Get to Know Us

Get to Know Us: Bhagya Srinivasan

This month, we meet Bhagya Srinivasan, who works in our Academic Technology Services department as an Instructional Designer

Bhagya joined Clark on February 1st of 2020, just in time to become an invaluable part of our faculty support team during the COVID response. When asked how to describe what she does in a single line, she says “I help teachers discover their strengths in teaching.” She particularly enjoys working with faculty from different disciplines and learning about their passion, teaching and research. Her ultimate goal when working with faculty is to help them get technology to work for them as much as (or more than) feeling like they’re working for technology.

Bhagya is originally from India, and grew up travelling through most of India as a military daughter. She’s lived in four states in US, loving each one of them for their individual uniqueness. During her travels, she got married, worked at a variety of colleges and universities, had a daughter and earned her Doctorate in Education. Now living in Shrewsbury, she loves spending time with her grandson, walking on trails and practicing yoga.

Interested in chatting to Bhagya about how to make technology work for you? Visit the ITS Contact Us page for more information.

Get to Know Us: Michael Benedetti

This month, we meet a new face to ITS – Michael Benedetti, our Senior Endpoint Administrator.

Michael started at Clark in November 2020 and has quickly become an important part of our Endpoint team, supporting devices across campus, or as Michael modestly puts it “I help with computers to make sure they work the way their owners want them to work.” Working with Michael, it was clear immediately that he’s a person who loves to learn and his favorite part of the job so far is that working with Clark faculty, staff and students has already taught him so much – and there’s more on the horizon. One thing he wishes he got asked more often is about data security and how users can protect their – and Clark’s – data.

Michael is Massachusetts born and bred, and originally from Palmer, a small town in western Massachusetts. He got an early interest in computers when a high-school teacher saw some potential and let him get his hands on the brand-new school computer, a PDP-8 minicomputer with spinning tapes and flashing lights. From that point on he was hooked, and has worked with computers for his whole career.

PDP-8 Minicomputer

Outside work, Michael is a cat-lover and while currently has 3 cats, has had 8 or more rescued kittens in the past. Recently he’s dabbled in Disc Golf, is interested in getting back to playing his baby grand piano and is reliving the 90’s by rewatching Babylon 5 with his wife.

Interested in talking to Michael about your computer needs, how to secure your data or how to herd cats? Visit the ITS Contact Us page for more information.

 

 

ITS Gift Guide – 2020

While 2020 wasn’t what any of us expected, one thing remains the same – ITS are still geeks! As gift-giving holidays approach, the ITS team have come together to share our nerdiness with the campus. We’re excited to highlight the fun techy things, or super-geeky gadgets that we’ve bought this year or have on our holiday Wish Lists.

If you still have questions about your technology purchases after reading through our recommendations, give us a call! Click here to contact us.

STEMify Your Skills

Submitted by Michael Krikonis, Academic Technologist

As well as having an adorable name, the Raspberry Pi is a DIY computer encapsulated in a keyboard and it’s perfect for those looking to develop Computer Science and STEM skills. Once set up, the operating system comes packed with Math and Science apps, as well as a popular game or two. A monitor with HDMI input is required and we recommend purchasing a larger memory card to allow room for plenty of data and fun.

Become Big Brother

Submitted by Dan Meyer, Enterprise Systems Engineer

For those of you comfortable with all things autonomous, you may be interested in Dan’s pick of a flying security camera. Dan (true to his profession) is a big fan of home security cameras, and Ring’s soon-to-be-released “Always Home Cam” combines the fun of a drone, the convenience of a robot vacuum, and the security of the Ring suite of technology.

Use Your Voice

Submitted by Sharon Griffin Edson, Help Desk Coordinator

While Sharon was worried that an Amazon Echo was too old-school to be highlighted, ITS is loving voice-assistant technology more than ever. The Echo brand have expanded over the years and now include voice-assistant gadgets for your car (Echo Auto), an Echo with a screen for easy video calls (Echo Show), and portable assistants for your ears (Echo Buds) and your eyes (Echo Frames). Click here to see the whole range.

