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IT Staff Spotlight: Robert Kennedy


Robert Kennedy has been employed at the University for over 15 years. He is Media and Control Systems Engineer in Academic and Media Services.

The following is an excerpt of the August edition of AV Technology, entitled, Bringing AI Into Classroom AV Design.

Long before NBC’s The Office made Scranton a lovable character, the historic city in Pennsylvania’s northeast corner has been an important voice in the nation’s narrative. With roots as an anthracite coal king, the city continues to lead the Commonwealth with innovative programs in the arts, culture, science, and healthcare.

The University of Scranton is one of the city’s educational leaders that honors its prestigious legacy while keeping an eye to the future, and collaborative technologies help set the institution apart. As the media and control system engineer of The University of Scranton, Robert Kennedy, CTS designs the touchpanels of the school’s control systems and supports audiovisual technology in nearly 200 classrooms. He also works on AV system implementation, collaborating with outside integrators when necessary. Kennedy has also found a unique way to meld his passion for emerging technologies with his deep expertise in audiovisual engineering. That method is artificial intelligence (AI), specifically an Alexa Classroom Control skill that he wrote for use with Extron Pro series processors and touchpanels. The Alexa Classroom Control skill and the Extron Global Scripter Alexa Module are still in beta, but the timing of this project couldn’t be better. AI and cognitive technologies are poised to shape the future of classroom and enterprise-grade AV.

Read more…

IT Organizational Realignment

As Jim Collins points out in Good to Great, “those who build great organizations make sure they have the right people on the bus and the right people in the key seats before they figure out where to drive the bus.”

Upon my arrival to Scranton, I was greeted with a group of highly technical, committed, hard-working professionals within the division. I was asked to assess the staff resources and the organizational structure to identify gaps in technology service needs provided to the University community. With the assistance of the IT Leadership team, we determined if we had the “right people in the key seats” on the bus.

As a result of those discussions, an organizational realignment was made. Seats on the bus were rearranged. This realignment aims to provide a service-focused organization that highlights the talents of the technical staff within the division, while better meeting the technology needs of the community.

The division has been renamed from Information Resources (IR) to Information Technology (IT). Departments within the division have also been renamed to better align with the services they provide and include the following areas:

  • Technology Support Services, Julie Brackeva-Phillips, Manager
    Services include the Technology Support Center, IT Training and IT Communications.
  • Client Services, Deanna Beyrent, Manager
    Services include Desktop Management (Physical/Virtual), Computer Labs and Endpoint support (PC/Macintosh/VDI/Mobile).
  • Academic and Media Services, Jason Wimmer, Manager
    Services include Instructional Technology, Media/AV Technology, and Event Support. Staffing will collaborate with CTLE in support of teaching and learning. Additional staffing will support faculty in the classroom and event support with a 12Noon – 8pm schedule and Saturday coverage.
  • Enterprise Application Services, Cindy Hricko, Manager
    Services include ERP Application Support/Reporting, ERP Development and ERP Integration.
  • Database Management Services, Maureen Castaldi, Manager
    Services include Database Management, ERP Framework Management, and Identity & Access Management.
  • Systems Infrastructure Services, Chris Krall, Manager
    Services include Enterprise Servers and Storage, Directory Services and Authentication, Virtualization and Cloud Technologies and Application Support.
  • Network and Security Services, Calvin Krzywiec, Manager
    Services include Network Infrastructure; Security Infrastructure and Telecommunications

This department structure is complimented by divisional support in the areas of project management, IT asset and vendor relations, IT budget, administrative assistance and a technical architect for the division in a re-aligned Associate Chief Information Officer position.

We are hopeful that these changes will, as Jim Collins would say, “take the organization to someplace great.”

By Susan Bowen, Associate Vice President and Chief Information Officer

Collins, J. C. (2001). Good to great: Why some companies make the leap … And others don’t. New York, NY: HarperCollins Publishers.

Interview with the Susan Bowen, CIO

We recently announced the appointment of Susan Bowen as CIO of The University of Scranton. In her new role, Susan is responsible for the leadership and management of the strategic use of technology in support of the University’s mission and goals.

We met with Susan to say hello, and gain insights in how she believes technology impacts student learning and our University.

We would like to thank the students from the Department of Communication, Lauren Archibald ’18, Brian Lloyd ’18 and Daniel Valentino ’17, along with their professor John Kilker, III for the production of this video.

Glen Pace Receives Sursum Corda Award

Congratulations to Glen Pace, Field Services Technician for being a Sursum Corda (Lift Up Your Hearts) Awards recipient. This award recognizes members of the University who have made outstanding contributions to the life and mission of the University. IT-355

Read the following except from Dr. Don Boomgaarden’s speech from the Spring Convocation that took place on February 16, 2016.

Born and raised in Dunmore, Glen is the younger of two sons. During his youth, Glen’s parents, Ruth and the late Carmen Pace, owned a neighborhood market, Dick Pace’s Market. Although his immediate family was small, Glen felt part of a larger family through the neighbors that his father’s market served.

Upon graduating from Dunmore High School, Glen considered two career paths: the military or college. Johnson College’s acceptance came in the mail first and so began his long career with electronics/computers. In 1988, Glen accepted the position at the University thinking he would stay about five years – just long enough to get some experience.  Well, five years has turned into 28 and he’s happily still counting!  In Glen’s role, he has the opportunity to work side by side with different members of our campus community including fellow staff, faculty and administrators, providing the best service and solution to get them back working again. Glen has been a mentor to new personnel in his department which helped them become successful as field service technicians. Glen is motivated, courteous, dependable and kind to everyone he meets: he can come to us on our worst day and make our lives easier, leaving us with a smile.

Glen served two terms as Senator for the Staff Senate. He has served on the Staff Senate Development Committee, various committees within the Information Technology division, the Jesuit Center work/life retreat and volunteers his time to provide computer technical assistance for local police departments. He helped to coordinate a donation of technology from the University to a Women’s Shelter in Dunmore. Outside of the University, Glen and his wife rescue stray cats for their local shelter, capturing strays from their community to be spayed or neutered by Eastern Pennsylvania Animal Alliance. Glen spends time visiting with his mother who, due to Alzheimer’s, currently resides in a nursing home. More than anything in life, Glen knows that helping others, doing what you enjoy and meeting others where they need you is the foundation of happiness.

It is with great honor that I congratulate and present to Glen the Sursum Corda Award.