In 1991 Mathew (Matt) David Miller, Ancillary Information System Specialist, began working for Dining Services at Gettysburg College. Shortly thereafter, he began taking courses while also performing his job with Dining Services. Taking a maximum of two courses a semester, he graduated in 2005 with a major in Computer Science. His love of computing and computers drove him more and more into supporting the Dining Services day-to-day computer operations and working with Peter North, Director of Auxiliary Services, on computing applications related to Dining Services. These included keeping track of student accounts for dining via a balance that is updated on the student ID cards, posting menus and announcements on strategically placed monitors. He also helped to keep the computers in the Dining Services Office current on the college network. Since his graduation, he has done projects for the College Post Office, worked with Eric Remy, Director of ITT, on a system to collect payments for the use of ITT's poster printer, and is currently working with Data System’ Programmer/Analysts Anthony Gianato and Bharath Srinivasan and Assistant Director of College Life Technology, Sue Plank on the new Key Card Access System. Matt's goal is to eliminate paper clutter and keep the college’s operations running well.
Matt says that the College ID Card with its magnetic strip and the information that it contains drives access to a lot of the services on campus. Thus, they drive a lot of the applications that are used to collect payments around campus. Student Vending Dollars are being extended to include use of ID cards for campus vending machines, public copying machines, and residence hall laundries. Matt is currently working on a project to use Dining Dollars for the on-line pizza ordering and delivery system soon to be unveiled.
As an example of Matt's emphasis on efficiency, consider his past work with the staff of the campus Post Office to streamline the handling of packages sent and received in their office. He wrote software that tracks the package by scanning a postal bar code and sends an e-mail to the on-campus recipient of the package. The recipient can then come to the post office swipe their ID card and receive their package. The system virtually eliminates a lot of paperwork and time consuming notification procedures. Furthermore, the receipt of the package is noted securely within a database available to the Post Office staff.
Probably the most noticeable product of Matt's work is the large screen monitors located throughout the dining hall, the College Union Commons, and the Dive. He says this is in some sense ironic because they were one of the easiest of his projects. Working with Mark Rosensteel, ITT Instructional Media Specialist, he set up the first few of the computer driven monitors. Others have been added since then. The first monitor one sees upon entering the Dining Hall has advertisements for upcoming college events. Next is the monitor at the front desk of the Dining Hall that contains announcements about the menus, dining hall hours, and special dining hall events. Others are located at the chef's stations. Matt noted that the hardest part of using the monitors is keeping the content current. This is a job that he allocates to the student assistants under his supervision.
Matt is married to Rhonda Miller, who also works in Dining Services. They live in a short drive from campus on Route 30 West in the town of Fayetteville. IT congratulates Matt on his many contributions to keep our campus running proficiently.
Many people on campus know Dave Nettekoven, especially if they use PeopleSoft applications for student data. He works with functionals in Academic Advising, Financial Aid, Student Finances, Office of the Registrar, College Life, and Athletics. He has also recently assumed responsibility for Accounts Payable applications. But, what about the personal side of Dave? In this article we will present some things that you may not have known about him.
Born: Dave was born and raised in Elkhorn, Wisconsin. Elkhorn is known for the fact that it has two manufacturers of quality musical horns. Several big time musicians play horns made in Elkhorn. Doc Sevrinson, the band leader on the Johnny Carson Show, played a horn made by one of the manufacturers from Elkhorn. In fact, Doc Sevrinson served on the board of that manufacturer.
Lives: Dave and his family live in Hershey, Pennsylvania. He commutes every day from Hershey to Gettysburg, a minimum of a one hour drive each way.
Education: Dave graduated from the Indiana University in Bloomington, Indiana. He was there during a four-year spell when IU did not win a national championship. Dave says that he never was a Bobby Knight fan. In fact, he only attended one IU basketball game during his entire four years at the university.
Wife: Dave met his wife, Nancy, at a church event in Hershey. Ironically, Nancy was educated as a nurse in Indiana at IU in Indianapolis. Nancy is currently an IV Therapy nurse at Hershey Medical Center.
