By Debbie Justice, Director of IT Planning, Office of the CIO

Read on to learn about recent staff activities and changes. As you will see, we’ve had a busy summer and fall!



Campus Technology Innovators Award

Staff from the Coulter Faculty Commons and the Divisions of Information Technology and Academic Affairs attended the Campus Technology 2010 conference July 19-22 in Boston, MA where they were recognized as the recipients of the Campus Technology Innovators Award in Leadership, Governance and Policy. WCU attendees (pictured at right, from left to right) were Robert Crow, Sue Grider, CIO Craig Fowler, then-CFC Director Anna McFadden, Richie Ritter and Associate Provost Beth Tyson Lofquist.

Read more about the award in The Reporter.


Andy Voelker (pictured at right), student computing coordinator, was a presenter at the national ResNet 2010 Symposium held at Western Washington University in Bellingham, WA in June 2010. The conference is comprised of higher education IT professionals and focuses primarily on student support. Andy presented “Marketing: Your Biggest Non-network Connection to your Campus,” which was directed at customizing marketing and advertising to the campus culture, resources and needs. The presentation was well received and had higher-than-average attendance. Andy attended other sessions on lab management, media checkout, network administration and combining services, and was able to apply this information to the Technology Commons. “The annual ResNet Symposium has always been an excellent resource for bouncing ideas and experiences off like-minded colleagues. This is the second consecutive year I have presented and I’m looking forward to presenting next year in Yale!” says Andy.


Susan Jones Knight (pictured at near right), manager of the Learning Management System (LMS) group in the Coulter Faculty Commons, attended the EDUCAUSE Institute Learning Technology Leadership Program 2010 in Portland, OR in late June 2010. The institute was an intensive, project-based, five-day program focusing on leadership for supporting technology for teaching and learning. The team-based approach provided an opportunity to collaborate with peers and experts in the field. The week concluded with team presentations of assigned projects to strategize and implement plans to initiate change for learning initiatives. Daniel Huss (pictured above at far right), an applications analyst in the Department of Applications Development and Data Management, attended the 2010 Sungard Summit conference held in San Francisco, Calif. in April 2010. Summit is Sungard Higher Education’s annual conference with more than 6,000 attendees. The 2010 conference focused on new community collaboration initiatives and the upcoming architecture changes to Banner, along with preparations to maintain the new architecture. Daniel attended sessions related to the new Banner architecture and related technologies such as AJAX, Spring, Java and the Grails framework.


Aaron Brunck (pictured at near right), a networking analyst in the networking and communications department, departed in April 2010 for a year-long active duty deployment with the U.S. Army. A commissioned officer, he is stationed with the 335th Theater Signal Command Operation Enduring Freedom in Afghanistan. He should be back at WCU in May 2011. Laura Simons (pictured at far right), Oracle DBA (Database Administrator) in the Department of Applications Development and Data Management attended the Linux Day 2010 Tour in Charlotte, N.C. in September 2010. The Linux Day conference had demos and discussions on migrating from SPARC to Linux, server image building and high availability and disaster recovery of Linux servers.


Learning from our UNC sister campuses A group of IT staff made a road trip to the North Carolina coast during the first week of June 2010 to visit with their counterparts at East Carolina University (ECU) and UNC-Wilmington (UNC-W). They wanted to learn how ECU and UNC-W had equipped facilities similar to the new College of Health and Human Sciences (HHS) building under construction at WCU, and about their experiences deploying VoIP (Voice over IP) for campus telecommunications. Attendees (pictured at right, clockwise from top left) were CIO Craig Fowler, IT Project Coordinator Al Sanders, then-Digital Media Specialist Neil Torda, Manager of Instructional and Student Computing William Frady and Director of Networking and Communications Scott Swartzentruber. The group members returned with useful ideas and information that they have contributed to the HHS building project.


Becca Hauge (pictured at near right), student computing coordinator on the instructional and student computing team, passed her ACMT (Apple Certified Macintosh Technician) recertification in May 2010. Adam Huggins (pictured at far right), technology support technician on the desktop and hardware services team, completed his A+ recertification in April 2010. Since May 2010, David Dameron (not pictured), technology support analyst on the desktop and hardware services team, has completed several Apple-related certifications, including Mac OS Directory Service, Mac OSX Server Essentials, Mac OSX Deployment, Mac OSX Support Essentials and Mac OSX Security & Mobility.


Scott Koger (pictured at near right), security analyst in the networking and communications department, completed his CompTIA Network certification in May 2010.


Campus computing changes

As announced in the Spring 2010 edition of DoIT News, the campus computing group headed by Akum Jamir (pictured at far right) was moved into the Department of Systems and Operations. This established one department for non-network infrastructure operations and engineering. Since then, extensive review and analysis of services and operations have led to further changes in the campus computing group:

  • Establishment of a quality management role—the goal is to provide additional focus and priority on measuring the performance of services and analysis of incidents to root cause resolution. Taking on this role is Candy Benson (not pictured), formerly the IT Help Desk manager.
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  • Merging of the desktop and hardware services teams—the goal is to streamline desktop support processes. Heading up the new combined team is Bradley Williams (pictured near right) who was one of our desktop technology support analysts. Dawn Brown (pictured far right), who was the hardware services manager, is now the IT Help Desk manager and will continue to manage our laptop security contract and our desktop procurement processes as we transition to the CPI program.

