Most of the work performed by uTech Employees is done "behind the scenes" where faculty, staff, and students do not see the people making technology work. Our efforts impact everyone on the WIU campus, yet many remain unaware of the highly-skilled, complex issues our employees solve every day to keep WIU connected. We'd like to give a big "THANKS" for all our employees who work very hard, often under tight deadlines, and in sometimes less-than ideal conditions.
To recognize outstanding achievement, the uTech Recognition Program exists to provide the ability of peers to nominate their co-workers for awards. The three awards given include:
The uTech Recognition Program (URP) Committee built upon a recommendation of the uTech Communication Strategic Audit to design and develop an employee recognition program. Recognition includes certificates to be presented at an All Hands Staff meeting.
2016 Employee of the Month Awards
July 2016 - Matt Mencel
Matt continually goes above and beyond the call of duty on projects that he is involved in. As the manager of the Infrastructure Support Services team he works with his team to make sure they are taking care of the users needs and services.
Because of Matt's work and forethought the Google migration project progressed as expected even though he was on vacation. His ability to plan, allowed his team to complete migrations easily in his absence.
June 2016 - Pat Cortelyou
Pat was nominated for her continued support with contract questions and issues. According to her nominator, "She always greets my phone call with a pleasant and professional tone. No matter the problem is with a customer's account I know I can count on her to help me get it fixed or at least point me in the direction of how to get it resolved.
Many times we have had alumni who return as faculty and they may end up with two accounts. It is quite a task to get this fixed. She is also there to help with visiting faculty or Rhodes Scholars and their special accounts as well as all of the Military Science accounts. I know she just sees it as part of her job but we in uTech who do not have the background that she has, greatly appreciate the job she does for all of us and our WIU community."
May 2016 - Sharon Riley
Sharon is wonderful to work with. She is always willing to take the time to work with the support center to resolve many issues with WIUP and our customers. She goes the extra mile. If she is not the person to handle the issue, she gladly directs you to the best person to call to get to the root of the problem. She works with customers one-on-one with RPM when trying to print to a local printer.
The customers are always grateful for the help she provides. She always has a can-do attitude and can be counted on for many uTech services. We greatly appreciate her help and dedication to the uTech community. Congratulations, Sharon!!!
April 2016 - Teresa Markley
Teresa makes sure everything is running smoothly on the mainframe for 2nd shift. She makes sure all the programs which run on her shift have completed. She is also responsible for the security of the Data Center, especially checks.
She also helps the Help Desk in the evenings resetting MVS passwords for users, especially those involved in the Alumni's Phonathon every year. She is very patient with the users, excellent at multi-tasking, and someone we can count on to complete her duties thoroughly. She never hesitates to handle a potential issue in the Data Center as a professional.
We are grateful to have someone like her as our evening support. Thanks for a job well done!
March 2016 - Matthew Clark
Matthew is constantly on the go, addressing customer-specific service requests and working to make end users' technology experience better or improve uTech's support services, in general—both inside and outside of normal work hours.
He doesn't merely supervise others; he's not afraid to "get his hands dirty" and, in fact, seems to thrive on solving technical problems. He's always willing to answer customer and support staff questions, make suggestions, and give advice.
Matthew also gives the technicians in his area the flexibility to propose and pursue projects that they think will improve end users' experience with technology or otherwise improve support for end-user needs.
February 2016 - Darrin Seats
Over the past several months, Darrin has worked to update and secure the WIU older Solaris systems. While doing this he made sure that users and vital systems were impacted as minimally as possible.
He has spent many late Friday nights and early Saturday mornings in the office to make this happen. He takes on these extra hours without complaint and just gets it done.
January 2016 - Chad Lankford
Chad works as a Desktop and Hardware Services technician. He exemplifies the qualities of a great employee. He takes on issues, problems, and tasks assigned to him without reservation. He has taken on additional responsibilities beyond the scope of his initial job and does not hesitate to work outside of his comfort zone. He always says yes to a new challenge.
Chad brings a can do attitude to the job and co-workers and customers enjoying working with him. He is patient, very knowledgeable and has been a mentor in his current position. Chad is great asset to Utech.
2015 Employee of the Month Awards
December 2015 - Clinton Pedigo
Clinton provides the majority of Windows server support to many departments on campus. To some individuals in these departments, he is where uTech starts and ends. Some examples of his excellent service includes the roll outs of the Axis camera software for the Art Gallery and CSD. He also provides continued support for many GIS services as well as the Business office, WQPT, WIUM, and many others.