Family: Dave and Nancy have 5 children: Rebecca, Christina, Nathan, Peter, and Bethany. Christina served as the assistant women's soccer coach during the fall term of 2010 at Gettysburg College. Peter is attending Virginia Tech University, and Bethany is a senior at Hershey Senior High School.
Commitment: After Hurricane Katrina, Dave made three trips to New Orleans, St. Bernard Parish. The first was 6 weeks after the storm with a church group, the second time was four months afterward and was joined by his oldest son, Nathan. His third trip was two years following the storm.
Enjoys: Dave loves outdoor activities walking, running, biking, canoeing, and backpacking. Recently he did a weekend backpacking trip at Laurel Highlands near Somerset, PA and ending at the Ohio Pile River. He has done other backpacking trips on the Appalachian Trail north of Harrisburg. He plans to do more weekend backpacking trips this fall.
Reading and TV: Dave reads American History. He is mainly interested in three periods: The Colonial, The Civil War, and World War II. His reading of Colonial History focuses on slavery which was so pervasive in North America during that period. When he watches TV he mainly watches PBS. Shows that he particularly enjoys are NOVA and History Detectives.
Hopes for the Future: Aspiration number one, Dave and Nancy hope for the joy of grandchildren. After that Dave says that he hopes to continue working in IT at Gettysburg. He says he thoroughly enjoys interacting with the functional staff. From all appearances, it is obvious that the feeling is a mutual one.
Even before it became its own division, IT (under several different names) has been distributed across the campus in separate buildings. Most recently it has occupied five locations in four buildings: Musselman Library, Plank, Pennsylvania Hall, and two unattached locations in West Building. While this dispersion has not seriously affected carrying out the IT mission on campus, it has caused some internal operational difficulties and, more importantly, it is always a challenge to develop an esprit de corps among the IT staff. Various strategies were used to bring all of IT together and interacting on a personal level. There were weekly Thursday morning "Chatter" groups, quarterly All IT meetings, Holiday Parties, among other assorted activities. These all met with some success, but nothing can replace the day-to-day interaction of a group working together in the same building. However, everyone in IT understood that office space on campus is at a premium and made the best of the situation.
The impending move of Facilities Services to the Central Energy Plant coupled with the move of Transportation out of the West Building provided an opportunity for all of IT operations to move to West Building. Data Systems already occupies the western portion of the second floor of West and five members of Infrastructure and Computing as well as G-TECH are housed on southern portion of the first floor of West. The Art Studios and Ikon will continue to be quartered in West. This is also the case for the student designed night club, The Attic. The good news is that all of the IT staff will be housed in a portion of the same building. It is expected that the move will be made during 2012.
While the final plans have yet to be drawn for IT's new location, it is possible to make some general statements about the appearance of the planned layout and changes to the West Building. The immediate and noticeable change will be to the east side of West Building. This is the side facing the new Athletic Center. It will become the main entrance to the West Building. Several designs are under consideration, but the aim is to enhance this side of the building and making the new entrance an attractive addition to the campus. The first floor will house the ITT Digital Center containing the same specialized equipment such as the poster printer, video equipment, equipment checkout, etc. as it does now. It will also include the student digital help desk and two staff members. Also on the first floor will be some of the IC staff, the campus computer technicians, the telecommunications staff, the campus IT helpdesk, and GTECH as well as IC storage.
The second floor will be connected to the first floor IT offices and services by a stairway. While a stairway has always existed it was not positioned in a way that the IC personnel and Data Systems personnel can visit each others' offices without going outside and walking half way around the building. That will be changed. The upstairs layout will be in the shape of a U. The long arms of the U will be on the east and west sides of the building. The one on the west will contain Data Systems as it presently does. The eastern side will house the IT Administrative Offices, a server room and the Network Operations staff who are now housed on the second floor of Plank. The bottom of the U will be a hallway where the stairway will exit to the second floor. The plans are not final and may still be tweaked, but it is fairly safe to say that the layout broadly described in these two paragraphs will be implemented.
So, after nearly two decades of yearning for a single campus place to call their home, all of the IT staff, services, and most of their equipment will be housed in a single building. We are sure that IT's high quality service to the campus will continue and improve. Also, when someone in a residence hall or office says, “I'm going over to see IT.” everyone will know where they are headed.