Office of Web Services and Blackboard administration now part of applications and data management department


Another organizational change made over the summer was to merge the Office of Web Services into the Department of Applications Development and Data Management. The goal is to enhance the links between the two groups. Former Director of Web Services Dirk Herr-Hoyman left WCU to attend graduate school at Clemson University, and a new manager of web services is being recruited. The manager will oversee the operations and staff of the web services team. The team–Jed Tate (pictured at near right), Amy P. Walker (pictured at far right) and Melissa Young (pictured below at far right)–have moved to the applications and data management offices in Belk 180.


Also joining the applications development and data management department in Belk is Blackboard System Administrator Chris Baxley (pictured at near right). This move was in recognition of the enterprise importance of Blackboard and its growth beyond learning management. Previously, this role and Chris were located in the Coulter Faculty Commons’ LMS team.



Kenny Chapman (pictured at near right) and Brad Lewis (pictured at far right) are working as IT support technicians on the IT Help Desk. Brad started April 2010 and is working on a master’s degree in education from WCU.

Kenny joined us in August 2010. He is a 2005 WCU graduate with a degree in electrical and computer engineering and holds a Master’s of Divinity degree that he completed in May 2010. Before joining us, Kenny was an associate pastor at East Sylva Baptist Church.


Laura Cruz (pictured at near right) was appointed the interim director for the Coulter Faculty Commons (CFC), replacing Anna McFadden who accepted the position of director of academic engagement and IT governance. Prior to her current appointment, Laura was the CFC’s associate director and instructional developer where she led many initiatives and brought excellent teaching skills and quality service to faculty development. She is also an associate professor of history in the College of Arts and Sciences. In her new role as the CFC interim director, Laura is a member of the IT Leadership Council and brings faculty and instructional perspectives to division planning and strategy.

Joe Harley (pictured above at far right) joined the networking and communications department as a network analyst in April 2010. Prior to joining IT, Joe worked for 16 years in the Institute for the Economy & the Future (IEF) and its predecessor organizations. He was a GIS (Geographic Information System) analyst for IEF. Joe holds a B.S. degree from Wofford and a M.A. degree from WCU.


Brad Semma (pictured at near right) joined the student computing team in late July 2010. He graduated from WCU in May 2010 with two B.A.s—one in political science and one in English. While a student, he worked as a student computing consultant for nearly four years. He was also involved with Last Minute Productions and the Western Carolinian. He’s originally from Spring Hill, Florida, a town about an hour north of Tampa on the Gulf Coast.

Cameron Shelton (pictured at far right) joined the desktop and hardware services team in June 2010. Before coming to WCU, Cameron was a lab assistant at Southwestern Community College where he earned two Associates of Applied Science (A.A.S) degrees in computer information technology and networking technology.


Richard Smith (pictured at right) and Jeremie King (not pictured) are technology support technicians with our Technology Commons and instructional technology support team. Richard joined us in August 2010 at the start of the fall semester. He previously worked for Drake Enterprises in client services and tech support. He has two Associates of Applied Science (A.A.S.) degrees from Southwestern Community College, one in computer engineering technologies and the other in electronic engineering technologies. He’s currently learning the Ruby & Python programming languages.

Jeremie started with us in September 2010 and previously worked with IT as a student computing consultant. He has an associate’s degree in applied science, majoring in electronics engineering technology from Caldwell Community College and Technical Institute and is pursuing a B.S. degree in Computer Science at WCU.



Laura Dinunzio (pictured at near right) joined the Class TIPS team as the student eBriefcase analyst. She will work closely with the Class TIPS manager to provide eBriefcase support and other services to students in the Technology Commons. Laura will work with students to demonstrate the use of computer equipment and instruct them on how to use software and various technologies to enhance their education experience. Laura graduated from WCU with a B.S.B.A. degree in hospitality and tourism. As a student she worked with student computing, and for the past year she has been working as an hourly employee in the instructional computing area, supporting faculty, staff and students.

Neil Torda (pictured above at far right) is the new Unix/Linux system administrator in the Department of Systems and Operations. The job now includes administration of not only the Sun Solaris servers but other Unix/Linux-based servers such as those running Apple Mac OS X Server and RedHat Linux. Formerly, Neil was the digital media lecturer in the Coulter Faculty Commons


In August, Sara Debord Smith (pictured at right) accepted the IT support analyst position on the IT Help Desk. She had worked as a temporary employee for the Help Desk for more than two years, and before that worked as a student employee for four years on both the Help Desk and in student computing while she worked on her Bachelor of Fine Arts (B.F.A.) degree. She is currently working on an online master’s degree in entrepreneurship.