Clinton has spent a lot of time after-hours providing assistance to all of our customers. Recently, he has taken it upon himself to develop new ideas and strategies to help maintain the GIS server availability. These changes were not requested by the customer, he found the need and has begun implementation to make the environment more stable.
November 2015 - Dustin Brown
Dustin is an exemplary employee. Extremely dependable and dedicated, his knowledge of Windows and computer hardware has been a valuable asset when working with other teams. He is always positive, upbeat and approachable.
Dustin was nominated because of his efforts the Virtual Desktop Infrastructure (VDI) platform expanded during summer 2015. There are plans for further expansion for the labs summer 2016, and with Dustin's technical guidance (and patience), it will continue to be successful.
In addition, Dustin has begun working with VMWare ThinApp. This process eliminates application storehouses, and makes better use of existing resources while making applications easier to manage and deploy. He is also researching VMWare View capabilities for the next OS upgrade (Windows 10) to manage uTech labs and possibly eliminate the cost of one of the management tools presently utilized, a cost saving effort for WIU.
October - Tom Ford
Tom Ford coordinated with the Business Office to design a web process to replace the paper form process of submitting Direct Pay Authorizations (DPA). He created the coding to produce a WIUP Web screen that will be used by all university departments to submit DPA requests.
The Business Office receives nearly 10,000 of these every fiscal year. The data is now stored and assists in the creation of new DPA's when applicable thus lessening the time to create these requests and improving everyone's efficiency. Tom worked tirelessly to tweak and adjust this product during the testing phase so that users and the Business Office both were happy with the final product.
September - Chris Smith
Chris thought outside the box to find a way to use a product on the mainframe to be graphically user friendly and highly personalized forms.
Working with administrators and the Office of Undergraduate Admissions, he was able to improve the quality of correspondences with undergraduate applicants. This helped to increase new freshmen applicants for fall 2015 as it grew by 3.3 percent and the number of accepted freshmen went up by nearly 7 percent.
Perhaps more crucially, freshmen who signed up for housing contracts increased by 10.7 percent and enrollment deposits increased by more than 13 percent.
August - George Dranes
George is demonstrates exceptional skill and commitment to, solving problems and allowing many of us (particularly the AIMS department) to continue to meet the needs of the users we support.
He does a wonderful job in fielding a wide range of questions and addressing a wide range of problems that allow many of us to operate efficiently and effectively.
July - Brandon Colley
Brandon continues to improve his skill set and keep his certifications up to date. He is constantly sharing what he has learned with his co-workers and keeps them up to date with the most recent industry changes. Sharing his skills and knowledge has improved the skill of the entire team.
Brandon’s work ethic is top notch and he often works after hours to ensure the MS Windows environment is current and stable for the WIU community. The projects that he has taken on to improve the services to WIU have been significant. He has stream-lined several systems saving the University considerable money and time.
Because of these changes, the Windows environment is more stable and easily supported by the uTech staff.
June - John Warren
John is an excellent employee with a fantastic work ethic. He is well organized, dependable, timely, trustworthy, efficient, and unfailingly punctual. John brings a positive attitude to work each and every day.
He is wonderful with our customers and goes the extra mile to make sure that their problem has been solved. It is a rare individual who is so attentive to the most minute of detail. Because of his attention to detail, if a call must be escalated, our technicians are better able to understand the issue.
John is always willing to take on new projects & tasks. He has taken on a significant role in training new employees, and is both a mentor and coach to Support Center student employees. He has helped develop training material to ensure new employees are prepared to begin taking calls as quickly as possible.
In addition to training materials, John has published 105 knowledge base articles. These articles along with the training materials are essential to providing consistent and exceptional customer service.
May - Brian Andrews
Brian was recognized for his excellence in job performance as he lead the project to implement a redundant network on the WIU and ResNet networks.
Brian spent many hours researching and going over various aspects related to the project. He worked with various parties both internal and external to WIU to ensure that the project was a success.
During the 24 hour work shift of implementing this, Brian worked through the implementation to make this a successful project with minimal interruptions in service.
April - Mihai Petracovici
Mihai won for his innovation in creating a tool for the uTech Support Center so that they could provide better support to our WIU community.
