ACMS Aces: Treb Padula

treb-padulaElectronics Technician Treb Padula is the newest addition to Academic Computing & Media Services’ (ACMS) audiovisual (AV) installation team, which upgrades or adds AV systems to rooms across campus.

Treb works on the Lecture Hall and Classroom Refresh Project, which is finishing its third year of improving lecture halls and classrooms. “UC San Diego isn’t just keeping up with classroom technology. We’re on the cutting edge with the touch screens and projectors,” he said. “I’m blown away by the opportunity to work on systems like these.” He has ample basis to make such a statement. Treb joined UC San Diego after nearly ten years of experience at CSU Stanislaus where he performed similar AV installation work. One of his first projects was a similar classroom refresh project that added projectors to all of classrooms, a transition that Treb worked on for five years.

Other AV installations that Treb works on take place through ACMS’s AV Design & Installation recharge service, which is open to all campus departments. He recently finished an AV Design & Installation job upgrading two rooms at Geisel Library.

Treb also works with Media Event Support to provide sound reinforcement services at events around campus. He sets up microphones and speakers prior to the start of the event and runs the mixer board during the event. His first experience in sound work came in his college job working events for the local parks and recreation department.

One of Treb’s favorite pastimes is listening to audiobooks. He particularly enjoys experiencing each work’s approach to its source material. “Audiobooks have really become an art form,” Treb said, “and there are so many different types. There are wonderful, full cast, ensemble audiobooks that are done wonderfully and they suck you in. It’s like you’re watching a movie. Then there are audiobooks where someone is reading the book to you. Autobiographies are some of the best because often it’s the author reading them and that makes it really powerful.” Treb singled out Michael J. Fox’s autobiography Lucky Man and Wil Wheaton’s reading of Ready Player One as outstanding audiobooks.

Treb, at right, in with his steampunk stilts

Treb, at right, in with his steampunk stilts (click for larger view)

In his spare time, Treb and his wife participate in cosplay, especially at conventions like Comic Con. Their steampunk costumes have won contests and been featured in magazine spreads, which should surprise no one since Treb’s includes stilts.

Welcome to the team Treb!

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!

ACMS Aces: Sean Osterthaler

sean-osterthalerMuch of what Academic Computing & Media Services (ACMS) does for UC San Diego is made possible by servers and applications working smoothly and efficiently in the background. Sean Osterthaler leads a team of system administrators who work diligently keeping this vital infrastructure running.

Sean, in collaboration with his fellow managers in the ACMS Computing Infrastructure unit, oversees the maintenance and support of computer software configurations in the ACMS instructional computing labs throughout campus as well as the server infrastructure that supports these labs. He is the main OS X system administrator in ACMS and often goes into computer labs to troubleshoot issues related to Mac computers. Sean’s experience in the Apple computing environment runs deep. He has multiple Mac computers at work and at home, has owned nearly every model of iPhone since its introduction in 2007, and even uses a couple Apple TVs at home. He’s also keeping a close eye on the progress of the new Apple Watch.

In addition to supporting the computer labs on campus, Sean and his team are instrumental in supporting the GoVirtual online computing labs where students can access many of the same software packages found in campus computer labs using their own devices. Student use of GoVirtual has increased over the last couple of years, but Sean hopes that an even greater number start using the service. “We keep close watch over the performance of the systems, examine what appears to work well and what doesn’t, and stand ready to bring more resources to bear should the need arise in order to ensure that this is—and continues to be—a valuable service for the campus community,” Sean explained. “We are constantly looking for and evaluating ways in which we could improve the service.”

Sean often works on innovative computing projects. “Part of working with technology is understanding that there is always something new and exciting around the corner,” he said. Over the last two years, Sean has been involved in the Electronic Notebook project in collaboration with Professor Kim Albizati of the Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry. ACMS supplied resources and support to bring electronic lab notebooks into upper division chemistry courses, replacing paper notebooks.

