Award applauds analysts’ technical skills

TEMP ORARY February 23, 2012 0

After creating the Analyst of the Year award in 2004, the Help Desk Institute (HDI), in conjunction with local chapters, locates and awards the industry’s best support analyst. The local chapters nominate support analysts who compete with other peers for this award.

HDI has six local chapter regions who have a representative participate in HDI’s Global Analyst of the Year Awards celebrations held during the HDI Annual Conference & Expo. ITS workers for Elizabethtown College belong to the Susquehanna Valley chapter. The event is sponsored by Robert Half Technology.

The Analyst of the Year award is presented to the most highly qualified nominee. Students and employees are nominated for their outstanding customer service skills, amongst other merits that give customers exceptional service. Seniors Andrew Sauls and Stephen Wilczek of Elizabethtown College’s ITS department have both been nominated previously for the Analyst of the Year award.

Starting out as a help desk technician in his sophomore year, Sauls was nominated this school year for the Analyst of the Year award in recognition for his hard work and dedication at the help desk.

“I am honored to have been nominated,” Sauls commented. “It appears to be the highest honor available at our help desk, and it is a privilege to even be considered for it.”

During his time working for ITS, Sauls has learned quite a lot. He began as a troubleshooter for the College’s network, but Sauls can now diagnose hardware and software problems and find solutions to these problems better than ever. The opportunity to really showcase his skills was finally attained after he and Wilczek landed positions with the ITS department as student interns.

“My job is to research and possibly design, then implement a digital signage solution around campus,” Sauls explained. “Simply, this would revamp the TVs and displays in the Jaywalk, Esbenshade Video Wall and the BSC, among others.”

Wilczek, ITS student help desk assistant manager, was nominated for this prestigious award last school year for his work as a help desk and diagnostic technician. Wilczek stated, “It is really nice not to just have my name put out there, but the fact that students can make a difference and it is not all about faculty members.”

Now as an intern, Wilczek’s job is to virtualize the classroom labs. This would allow students who do not have a specific piece of software on their computer to access the college’s software whether they are on or off campus.

According to Wilczek, “You would not have to leave your dorm room and can access it at home. You can just log into the server and you would have a virtual environment.”

Like any other technology project, Wilczek has found a few drawbacks. The major problem is Apple, Inc. would not allow Wilczek to virtualize its software due to licenses and agreements. Wilczek hopes that someday that will change, but for now it is not possible to make these changes with a Mac operating system.

“What we can do is put an installed receiver on the Mac to allow students to open a Windows environment,” he said. “It is the best we can do right now.”

The demo of this virtual environment is scheduled to be released in mid-April. Wilczek will present the concept and show that Etown has the capability of using the virtual environment to enhance learning and accessibility to students.

Because he is a senior, Wilczek explains that it will be in the hands of ITS to allow the program to run.

“I will be graduating, so to my knowledge, ITS will be implementing a pilot to test case it into their servers,” Wilczek said.
However, this may not be the last time students hear of Wilczek’s work. He hopes to make a career out of this by researching now and designing later.

“Everybody’s looking at it right now, colleges, companies and organizations, but nobody is really starting to implement full desktop virtualization,” Wilczek continued, “It is really exciting to get into and maybe this will be my whole life.”

Student help desk supervisor and client support specialist Karen Eatherton is proud of both Sauls and Wilczek and their work at ITS.

“Both of them are great workers and have done a lot of work for ITS. They are both dedicated and dependable,” Eatherton stated. “They will be missed.”

Even though Sauls and Wilczek did not win the award, it is still admirable to be nominated against people who do this for a living. The HDI Susquehanna Valley Chapter strives to promote better practices for the service and support industry. It is impressive for these two Etown students to be nominated to win a prestigious award two years in a row. The HDI Annual Conference & Expo will be held April 24 to 27, 2012, in Orlando, Fla.

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