Nestled down on the first floor of White Administration, behind a black door with a glaring red sign that says “Restricted area,” is the team that keeps TJC running.
The Information Technology (I.T.) department is made up of the people TJC students and faculty lean on when a problem with technology arises. They are the ones who talk to students on the phone and walk them through technical issues, or come to faculty offices when computers or printers go awry.
There are many different areas of I.T.: the service desk, which helps answer questions students and faculty may have; application management, where the database administrator and business analyst are located; instructional technology, business intelligence, technology services, and information security. The most used area is the call center at the service desk, which receives about 100-150 calls a day.
“A lot of them can use our self-service portal,” said Lenny Vaughan, Director of the Service Desk. “So if you need your password reset, you don’t actually have to speak to someone.”
There are a few instances where questions to the call center have nothing to do with technology. Vaughan said the types of call’s they receive can range from “My printer isn’t working?” to “When will my financial aid come in?” These calls are called non-related calls, and happen surprisingly often.
“Yesterday, I was asked when basketball tryouts were,” said Service Desk Specialist Brianna Berryhill said with a laugh.
The call center receives about 60-80 of those calls a month.
“We get a lot of students, parents, members of the community… who go through the phone directory and call until they get somebody,” Vaughan said. “We try to do our best to rout them to the right place.”
To provide the best information possible, there are a variety of skillsets at the service desk to help through any situation. For example, there is an adjunct professor on staff to help faculty with Canvas or whatever problems occur in the classroom and also a staff member who used to work in admissions, who can help with questions about financial aid and how to apply.
“We try to help everybody,” Vaughan said. “We’re here really for information technology needs but we do keep skillsets on staff to handle pretty much anything you call for.”
Many of the service desk staff have been TJC students themselves. They use their personal struggles of navigating through Apache Access and their love for technology to help students with any problem. According to Kathy Blair, service desk specialist and adjunct professor, helping people is the best part of the job.
“It’s really rewarding when you complete something and people are so sweet and grateful for being helped,” said Blair.