“One of the things I find most rewarding about working in a University environment is being able to readily see that the work I do really does make a difference. The work that we do here at ACMS has a profound impact on the lives of thousands of UC San Diego students in that education these days is heavily entrenched in technology,” Sean said. “Everywhere you look you see people using some sort of electronic device, many of which are accessing the email, file storage, software application, computing/instrumentation resources, and other services either in part or wholly provided by ACMS.”

Sean is one of several career staff at ACMS who started working with the department while attending UC San Diego as a student. In 1999, he accepted a full time position with the department and has been here ever since. “I love working in academia and you can’t beat the beauty of La Jolla in terms of workplace locale,” Sean said.

One of Sean’s favorite spots in San Diego is Double Peak, largely thanks to its gorgeous sunset views. He is the proud papa of Sasha the chocolate Labrador Retriever and Scooter the miniature Schnauzer.

The next time you use a computer lab, think of Sean and his team. Their work keeps everything running smoothly. Thanks Sean!

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!

ACMS Aces: Chuck Rose

Chuck RoseThe Academic Computing & Media Services (ACMS) Help Desk is students’ central source for technology assistance on campus. Chuck Rose is the Help Desk/ResNet Manager and oversees the support provided by the Help Desk.

“There is no typical day at the Help Desk,” Chuck said. The knowledgeable technicians at the ACMS Help Desk routinely answer questions about residence hall networking, email, and computer lab printing—and even that only begins to scratch the surface. They spring into action when service outages arise to resolve them quickly. Chuck described the two biggest issues handled by the Help Desk: “Almost every day we see something having to do with viruses [or] malware…and there’s usually always somebody that comes in to talk to us about wireless issues.”

The ACMS Help Desk can address so many different issues because of the cross training technicians receive. This gives them the breadth of knowledge required to serve the varied needs of students, faculty, and staff. These technicians are supported and reinforced by the Help Desk career staff. “I’ve surrounded myself with a staff that [is] amazing,” Chuck said, “and that’s what allows us to do good work at the Help Desk.”

Supporting students, faculty, and staff is the top priority for the ACMS Help Desk. To achieve this goal, Chuck and his staff are trying to create a culture that encourages technicians to do whatever it takes to help get issues resolved. Central to this effort is the servant leadership model, which Chuck explained is “different than your traditional top-down leadership and much more focused on the idea that leaders are there to support the people who report to them.” Technicians who self-identify as “leaders among leaders” get the opportunity to go through servant leadership training so they can be effective resources for their fellow technicians. One of the things that satisfies Chuck the most about his role at the ACMS Help Desk is getting to be part of the personal and professional development of the student and career staff.

Last year Chuck was elected as the Clerk of the national board of ResNet Inc. “I take the minutes during our monthly meetings but also get to provide direct input on our discussions,” he said in describing his duties. The board’s primary work is organizing ResNet Inc.’s annual student technology conference, which provides an opportunity for those involved in educational technology to share information and network with each other.

If you ever have a technology problem, Chuck and the ACMS Help Desk team are there to help. Contact them today!

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!

ACMS Aces: Jordi Olimon

Jordi OlimonVideo comprises approximately one third of online activity. Accordingly, it comes as no surprise that UC San Die­go faculty are using this medium to supplement their courses, specifically by creating instructional videos watched by their students online. Producer-Director Jordi Olimon is one of the Academic Computing & Media Services (ACMS) video professionals supporting their efforts.

Jordi has recorded hundreds of videos and is involved in every facet of their creation. He helps faculty write scripts, creates graphics, records video, performs postproduction editing, and uploads finished products for distribution. Jordi frequently moves between different types of video. “Some people come in and do problem solving on the board, whereas other people might create these really lengthy presentations that get really complex,” Jordi explained.

To best capture equations that would be done on a blackboard in a classroom, Jordi uses the Learning Glass, which allows faculty to write on a transparent glass surface maintaining eye contact with the viewer while being recorded.

