Get to Know Us

Get to Know Us: Julian Killo

A man sits at a computer, smiling.This month, we get to know Julian Killo, a Network Engineer in ITS. Julian started working at Clark in 2022 as a grad student and transitioned to working full-time in September 2023.  

Prior to joining the Clark community, Julian worked on major projects, like implementing public WiFi and conducting enterprise resource planning, with the Municipality of Tirana and Bechtel Corporation. With over 15 years of experience in creating successful IT solutions, Julian continues to advance his extensive technical knowledge by pursuing a Master’s in Information Technology while working at Clark. 

Being a network engineer means that Julian maintains the behind-the-scenes networks and systems that power organizations (and he gets to play with all the fun tech toys). His favorite part of the job is tackling complex problems and finding solutions that allows Clark to do more through technology. According to Julian, “There’s nothing more satisfying than seeing all the pieces – servers, networks, systems – come together and support organization, performance, and reliability.” 

If Julian could learn from any person in history, he’d love to pick the brain of Dennis Ritchie, the American computer scientist who created the C programming language and co-developed the UNIX operating system. This language changed modern computing and still underpins most operating systems today.  

When he’s not thinking about networking or programming, Julian loves to watch Premier League and Serie A soccer. If you’d like to chat with Julian about soccer or click here to find his contact information

Get to Know Us: Lara Winter

A woman with red hair, dressed in a blazer, smiles at the camera

This month, we say hello to Lara Winter, ITS’s Business Analyst and Report Writer.  

A native New Englander, Lara Winter recently returned to the East Coast after spending 7 years in the Twin Cities at the University of Minnesota in the Technology Commercialization office, which allowed her to get a first look at all the fascinating inventions spinning out of the U. Her curiosity also extends to other fields; she has a criminology master’s degree in Transnational Crime, Justice & Security from the University of Glasgow. 

In her work, Lara helps people help themselves: she spends time automating and standardizing processes so her team can focus on solving problems creatively. Her favorite part of her job is solving those puzzles and building new processes piece by piece. As she says, “It’s satisfying seeing a slogging process turn effortless and streamlined.” 

Outside of work, Lara enjoys exploring and collecting relics in her favorite video game, Rise of the Tomb Raider, and competing with her sister to learn Swedish on Duolingo. This winter, she’s hoping to try snowshoeing and share her favorite horror movie recommendations with other aficionados of the genre.  

If you’d like to chat horror movies, video games, or learn more about the puzzles Lara solves in ITS, contact her here!  

Get to Know Us: Thais Santos

Thais Santos, Clark's Junior Endpoint Administrator, at her college graduation wearing cap and gown

This month, we learn more about Thais Santos, Junior Endpoint Administrator. 

Born and raised in Massachusetts by Brazilian-born parents, Thais joined ITS’s Endpoint team in August after graduating from Framingham State University. As Junior Endpoint Administrator, Thais ensures certain settings and software are in place on Clark devices before they are used. Her favorite part of working in ITS is the ability to see different aspects of the technology world mesh and interact with one another, although her perfect day would be spent at the beach with her family and boyfriend rather than in Carlson Hall. Outside of work, Thais loves to watch football, play volleyball, and dreams of being fluent in any language she can hear. If you’d like to learn more about Thais’s position or suggest language-learning tips, click here to contact her! 

ITS Gift Guide 2023!

It’s that time of year again! The cold weather is rolling in, the holidays are approaching, and gift lists are being written. ITS is happy to share our top picks for this season, just in time to shop the sales this weekend. If you have any questions about our recommendations, let us know! Click here for ITS contact information.

picture of touchpad and digital lock on a background decorated with snowflakes

Joe Kalinowski, CIO and VP of ITS, uses the Yale Assure Lock 2 at his house and recommends it to anyone looking for simplified home security. This system connects to your Apple Wallet or the Yale Access app to lock and unlock doors. No more fumbling around for keys in the cold weather! The included keypad also allows you to create temporary, scheduled, or permanent codes connected to specific people. For example, if you’re out of town for the holidays and need the pet sitter to come check on your precious pooch or charming cat, you can assign them their own code which will expire on a set date. You can also view lock history, double-check your home is secure, and share access from anywhere, anytime. Click here to learn more about the Yale Assure Lock 2.  

