Meet the Staff pieces are typically about individuals, not working groups. Upon receiving an email from Student Computing Services (SCS) Supervisor Jeff Koerber and discovering the exemplary services his student employees provide, I realized that this had to change. The 22 student workers of SCS devote 340 hours per week to helping the division—dedication that deserves attention.
SCS employees assist all members of the TU community. They grade Scantron tests for faculty, assist TU students with removing viruses from their laptops and perform a wide range of services that save staff time and money. Those services are in high demand—so much so that SCS will increase its staff hours from 340 hours per week to 490 upon the completion of the Towson Run construction.
Students of SCS work closely with members of TU’s campus by being involved with Blackboard and PeopleSoft, as well as setting up Cisco VoIP phones. To complete the litany of services offered, SCS helps students with computer lab questions, connecting to TU’s wireless network, connecting to the ResNet, configuring their TVs to work with TU’s campus cable, account problems, computer lab questions, WEPA Pay for Print and configuring smart phones for email.
“These student employees are a great value to the university because it would be significantly more expensive for us to hire 8-9 (soon to be 12-13) full time employees to do the work that these students do on a regular basis,” Koerber said.
But while SCS’ student staff contribute tremendously to the university, the relationship is not one way. The students acquire valuable job experience from their positions, as well as mentorship from Koerber, who tries to help his students find employment after graduation.
“I try to help them find their first job by working with recruiters and looking at the TU job listings,” Koerber said. “You will find my former student employees (from both Student Computing Services and when I worked in Field Support) all around campus including Brian Raley (OTS), Zeeshan Aslam (OTS), Theresa Jenkins (College of Liberal Arts), Megan Amoss (WTMD), and Greg Primrose (Student Affairs).”
This diverse group also benefits from the skills taught in training seminars. Jessica Watson, an SCS student employee and English literature major, said, “I learned how to take apart a computer and put it back together. I did not know how to do that before working here, and I would not have learned otherwise.” Similarly, Brandon Yuhas, an SCS student employee and Information Technology (IT) major, said that he benefits from seeing the administrative side of things. “It’s given me some hands-on experience and perspective. I see things that I never thought about before.”
These students enjoy their jobs—and coworkers. Every person I interviewed—Jessica Watson, Brandon Yuhas, Rob Heck and Brian Brown—said that they love their work environment. Some have benefited strictly from working with each other. Rob Heck, for example, said that his work and coworkers solidified his idea of going into the IT industry. “I want to go into system administration,” he said. “I decided this after working here and talking with fellow employees.”
I suppose this article boils down to one sentiment: SCS is a good institution for everyone involved. Both the students helping and the people being helped benefit from SCS, which is not true of all organizations. As Rob Heck said, “We should raise awareness about SCS. Not many people know about us, and they don’t know that our services are free.” So please—I think a round of applause is warranted for SCS.