Working on instructional videos is exciting for Jordi, especially because he is a recent UC San Diego graduate. “It’s something that I enjoy doing. The fact that I get to do something that I like and then other people get the benefit from it by making their lives easier [is] one of the nice things about [my job].” One reason that he is enthusiastic about creating instructional videos is that he is helping to create resources that did not exist when he was a student. “I wish I would have had access to this type of material back then,” Jordi said.

Jordi has a breadth of experience in video production. In addition to his work on instructional videos, he has worked on short films, small commercial films, music videos, and a small independent feature film. “I’ve done a little bit of everything,” he said. “[Video is] a medium that I really like working with.”

As the academic year nears completion, Jordi is already looking ahead to a busy summer. Several different faculty groups are already planning recording sessions with ACMS. Jordi will be involved with many, if not all, of these projects.

More information about how ACMS can support for flipped, online, and hybrid courses, including video production and instructional design, is available.

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!

ACMS Aces: Adam Davies

Adam DaviesThe Media Teaching Lab supports undergraduate media production courses across all departments. Media Production Specialist Adam Davies recently joined the team that keeps the Lab running.

Adam’s favorite part of the Media Teaching Lab is the equipment check out service. This gives students access to cameras, tripods, jibs, sliders, microphones, light kits, and reflectors are examples of items. “We have so much great equipment and honestly a lot of people don’t know about the equipment checkout,” Adam said. Getting a piece of equipment back in the checkout rotation is a source of particular pride for Adam, especially if it was one of the pieces he has learned to repair since starting at the Lab.

The Media Teaching Lab also provides a variety of video production workshops. Adam has taught courses on some of the cameras available through the equipment checkout service as well as lighting techniques. “The lighting [is] actually my favorite,” Adam said, because he gets to demonstrate how many different pieces of equipment students can checkout from the Lab to good lighting. Interacting with students in workshops and at the equipment checkout facility has been the most rewarding part of Adam’s work. “They’re very focused on getting better at their craft,” he said.

Adam Davies teaching a workshop

Adam (left) teaching a workshop on lighting

Adam graduated from the Pratt Institute with a degree in film. Prior to joining UC San Diego, he worked as a freelance stop motion animator in New York and is currently completing a stop motion short film that has been in production for several years. “We finished shooting in October and then two or three hours after I finished the last frame of animating I had to hop in a taxi at 3:00 a.m. to come to the airport to fly to San Diego,” he recounted. The film is currently slated to be finished this summer.

Visit the Media Teaching Lab’s website to find out how Adam can support your video production needs (plus see film and video tidbits curated by the Lab’s staff).

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!

ACMS Aces: Bill Homan

Bill HomanWith 18 different units, Academic Computing & Media Services (ACMS) does a lot to meet the instructional technology needs of UC San Diego. Examples include making sure that classrooms have current technology and running Ted, the learning management system. The department continually seeks to make the most of its resources to provide the greatest benefit it can. Technical Project Manager Bill Homan is part of realizing this goal.

Bill describes his work as “setting a structure and a foundation and coming up with standards for how we want to approach projects. The goal is to find a way to do them more efficiently and more effectively.” Since joining ACMS, Bill has helped the department clarify its priorities to ensure that resources are assigned appropriately. “We’ve recognized what our priorities are and really tried to identify across the organization what is most critical for us and understand what needs to be done first and what needs to be done immediately thereafter, and so on down the list,” he said. Since starting with the department in February, Bill has found that ACMS “has an incredibly talented team that has done and continues to do amazing things. The goal is to organize and find out if there’s a way to more effectively manage all the projects against the existing resources that we have.”

After working as a project manager in the private sector for over 10 years, Bill jumped at the opportunity to bring his skills to UC San Diego. He still has “a smile on my face because I’m walking into a university that is a student-driven, campus learning environment.” He has gotten to know the campus by running after work, taking him not just around the track, but through the paths and trails that weave throughout campus.

A longtime resident of San Diego, Bill enjoys the fantastic climate and variety of things to do and see in the area. His travels are often related to baseball, his favorite sport. Destinations have included touring Major League Baseball stadiums to see games and visiting the Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown, New York. He recently caught several spring training games in Arizona.

