Honoring Alex and Craig on National IT Professionals Day

Cheers to our very special IT staff, Craig Power and Alex Evans, on National IT Professionals Day. Generally working in the background, the IT staff trying to keep staff working smoothly both in the office and from home as required during the pandemic, helping SAI to continue to navigate through this unexpected and challenging event. Today we say “thank you.” We celebrate and highlight your hard work, round the clock response time, and creative problem solving.

Alex has a degree in information science and technology from Penn State. He has always had a keen interest in video games and solving people’s computer problems. He began fixing and troubleshooting in college for all his friends.

Alex said the most rewarding part of his job is sharing what capabilities technology gives you, that speed up productivity and become an indispensable tool in your daily lives. “Teaching someone a new shortcut that improves their workflow and will save them valuable time is very satisfying.”

Challenges with troubleshooting employees’ issues remotely has been the ability to communicate using a basic common computer language with key terms. Knowing the model of hardware and version that you own is important because every version is different. Alex says, “try to familiarize yourself with basic components of your devices.”

Craig has a degree in Information Science and an MBA from the University of Pittsburgh. He was fortunate to be working in the industry at the start of the explosive popular growth of the internet.  In his first full-time position after graduating, he installed Mosaic, which subsequently became Netscape Navigator, the first commonly used web browser. He also installed Pegasus Mail, a free e-mail package was originally intended for use only by the department’s management staff. Within a week, however, after the administration discovered how easy and valuable it was to communicate using email, the deployment was expanded to the entire staff. He found it fascinating to see how quickly the internet became a part of society and everyday life.

Craig feels most rewarded when IT makes processes and tasks easier and more efficient for people.  However, due to the increasing complexity of modern computing accomplishing this is often much more complicated than many people realize. He finds the most challenging aspect of technology to be that it is in a constant state of change and flux. Because of this, he feels it is better for everyone to have a generalized, flexible understanding of how various IT tools work and are to be used, rather than insisting upon specific applications and rote sets of steps to accomplish tasks. He compares it to the difference between following a recipe versus knowing how to cook with the ingredients and tools that are available.

The pandemic has really brought the value of our technology staff to the forefront. Thank you. We appreciate what you do.