui on different internal projects that dealt with metrics in the IT department. Siddiqui’s job was crucial and “really difficult” in the value it brings to the college, Greene said, but he was dedicated to accomplishing it. 

“Emerson has a lot of data, and it can be difficult for some people to gain an understanding out of that,” Greene said. “It was a pretty crucial function, and he was very thoughtful about making things easier for folks that needed the information to understand.” 

Greene and He both echoed the sentiment that Siddiqui was caring, approachable, and a meaningful contributor both within the IT department’s work and outside the academic setting.

“I miss him personally because he was a very good person,” Greene said. “But I also miss him professionally because his work was really, really helping the staff in our organization.”

He described Siddiqui as an engaged and committed employee who went above and beyond to accomplish any task he was assigned.

“He was very resourceful,” she said. “If the IT department did not know what to do, Faizan would research and poke around to say he put together some ideas.”

Recently, outside of Emerson, He said Siddiqui started to teach a nighttime data analytics course at Clark University. She recalled a moment when Siddiqui approached her and asked for advice on this educational involvement beyond the workplace. 

“Faizan asked [me], and I said it was a great opportunity to enrich your skills and learn something from the experience that is all tied up with his career at Emerson,” she remembered, adding that this moment was proof of his career appetite. “He felt like he needed to grow … he was ambitious and wanted to grow more into his career, as a person, and as a contributor.”

Greene remembered Siddiqui’s desire to grow and further involve himself in the area of data at the college. 

“‘I was just marveling a little bit about the growth that Faizan had in the short time he’s been here,” Greene said. “I said something to my wife [about how] I can’t wait to work with Faizan and see how he continues to grow.”

The IT department is planning on holding a service for Siddiqui to honor his memory, but the particulars have not been fully planned out yet, He said. 

As a team and organization coping with the recent loss, Greene and He said the IT department has poured their strength and support for one another during this difficult time.  

“He is really going to be missed … we’re going to carry this for a while. This is not something that you can just get over,” Greene said. “He was a really remarkable person.”

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About the Contributor
Olivia LeDuc
Olivia LeDuc, News Editor
Olivia LeDuc (she/her) is a journalism student and assistant editor for the campus coverage of The Beacon’s news section. When she’s not reporting, you can find her crocheting or going on yet another long walk in the city.

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