No matter what comes next for ACMS, Bill will help the department contribute towards our student-centered, research-focused, service-oriented public university.

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!

 

ACMS Aces: Lara Sievert

Lara SievertLara Sievert recently joined the ranks of audiovisual professionals at Academic Computing & Media Services (ACMS) as a member of the Media Event Support team.

Lara brings two skill sets to her position as a Senior Producer/Director. The first is video production. Lara records special events around campus at the organizers’ request. After collecting footage, she performs postproduction work like adjusting audio levels or color correction before delivering the finished video. The second is setting up, operating, and striking sound systems for use at special events. Sometimes Lara operates the sound system and records video on the same job. In particular, she particularly enjoys covering lectures that take place on campus because they give her the opportunity to learn about the leading edge research that takes place at UC San Diego.

Lara hopes that more of the campus will start using Media Event Support’s live webcast hosting service. Some of the webcasts she has worked on have even been streamed to other UC campuses. ACMS has provided webcasting services for the Dart NeuroScience Temporal Dynamics of Learning Center Seminar Series since Fall Quarter 2014.

Recently, Lara helped develop the new photography service offered through Media Event Support, researching the equipment and software needed. Lara has long had a passion for photography. Her first exposure came in courses she took in high school and college and she has continued pursuing photography outside of work.

Prior to joining ACMS, Lara worked at University Centers supporting meetings and events. She also worked in the television industry as a production assistant and later, much to her surprise, as an audio engineer. “I didn’t think I’d ever learn anything about audio, but what I learned is that good audio is essential to any video production,” Lara said. These skills help her create excellent audio at special events with Media Event Support’s microphones, speakers, and sound systems.

To learn more about what Lara and the Media Event Support team can do for your special event, visit the Media Event Support website. Welcome aboard Lara!

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!

Student Scoop: Maria Andrade

maria-andradeAcademic Computing & Media Services (ACMS) employs more than 30 students as Help Desk/ResNet Technicians who help students, faculty, and staff troubleshoot a wide range of computing, networking, and account issues. Maria Andrade is in her first year as a Help Desk/ResNet Technician.

A Computer Engineering major from Sixth College, Maria applied to become a technician because she was looking for a campus job that allowed her to work in a very technical field. Not having a lot of experience diagnosing and fixing computer issues did not put her at a disadvantage when applying for the position. She received extensive training after being hired. “[The Help Desk has] tons and tons of tutorials and step-by-step instructions [for technician training] and everything’s at your disposal,” Maria said. “If there’s something I don’t know they’re able to teach it to me and better my skills.”

Maria’s favorite part of being a technician is working at the front desk in Applied Physics & Mathematics 1313, which takes students, faculty, and staff who walk in with computing issues. She frequently helps her fellow students with the campus Wifi network and computing accounts. “I like [the] front desk because you’re able to interact with the user and it’s less explaining or trying to navigate without being able to see what the user sees,” Maria explained. “Once you fix the problem it’s nice to see their face light up and the sense of relief and I definitely love that satisfaction.”

Being a Help Desk technician means that Maria has learned awesome tricks that she can share with other students. One of her favorites is the “lost and found” folder on computers in ACMS-managed computer labs. “A user’s computer crashed at Geisel and she lost her file. She hadn’t saved it recently so she was in panic mode,” Maria related. “We have a lost and found folder in all the computers so when a computer crashes you go into the lost and found folder [on that computer] and there’ll be a folder with your name and anything that was recovered during the crash…. She was able to recover the majority of her work and only a few paragraphs versus pages were missing.”

To other students considering becoming a Help Desk/ResNet technician, Maria encourages them to apply. “It’s definitely a challenging process, but once you make it through the training’s amazing and the work is amazing.It’s very rewarding. A few calls will be different so something exciting happens every day.” When you work at the Help Desk, “you gain a lot of knowledge, you meet awesome people, [and] the environment’s great.”