The tool he developed allows the technicians the ability to track down devices that are locking accounts. This has been a tremendous help to all of our uTech customers and the Support Center staff.
2016 Team of the Quarter Award Winners
Greg Boidy, Monica Bartley, Katy Wickman, Jace Shoemaker-Galloway, Deanna Stambaugh, John Warren, Donna Moore (Not Pictured.)
(L-R, Back Row) Greg Boidy, Monica Bartley, Katy Wickman, Jace Shoemaker-Galloway
(L-R, Front) Deanna Stambaugh, John Warren. Not Pictured: Donna Moore.
This team helps the WIU community on a daily basis to get connected, report issues, help with classes and classrooms, calendars, email and so much more.
They have calls from parents, students, faculty, staff, alumni and retired faculty and staff. This team supports many devices, computers and applications.
They have a first contact closure rate of 78% which is far above the national rating. They provide test scoring services as well keeping Western's knowledge base up to date.
They work with every aspect of customer that the University; this is an extremely demanding, but this team is able to to provide a good experience to our customers.
They do a great job and are truly the face of uTech as they are often the first contact for support.
2015 Team of the Quarter Award Winners
Clinton Pedigo, Brandon Colley, Ethan Rockwood, Darrin Seats, Christine Spencer, Matt Mencel, Mihai Petracovici, Dean Roberts, Dan Romano (not pictured)
(L-R, Back Row) Darrin Seats, Brandon Colley, Mihai Petracovici, Christine Spencer, Dean Roberts.
(L-R, Front Row) Clinton Pedigo,Matt Mencel, Ethan Rockwood, Dan Romano (not pictured).
Each individual on this team takes on the work and responsibility of 3 people. One cannot count the amount of different systems, (LDAP, Zimbra, Active Directory, and SQL, just to name a few) that this group is responsible for supporting. This team of individuals work long hours and have spent many evenings, weekends and some holidays working to ensure they provide a quality product to WIU faculty, staff, and students.
If there is an emergency, they are available via a phone call, Twitter or email and they address the issue quickly so that there is minimum downtime for WIU community.
They give up their time with their families and friends to make sure all the systems work as they should and they do it with little to no reward. If you ever ask any of them “Why?” they will respond with “Because that’s my job and it’s just what we do.” That’s a special kind of integrity and commitment that should not go unnoticed.
In addition, this team works to investigate free IT services that the university can use before they consider purchasing the same tools or services.
All these extra hours not only help keep systems up, but they provide cost savings to the university based on the fact that we don’t need to hire more individuals to cover all the work that is presented to this team. They are truly deserving of this award.
Kathy Barrett, Monica Bartley, Tim Etter, Doug Menke, Lance Myers, Doug Rossio & Andy Woerly
Back row L-R: Tim Etter, Doug Menke, Andy Woerly, Monica Bartley; Front row L-R: Lance Myers, Kathy Barrett, Doug Rossio
This team worked together to build, rebuild or repair classrooms this past summer. Various types of equipment and cabling were needed in the rooms, which ranged from video conference classrooms to large lecture halls to medium sized classrooms with interactive capabilities. Details and careful planning was critical, and there was little room for error because of the nature of the dollars involved and the timing of the project. Twenty-four of the originally planned twenty-eight were completed before fall classes began. These included three video conference rooms, four large lecture halls, 14 classrooms (most with interactive capabilities), two classrooms needing new whiteboards and one extensive update of a computer classroom.
Because of the efforts of this team, WIU now has classrooms with current technology enhancing the student's experience in the classroom. This project was a great example of how many areas of uTech were able to work together in a very short period of time to make a big impact on our services provided to our WIU students.
Jeremy Merritt & Brice Shake
Brice Shake, CAIT Art Director and Jeremy Merritt, Web Services Coordinator
Bringing the uTech web site to a more modern look and feel as well as making the information flow cohesively for different areas took many countless hours of meetings and work. It is much more user friendly and has really helped promote the Support Center self-service tools so that our customers can better help themselves.
The new look and feel of the uTech web page has been a huge help to our WIU community. It has made it easier to find information and services provided by uTech and helps promote the knowledgebase and the Support Center chat.
The Support Center has already had nearly three times as many chats in a month as compared to all of last year. Knowledgebase usage has increased dramatically as well - 120 people used the knowledgebase in just the past week (June 2 - June 9), which is more than we generally averaged in a month prior to the change.