Picture of Mario Brother characters on a background decorated with snowflakes

Joanne Dolan, the Director of Academic Technology and Client Support, has a nostalgic tech gift recommendation. For those who grew up playing on Gameboys or Super Nintendo Entertainment Systems, Super Mario Bros Wonder is a perfect way to rewind the clock this holiday season or introduce younger family members to Mario’s adventures. Featuring all the classic characters you know and love, multi-player support, and new kingdoms, Super Mario Bros Wonder is fun for the whole family. Available on Nintendo Switch. Click here to view a preview of the game.  

Picture of a nixie clock on a background covered with blue snowflakes

Director of Infrastructure Jason Trinklein has the perfect gift recommendation for the retro tech enthusiast on your list: a Nixie tube clock! Nixie tubes are numerical display technology with a rich history: they were commonly used in science labs, ships, submarines, and other applications needing a numerical readout prior to the 1970s. Unique and eye-catching, these clocks are available in pre-assembled and do-it-yourself kits. Jason got his DIY kit through GRA & AFCH out of Ukraine. Click here to browse options from this company, and click here to learn more Nixie tubes 

Picture of black mug on a background covered with blue snowflakes

Help Desk Coordinator Sharon Griffin-Edson is tired of her coffee going cold while she’s working, so this year she has the Ember Temperature Control Smart Mug on her wish list. This sleek, stylish mug comes with a charging coaster and an optional smart phone app to keep coffee (or your beverage of choice) hot for several hours. The mug also comes with auto-safety features so you can feel peace of mind while leaving it at your desk. Click here to learn more about the Ember mug! 

Picture of neck temperature device on a background covered with blue snowflakes

Jarrod Evans, ITS’s Help Desk Technician and Best Buy expert, is hoping for a Coolify 2s this holiday season. This handy wearable device functions as a personal air conditioner in the summer and an electric scarf in the winter to keep you comfortable all year round. The Coolify 2s holds up to 28 hours of battery life and uses Bluetooth to connect to a smartphone app for easy, intuitive temperature adjustments. Click here to learn more about Coolify 2s. 

Picture of Kindle Scribe on a background of blue snowflakes

Tess Walsh, the technology training specialist, has the Kindle Scribe on her wish list this year. A writer and reader at heart, Tess loves the dual functionality of the Scribe, which comes with a stylus for sketching and writing by hand. Perfect for those who love the engagement of annotating documents and the functionality of digital notes, the Scribe has a longer battery life and bigger screen than its predecessors. For the most bang for your buck, Tess recommends checking out the app Libby to borrow and read ebooks from your local library. The Goddard library also offers this ebooks and Libby – click here to check it out! Learn more about the Kindle Scribe by clicking here.

Get to Know Us: Sean Ryder

This month, we learn more about Clark’s new Campus Card and Access Coordinator, Sean Ryder.  

Sean has been part of ITS for about two months, but those two months have been busy! Sean has assumed responsibility for all aspects of OneCard, including printing new cards, managing OneCard software, and supervising appropriate swipe access to buildings across campus. His favorite part of the role is helping people and learning more about all the unique spaces on Clark’s campus.  

Prior to his career here at Clark, Sean worked in higher education technology for ten years. He also has experience in a variety of retail settings. A life-long Massachusetts resident, Sean firmly believes winter is the best season and looks forward to spending snow days reading William Blake and Milton.  

When he isn’t reading or printing OneCards, Sean also enjoys playing video games such as Baldur’s Gate and The Elder Scrolls: Morrowind. If you’d like to learn more about William Blake’s prints and poems, fantasy video games, or how OneCard works, feel free to send Sean an email! 

Get to Know Us: Jarrod Evans

Jarrod Evans

This month, we’re meeting Jarrod Evans, Clark’s Help Desk Technician.  