The next time you have a computing issue, visit the Help Desk where Maria and her fellow technicians will assist you. Keep up the great work Maria!

The Student Scoop features UC San Diego students and explores how technology provided by Academic Computing & Media Services intersects with their lives on campus. Keep checking back for more interviews to find out what students really think about technology at UC San Diego inside and outside of the classroom!

ACMS Aces: Rafal Tamulski

Rafal TamulskiThe Computing Infrastructure team supports the technology services that Academic Computing & Media Services (ACMS) provides to UC San Diego. Rafal Tamulski has recently joined Computing Infrastructure to contribute his software expertise to keep everything running smoothly.

Rafal helps manage the software deployed in ACMS computer labs throughout campus. He ensures that software is reloaded when needed and installed correctly so it is ready for use by students. He pushes software updates from ACMS servers to lab computers, which minimizes downtime. Rafal also responds to requests from faculty to load specific software in computer labs to support their courses.

Though he can perform many of his duties from the ACMS offices, Rafal sometimes has to work on problems in the labs themselves, working around scheduled courses. He takes great pleasure in troubleshooting issues and solving them, especially persistent issues.

Rafal is one of the many long-time UC San Diego career staff who work at ACMS. Prior to joining ACMS, he worked with an academic department and the School of Medicine. Rafal was excited to join ACMS due to the number of computers he gets to work with and the opportunity to use his skills in remote management of computers.

When he is not on campus, Rafal enjoys taking weekend trips to points far and near. One of his favorite trips is to Julian, especially in the winter to get a taste of snow. He also enjoys regular trips to the deserts around San Diego County.

Welcome to ACMS Rafal!

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

ACMS Aces: Robert Magallanes

Robert MagallanesAcademic Computing & Media Services supports over 1,900 computers across 120 labs throughout UC San Diego. Senior Electronics Technician Robert Magallanes is part of the Hardware Technical Services team that repairs the hardware on these computers. Thanks to the variety of operating systems deployed across campus, Robert regularly works on Windows, Linux, and Apple workstations. As a certified Apple and Dell technician, he can perform repairs on in-warranty computers, servers, and printers on campus, minimizing downtimes and increasing access to computers in the labs.

Another large part of Robert’s job is installing network cable in computer labs. Whenever a computer lab is renovated, he installs cable from server cabinets throughout the lab to individual workstations. When labs have outdated cables, newer generation cables are installed to accommodate the computing demands of UC San Diego students. Making sure that these cables are organized neatly to present a clean and uncluttered space is a point of particular pride for Robert. “When…everything’s all neatly piled up and running smoothly to the outlets and everything works perfectly, that’s just the best.”

Robert has been at ACMS for 12 years. Over the course of his career he has worked on a large variety of projects that allow him to learn new things constantly. One of the best parts of his job is the fact that he gets to go all over campus when visiting computer labs and see what makes UC San Diego incredible. “Sometimes you walk into [a place like] the Engineering buildings and you’re like, ‘Wow, look at this. It’s amazing,’” Robert said. “If you take just a little time and look, you’d be amazed at what’s on campus.”

In his spare time, Robert is an avid sailor. Having been on the water all his life in one form or another, he became involved in the sport after joining a sailing club. Recently, Robert has participated in the Baja Ha-Ha Cruisers Rally, which runs from San Diego to Cabo San Lucas, serving as a sail trimmer for his team. Robert described his duties saying, “You have to look at the sails when you’re sailing and see how [they] fill and what shape they’re in. That determines whether you let the sail out a little more [or] bring it in…to get the best wind out of it so you go as fast as possible.”

Given his love of the ocean, it may not be surprising to learn that Robert is also a proud Parrot Head. He has attended several Jimmy Buffett concerts, as one might guess from the Parrot Head mug in his office. “It’s just upbeat, fun-loving, and it’s all about having a good time. It’s sailing and enjoying life.”

For all his work keeping computer labs in top condition, we think that Robert deserves a cheeseburger in paradise. Thanks Robert!

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