But if Echo/Amazon/Alexa isn’t for you, there are many other options including Google Nest, Facebook Portal and Apple HomePod.

Get to Know Jack

Submitted by Joanne Dolan, Director of Academic Technology and Client Support

While Joanne has been playing Jackbox Party Packs for years, the games have seen a well-deserved resurgence as they’re easy and fun to play over Zoom. Available to buy and install on PC and Mac (via Steam), the host can stream the game by sharing their desktop on Zoom.  Players connect via their phones, tablets or computers wherever they are to submit answers to fast-paced trivia, ridiculous punchlines to Dad Jokes, or drawing for Pictionary-styled hilarity. The most fun you can have with a Clark-sponsored Zoom account!

Manage your Media

Submitted by Jason Trinklein, Director of Infrastructure

Finding AppleTV, ChromeCast or FireTV too limiting? Consider a mini-computer for your home entertainment system. Connecting an Intel NUC mini-computer to his TV not only gave Jason access to all his streaming services without fuss, it also allowed him to connect and display his digital music collection, PC games, and family photos. While having access to a wireless keyboard and mouse is preferable, the NUC can be controlled with a regular universal remote. And while you can buy mini-computers with various specifications, you don’t need the newest or most powerful one to make it a valuable addition to your home entertainment center.

Embrace the #2020

Submitted by Christian Sorgi, Information Security Engineer

Something that’s made Christian’s life easier over the past 9 months is something small, cheap, but really effective at what it does – a Pulse Oximeter. Perfect for those that don’t want to splurge on a Smart Watch having one of these on hand helps during high-altitude hiking, as well as to quell any anxiety surrounding COVID-19. It’s also FSA/HSA approved.

Get to Know Us: Terrance McCormack

This month, we meet a familiar face to many of you – Terrance McCormack, our ITS Help Desk Manager.  

Terrance has been a member of the Clark community for 5 years, and when asked by friends what he does, he modestly says “I fix computers.” Anyone who has been helped by Terrance knows he does far more than that – from often being the first ITS face new students, staff and faculty meet when joining Clark, to leading, training and inspiring the Help Desk studentsto problem-solving even the trickiest of computer issuesWhen asked what he wished more people would ask for help with, Terrance gives the appropriately geeky answer of “how to best manage their data!” 

Born in Texas, Terrance was raised in Shirley, Massachusetts and currently lives in Fitchburg with his wife, Amber, and three children. He spends his free time playing and watching basketball, hanging out with his kids, missing Annie’s Clark Brunch, and keeping up with all the best prestige TV, with Curb Your Enthusiasm being a real favorite.  

If you’re interested in talking with Terrance about your data management, his favorite Annie’s order or the Marvelous Mrs. Maisel, click here to contact him. 

Get to Know Us: Chuck Wyatt

This month, we meet a Clark veteran with 19 years, 11 months and 1 week under his belt. So if you chat to Chuck Wyatt, our Manager of Web Technical Services on December 1st, 2020 wish him a Happy 20th Clark Anniversary.

Chuck is originally from Texas, but moved to Massachusetts to attend Harvard Divinity School. From there he worked in web-design and web-programming at non-profits before arriving at Clark. When asked about his role, he modestly states that he “works on the website” but anyone who’s worked closely with Chuck knows that his work is far more wide-ranging and that he’s creative, detail-oriented and always focused on offering wonderful service.

As for outside of work, Chuck has a love of Ireland having visited many times, enjoys reading and watching The Americans and is excited to hone his new-found love of sailing. However, one of his most interesting and life-long hobbies – amateur radio operator – has provided great stories and friendships. These include communicating with some of the residents at Jim Jones’ People’s Temple in Guyana back in 1978, and making scores of friends across Europe from his radio during a recent trip to Ireland.

If you’re interested in talking with Chuck about his radio adventures, his new home in Newtown, Connecticut, or of course, the website, click here to contact him.

Get to Know Us: Jason Trinklein

Jason Trinklein is our brand-new Director of Infrastructure and we were all very excited to welcome him to ITS just one month ago.