Jarrod joined Clark this past July. A Worcester native, he previously worked in the fast-paced world of retail, which helped Jarrod discover his passion for customer service and technology.  

A self-described “technological life coach,” Jarrod loves meeting people across campus as he deploys new devices. Since his appointments are often the first interaction new Clark employees have with ITS, Jarrod takes pride in welcoming newcomers and making sure their devices are set up for success. Next time you see him, ask about backing up your files—he’d love to help you learn more! 

Outside of work, Jarrod enjoys playing Dirt 5 on PlayStation and looks forward to crisp fall weather and catching up on his Netflix queue. If you’d like to chat with Jarrod about your device or offer TV show suggestions, click here for contact information.  

Get to Know Us: Don Lutz

This month, say hello to Don Lutz, Clark’s Manager for Online and Instructional Technology. 

Don joined the Clark community in November 2019. Originally from Kansas, he served in the Air Force for 20 years before transitioning to a technical training role. After working in seven different industries and obtaining a master’s degree in instructional technology, Don is an expert at interpreting IT speak into a language that everyone can understand.  

As manager of Academic Technology Services (ATS), Don helps faculty understand how to include technology in their course in a way that helps students succeed and doesn’t get in the way of teaching. In the future, he’d love to be invited to department and faculty meetings to answer any questions you and your colleagues may have – these conversations often spark inspiration and eliminate tons of email.

Outside of work, Don enjoys watching PBS crime shows and The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel with his wife (who is both a pastor and a murder mystery writer!). If you’d like to chat with Don about academic technology or fictional mysteries, click here for contact information

ITS Super Students (written by a Super Student)

Help Desk

In this article Matt Rushford, Help Desk Technician and Co-Editor-in-Chief at The Scarlet, takes the reins of the newsletter to highlight three of our many wonderful student employees across the department.

A senior majoring in History, with an Art History minor and a concentration in Law and Society, Matt is considering either a Masters in Arts in Teaching at Clark, or pursuing a Masters in Data Journalism and Media elsewhere.  

He’s one of our ITS Super Students, and we’re lucky to have him working at the Help Desk and writing for our newsletter! 

Carly Mollin, Help Desk Senior Staff 

Carly Mollin is a Senior, majoring in Environmental Science with a track in GIS and a minor in Global Environmental Studies. She has worked for the Help Desk since her Sophomore year, beginning as a Consultant, promoted to a Technician, and is now Senior Staff. 

Matt Rushford: In the time since you began working here, would you say anything has changed since you began working at the Help Desk? 

Carly Mollin: I think working here has helped me with gaining professional skills more than anything. Even though I’m not a Computer Science major or in any of the majors that people most typically perceive IT student workers study. 

I have absolutely learned things that I can definitely use in the future. As a Help Desk employee, yourself, Matt, you know what I mean. Personal skills, like time management. Being able to communicate with your coworkers, but also like talking to clients and gaining communication skills that way.  

MR: Would you say the Help Desk is a good place for students that do not necessarily have a STEM or computer science background? 

CM: Absolutely! I think the Help Desk is structured in a way where the skills you need do not require you to have a background in programming or computer architecture. I really think the training is well done enough that everything you need to learn is very easy to access. You do not necessarily need to have knowledge ahead of time, and a lot of it is learned on the job. I’m happy that I decided to apply here and that I’ve been working here for a few years. 

MR: Can you think of any experiences at the Help Desk that you would say are emblematic of your time working here?  

CM: I don’t know if there’s a specific moment that I can think of when I felt particularly proud, but I like whenever I’m able to help a client; whenever I get somebody who is like, “thank you so much for helping!” The best feeling is always the relief you feel after solving an issue. 

MR: Could you go more in depth about some of the skills you have gained since working here? 

CM: Yeah, I think I’ve definitely had to learn how to be quick on my feet for sure. Especially when we get really busy to be able to manage multiple things at once. I think also I’ve learned a lot about being able to communicate with other people and how to handle stressful or difficult situations under pressure. 

