ACMS Aces: Jim Rapp

Jim RappAcademic Computing & Media Services (ACMS) is privileged to have a number of long-time career staff. Assistant Director Jim Rapp, who oversees Instructional User Services, Help Desk/ResNet, and Campus Software Distribution, has been with the department for over 30 years.

Jim started with ACMS in the Instructional User Services group, which assists departments, instructors, and students involved in classes that ACMS supports. “We work directly with the instructors to get information about the software that they want to use for classes for the upcoming quarter,” Jim explained. “It can be as simple as Ted access, the learning management system. It can be as complicated as setting up individual accounts for students with access to specific software.”

Instructional User Services also administers the Instructional Computing Plan (ICP) , through which departments express their interest in new instructional computing resources. Decisions were recently made on requests for instructional technology received through the 2015 ICP. Jim was pleased with how the decision process went this year and is monitoring deployment of the approved tools.

Jim also oversees the ACMS Help Desk, which “is a one stop shop for anybody who is a consumer of services that we provide. Those services span the gamut of all 16 units within ACMS. The Help Desk employs not only full time staff but student workers as well.” There is never a dull day at the Help Desk, as revealed in an ACMS article from last year. The Help Desk team also covers ResNet, the residence hall and apartment Internet network, which “involves making sure that they have access to the equipment they need to connect to handling any problems that come up, providing information when they’re coming in, and collecting the equipment when they leave.”

“Campus Software Distribution is involved in access to software packages for which there is a campus-wide license,” Jim said in highlighting his final area of responsibility. Licenses are often acquired for instructional purposes but shared with campus when they can also benefit research or administration. Campus Software Distribution works directly with departments to coordinate licenses and software downloads.

Jim has always enjoyed helping others, which made his work with ACMS a natural fit. “One of the things that I like best about working here…is that when somebody asks a question, they really are interested in the answer I can provide,” he said.

Going back even further than Jim’s time with ACMS is his enjoyment of kite building. He found that the Conyne delta kite is best suited to San Diego. “It works in light winds and doesn’t come crashing down when the winds pick up,” he said. Another favorite design is the facet kite. Jim has flown a facet kite he made in 1980 annually at a kite festival at Mariner’s Point. It is no small kite, essentially a 10-foot cube (10’ x 10 ’x 10’) with 300 square feet of sail.

Thank you, Jim, for all of your years with ACMS. You’ve always been a high flyer!

ACMS Aces is a series of articles that highlights the dedicated employees of ACMS at UC San Diego. Keep checking back to find out more about the people behind the magic at ACMS!

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