Jason grew up near Oyster Bay, New York and attended Stony Brook University before transferring to the College of Charleston, and completing his Bachelor’s Degree in Computer Science. Jason has experience working in and leading a number of IT departments at institutions in Charleston, including the Art Institute of Charleston, Christ Our King-Stella Maris School and the College of Charleston. Meanwhile, he’s also started a few small businesses, taught Computer Science at the college and junior-high level, and completed his Masters Degree in Computer Science from Georgia Tech.

In his ‘spare’ time he enjoys reading; at present he’s reading the Asimov “Foundation Series” of books, and its study of the herd psychology of humanity. He also has an interest in the works of Carl Sagan and Richard Feynman, and a love of Pizza!

Jason is excited to join ITS, work on solving complex problems and particularly looks forward to making a difference in people’s lives by improving their quality of education through technology.

Interested in talking with Jason about Physics, Pizza or about how he and ITS can help your department be more productive? Click here to email him.

“Get to Know Us” is a recurring column that introduces and highlights ITS staff members.

Get to Know Us: Andy Morrow

Andrew Morrow

Andrew Morrow

Andy Morrow is a Senior Business Analyst and Programmer with the Administrative Information Services (AIS) group of ITS and has been with Clark University for 5 years.

What is a Senior Business Analyst, you might ask! When asked what he does at parties, Andy has a great, easy to understand answer –

“A University manages a lot of data. Clark University will provide better services and make better decisions if we are able to organize, access, and interpret that data effectively. I work with administrative offices on campus helping them improve reporting and implement new software applications with the goal of improving their operations and providing better service to students.”

But going above and beyond is what Andy really enjoys. He particularly likes solving thorny problems by implementing tools, answering interesting questions, and brainstorming the best way to approach new situations.

Andy is originally from the “other”  Portland (Oregon) and before joining Clark five years ago worked as Director of Student Account Services at Plymouth State University in New Hampshire. Now he lives in Worcester with his wife Sarah, and sons Benedict and Charlie. In his spare time, he likes to eat at Dead Horse Hill, play board games (particularly Azul and Pandemic) and reading, with a recent favorite being “How Long ’til Black Future Month”, by N.K. Jemisin.

Interested in asking Andy for some reading recommendations or about how he and AIS can help your department meet your goals? Click here to find his contact information.

“Get to Know Us” is a recurring column that introduces and highlights ITS staff members.

ITS Gift Guide – 2019

As Black Friday and gift-giving holidays approach, the ITS team have come together to share our geekiness with the campus!

While you’re looking to find the best technology deals and gifts, we thought we’d highlight the fun techy things, or super-geeky gadgets that we’ve bought this year or have on our holiday Wish Lists.

If you still have questions about your technology purchases after reading through our recommendations, give us a call! Click here to contact us.


Amazon Fire Kids and Joe Kalinowski

Amazon Fire Kids

For the kids, or clumsy people, in your life

Submitted by Joe Kalinowski, Interim CIO

“Little kids love tech too, and we love Amazon Fires for Kids. They’re especially nice because they’re much cheaper than other tablets, they come with a guarantee for two years for uh-oh’s, and they come with a year of FreeTime which is a set of tools that help you manage content your kids can see and time they spend on the device.”

Click here to learn more about the Amazon Fire for Kids


Blackout Buddy and Justin Brooks

Blackout Buddy

For the Scouts in your life who are always prepared

Submitted by Justin Brooks, Manager of Endpoint Systems

“American Red Cross Blackout Buddy Charge Emergency LED Flashlight, Blackout Alert, Nightlight & Phone Charger is a device which has an internal battery that charges while plugged in; when the power goes out the flashlight turns on to serve as an emergency light and the battery can be used to charge a device via USB for emergency power.”

Click here to learn more about the Blackout Buddy


Ember Smart Mug and Nicholas Blank

Ember Smart Mug

For the busy coffee lover in your life

Submitted by Nicholas Blank, Senior Business/Data Analyst with AIS

“My wife got me an Ember Smart Mug  and it’s a truly wonderful gadget. It’s a nice looking mug with a heating element in the bottom and a Bluetooth connection to your phone so you can set your coffee to the temperature you like and it actually stays that temperature until the last sip. The charger even looks like a nice matching saucer. If possible, I now look forward to my morning coffee EVEN MORE.”

