College of Ed Staff Recognized at Information Technology Impact Awards
UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa.— Jody Harpster, systems administrator in the Carrara Educational Technology Center (CETC), and Emily Martell, the College of Education’s financial officer, were recognized at the Information Technology (IT) Impact Awards with the Resource Responsibility award for their work on centralized computer equipment purchasing. The award recognized them for streamlining the process of procuring and delivering systems in the College of Education.
The Resource Responsibility Award acknowledges an individual or a group across Penn State IT for making a significant contribution in reducing or consolidating the resources needed to deliver an IT service to Penn State. The types of resources can be financial, staff-based, or green initiatives.
The new process allows faculty and staff to use the existing help-desk ticketing system to check with CETC staff for recommendations and compatibility instead of ordering computers, tablets, printers, monitors, and any other technology-related hardware without any technical advice. This prevents unsupported systems from being purchased and helps track the order from the initial quote, to purchasing, to the system setup.
The process works by submitting a ticket with the CETC help desk to obtain a quote based on the user’s needs. Every step of the process thereafter—including verification by the user, approval by individual departments, review by CETC, system purchase and tracking by Mary Pearce in the finance office, and system setup by CETC—has been automated using the help-desk ticketing system.
Before the new process was in place, many buyers would contact individual information technologists for a quote; however, there was no organized way to track the approval or ordering process. Also, Harpster said the process has improved the delivery of the systems to CETC for initial setup.
The finance office has greatly benefited from the new process as well. Martell, who is required to audit all equipment purchases under $5,000, will have easier access to the inventory of equipment purchases now located within the help desk database. As a result, she will also be able to ensure purchases are charged to the appropriate accounts.
Martell can now also create what she calls a “computer equipment life-cycle budgeting system” for individual departments and better manage equipment that becomes obsolete. In addition, she and CETC staff can ensure outdated technology is properly recycled within the College or disposed of at Lion Surplus, a public store that disposes of all University-owned equipment through sales, bids, and/or auctions.
Staff members from across Penn State IT were presented with IT Impact awards at the May 5 IT Matters Breakfast Speaker Series event in recognition of their great work throughout the past year. Kevin Morooney, vice provost for information technology at Penn State, presented 26 staff members with awards for categories covering collaboration, innovation, and resource responsibility.
--Samantha Schwartz (June 2014)