MR: Do you have any advice for any future students that want to consider a job at the Help Desk?  

Yeah, I’d say definitely give it a shot. Working on campus does not have to be necessarily where you may see yourself in your future career. Jobs like the Help Desk can help improve the kinds of professional skills that you can use in the future regardless of your major. 

So, I would say yeah, just apply and do not be afraid to get rejected. For example, I tried applying to the library before working here, and that did not end up working out. But I applied here afterwards, and it ended up being a great fit for me. 

Sara Kashif, Media Services Technician 

Sara Kashif is an international student from Pakistan and is a fifth-year student pursuing her MBA and graduating in May’23. She joined Media Services as a first year and has worked with our team for almost 5 years! 

Matt Rushford: For those who do not know, what is the Media Services department? What do you typically do around campus?  

Sara Kashif: Media Services is a department that supports Audio-Visual (AV) needs across campus – in the classrooms, at major events, and for curricular and extracurricular projects. So, all the setups that you see in Dana Commons and Tilton for events are mostly done by us. We are also the ones people call when the projectors or the equipment in the classrooms are not working. Our department also lends equipment and is responsible for the maintenance of classroom equipment. We also deal with live streaming events around campus (including Gala!)   

MR: What is one experience you have had at the Media Services that you would say exemplifies your time working here?  

SK: I cannot pinpoint one experience, because there have been many. But I can certainly say that Jim Cormier (our supervisor) has been the driving force that has exemplified my experience at Media Services. I want to give him a huge shout out because he deserves it!   

MR: What is one thing you have had to learn while working with Media Services? What is one thing you did not expect before working here?  

SK: I learned a lot about the equipment that we carry and how it is used, all the different cables and wires and what they do. I also learned how to work in an office setting, which I had never done before. I did not expect to like it enough for me to stay here for 5 years!  

MR: Do you have any advice for any students who might want to work in MS next semester?  

Come with an open mind and this place might surprise you with all that it has to offer! Jim is amazing and he will be there for you when you need him 🙂  

Caleb Sacks – System Administrator 

Caleb is a Computer Science major and is a Senior, and currently works with our Systems group doing a wide range of work including supporting our High Performance Computing Cluster.  

Matt Rushford: When you first came to Clark, were you originally prepared to become a software engineer when you first came into undergraduate? 

Caleb Sacks: As a nerd growing up, I’ve been coding for about 10 years. I knew I wanted to be a software engineer since middle school. 

MR: I was reading a bit into high performance clusters and what you do, and I was really interested. I did not know much about the position prior to this, so I am excited to know a bit more about what you do.  

CS: For sure! At the high performance computing cluster, we have a super computer of different really powerful servers that researchers, faculty members, and students can use to run their simulations for physics, biochem, or whatever they need. Something cool currently in the works is that we’re about to upgrade our hardware to better specs so things will run faster and smoother in the future.  

MR: How long have you been working with high performance computer clusters?  

CS: So it’s been two years. It’s a great learning opportunity especially for me as a software engineer. It’s all about learning Linux and parts of technology that I normally wouldn’t learn as a software engineer. 

MR: What is the community like in system administration? What goes on in your day to day? 

CS: So we’re a small team. We have pretty much four members; Aaron Bennett, Jeffrey [LaMontagne] and Zach Kratz and I. 

A lot of our day-to-day work involves supporting users. If a user using the cluster emails us and asks for us to install software, configure something. Also if something isn’t working, we’re there to help.  

Like say, a software stops working or users can’t log in. That’d be really bad. So we set up software that monitors that and if something goes wrong, they’ll email us. So a lot about being a system administrator is about being proactive; preparing for those potential errors. 

MR: For future system administrators, what would you recommend? What is some advice you have gained since working in your position? 

CS: I would say one thing that’s key is to always test every change you make. 

What that means is for example, if you install a new software, upgrade a software, upgrade a license for paid software like MATLAB, whatever it is that you are doing. Try using it afterwards. See how users are going to be affected. You never know what could go wrong.  