Click here to learn more about Ember Smart Mugs


Overcooked and Joanne Dolan

Overcooked

For the perfect couples in your life

Submitted by Joanne Dolan, Director for Academic Technology and Client Support

“Overcooked is a couch co-operative game that will test the best of relationships! You need to work together to run a kitchen with lots of moving parts, including moving workspaces, powercuts and fires. When my husband and I play there’s lots of panicking, shouting orders, blaming each other and laughing – but we still like each other at the end! Available on Steam for Windows 10 and Mac, Xbox, PlayStation, and Switch”

Click here to learn more about Overcooked


Fitfort Sunrise Clock and Sharon Griffin-Edson

Fitfort Sunrise Clock

For the Daylight Savings hater in your life

Submitted by Sharon Griffin-Edson, Help Desk Supervisor

“I hate waking up in the dark, so I bought this alarm clock that simulates a natural sunrise, and so far I’m loving it!”

Click here to learn more about Sunrise Alarm Clocks

 


Dji Spark Drone and Becky Frieden

Dji Spark Drone

For the Big Brother/photographer in your life

Submitted by Becky Frieden, Director of Administrative Information Services

“I bought my husband the Dji Spark Drone last year. He loves it – the camera takes amazing photos.”

Click here to learn more about Dji Spark Drones

Get to Know Us: Joe Kalinowski

A Headshot of Joe Kalinowski

Joe Kalinowski

Joe is currently the Interim CIO & Assistant Vice President for IT. In this role, he ensures that the Clark community has the support they need to best utilize data and technology to accomplish their goals.

He has been at Clark for almost 14 years where he has led initiatives to strengthen the reliability and resilience of our IT infrastructure, minimize our risk around information security, improve user interactions with IT, and has been an adjunct faculty member in GSOM since 2016. Prior to Clark, Joe was at WPI for almost a decade focused on academic technology. Joe has earned his CISSP, a B.S. in Computer Science from WPI, and an MBA from Clark University. In a prior life Joe was also the technical director for a local theater company that produced summer community theater at local high schools and the now closed Foothills Theater (where the Unum building is downtown today).

Talking with students, parents, and the community about Clark is one of Joe’s favorite parts of the job. Hearing a story about the impact of Clark helps put the daily work we do into perspective.

Joe was born and raised in Holden where he still lives today with his wife Tara and two sons, John and Andrew. It wouldn’t be uncommon to find Joe outside of the office coaching Little League baseball, doing something that loosely resembles golfing, or visiting a Disney park. However you will always find Joe at Ocean Beach Park Polka Days at the end of June.

Interested in asking Joe more about how IT can help you meet your department’s goals or his best Polka moves? Click here to find his contact information.

“Get to Know Us” is a recurring column that introduces and highlights ITS staff members.

Get to Know Us: Jim Hilow

Jim Hilow smiling in front of water

Jim Hilow

Jim Hilow has been a part of the Clark community for almost 20 years, and is our Senior Endpoint Administrator.

Jim loves his job supporting all the different areas of technology at the university, and particularly likes the fact that he gets to try new technology before it launches to the campus as a whole.

If he could give one piece of advice to the Clark community, it would be to talk with Jim about the importance of updating your computer backup process on a regular basis.

Jim is another one of the ITS team members that was born and raised in Worcester, and another Clark alumnus with a B.S. in Computer Science.  He and his wife have been active foster parents since 2016 and are currently in the process of adopting two most amazing little girls (sisters).

When not spending time with his family, Jim likes to hang out at Peppercorns eating their Lobster Mac & Cheese, enjoys playing the video game “Destiny”, and reading. In fact he highly recommends “The Accidental President: Harry S. Truman and the Four Months That Changed the World” by A.J. Baime.

Interested in asking Jim more about backups and other fun IT questions? Click here to find his contact information.

“Get to Know Us” is a recurring column that introduces and highlights ITS staff members.