Greg Skinner, Chief Information Officer at Virginia Wesleyan University, is working along with the rest of the IT department to bring a more efficient system and easier access to MyBeacon. Because of these updates, students and faculty have periodically received emails advising that Colleague would be out of service, or had been restored
“Each project is unique, but they all provide benefits to the VWU community,” Skinner said. Some of the main projects Skinner is collaborating on include Beverly Hall, the MyBeacon Portal and app and a comprehensive IT website and knowledge base. Upon completion, Beverly Hall is scheduled to be a multi-use media studio with 17 PC systems loaded with the Adobe Creative Cloud; a boon to anyone taking a course that uses Photoshop, Indesign, or other Adobe products. It will also double as a classroom and a secondary eSports arena.
To further facilitate use of VWU systems and programs, Skinner has also been working with the vendors of the various sites VWU uses for students to leverage SSO, or single-sign-on. This would link a student’s accounts into a single one, much as the name states, and remove the need for multiple passwords.
The IT website will include a database with a range of answers and solutions for students in need of common or simple services that can be accomplished without the Helpdesk staff. This will be especially useful anytime the Helpdesk is closed when a student needs assistance.
Since joining the Helpdesk team, Skinner has noticed that students have a tendency to let a technical problem persist, sometimes for months, before contacting IT, which can lead to worsened problems that can be harder to fix. He urges students to contact IT at problem onset, either by calling the Helpdesk at 757-524-5900 or emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
Additionally, Skinner is looking to expand student involvement in the Helpdesk in fall 2021, once all the upgrades have taken place, so students interested in a career in IT should keep a lookout for opportunities. Having himself gotten his start in IT at his alma mater, he is a supporter of helping students build their foundations and encouraging growth beyond the classroom.
“I am very passionate about the possibilities of student workers in our IT Department and that we can play a part in a students education,” Skinner said.
By Will Farkas