As an administrator, is there anything that you were surprised about that you have had to grow into?  

I think I did not initially realize how challenging of a role [system administration] can be. It’s a great opportunity and it’s something I totally recommend for people who are CS majors. 

But I say that it’s challenging because there are a lot of things which you will need to be responsible and accountable for. But at the same time, it teaches you to be prepared and be on top of everything so something doesn’t go wrong. It is a great motivator. At the end of the day, it is a fun, exciting position. 

ITS Clarkies – All Grown Up

ITS is not only lucky enough to have incredible students working in different offices across campus, but also to have former Clarkies as part of our professional staff as well. Both Ben Gardener, Business/Data Analyst and Matt Essig, Clark’s Senior Systems Administrator, worked in ITS as student employees during their time as students at Clark.  

ITS recently caught up with both Matt and Ben to learn more about their experiences as student workers and the impact of those experiences on their professional lives.  

PS: Hear from more former Clark student workers (including Ben) in this video created by the Office of Student Employment!  

Do you think your work in ITS as a student helped you prepare for your professional career?  

Ben: Absolutely! Working at the Help Desk meant daily experience in a lot of intangible skills that I’ve relied on throughout my career: active listening and clear communication, prioritization, teamwork, you name it. ITS also made a direct impact on the careers of at least 10 of the students I worked with at the Help Desk, who went on to work in ITS professionally.   

Matt: The skills I picked up were of course useful, but I think the overall problem-solving mindset the job encouraged, along with the sense of integrity that ITS demanded, were the most helpful assets I gained from working in various ITS student roles. It was helpful in shaping my perspective on work.   

How has ITS changed since you were a student?  

Matt: ITS has come a long way in terms of our technical processes, standards, and forward-looking approach to solving university technical needs. Instead of reacting, ITS is becoming more proactive, and I would very much like to see us keep going down this route. We have steadily moved away from fixing things with short-term solutions to more long-term planning, which is better for the department and university as a whole.   

Which people, events, or positions were most impactful to your student worker experience?  

Ben: I had a lot of valuable mentors throughout my time as a student worker at the Help Desk. I’d like to shout out those who are still at Clark – Sharon Griffin-Edson, Justin Brooks, and Michael Krikonis. I wouldn’t have grown into the person or professional I am without the lessons you taught me. I hope that every student who comes to Clark has at least one person who teaches them as much as you taught me.    

What is one of your favorite memories from your time as a student at Clark?  

Matt: A very fond memory is the first summer I worked for ITS rather than going back home to stay with my parents. It was a nice way to feel independent as well as good job experience, since I was a part of a smaller, higher-level team.   

What was your favorite part about working in ITS as a student?  

Matt: My favorite part about being a student working at Clark was getting to help the organization and its mission statement of teaching and in some small way making the world better.   

Ben: As a student, I’d often meet someone new, only to learn that I’d actually helped them with computer issues years before. I may not have remembered them, but fixing their issue had a memorable impact on their lives. Knowing that I helped someone with a problem they couldn’t solve themselves, especially when it was high stakes, was the most gratifying part of the job.  

Get to Know Us: Mariclare Kanaley   

Mariclare KanaleyThis month, we say hello to Mariclare Kanaley, Clark’s Slate CRM Administrator.  

Mariclare joined Clark’s ITS team seven months ago and currently plays a vital role in supporting student success. Since Clark has different departments that coordinate student information and provide students with resources, Mariclare is implementing a platform to share this information across campus and make processes a little easier. As she explains, a student’s decision to attend Clark is just part of their college process; there are so many other decisions they need to make once they enroll, and making those choices clearer and easier is what Mariclare spends most of her day doing. 

Mariclare is passionate about helping students in all areas: currently, she’s finishing up a degree in counseling inspired by her time as a middle school teacher. When she’s not taking classes, Mariclare enjoys watching White Lotus on HBO and learning new languages—she currently speaks English and Spanish but hopes to add another romance language to her repertoire soon.  

If you love Slate, languages or going to the beach, Mariclare is happy to chat! Click here for contact information.