Wagner wins University Awards for Excellence
If you have contacted the NC State Help Desk for support, you most likely have been helped by David Wagner. Last year, he resolved nearly a fourth of all help desk support tickets, providing support and expertise to users in the campus community and beyond.
For answering the call, Wagner received the University’s Awards for Excellence — the most prestigious honor bestowed upon an NC State non-faculty member during an awards ceremony held June 14 in the James B. Hunt Jr. Library.
The University Awards for Excellence recognizes contributions that are above and beyond an employee’s normal job responsibilities in customer service, efficiency and innovation, human relations, outstanding state government service, public service, safety and heroism, and the spirit of North Carolina.
Nominated in the category Customer Service, Wagner, an IT integrations and solutions professional, was instrumental in ensuring that the NC State Help Desk provided expert support to users. When the help desk began in 2022, there was a concern response time metrics might be negatively impacted by a multitude of projects and events. However, those were nonissues due to Wagner’s performance. Wagner resolved 1,800 questions from the 6,500 incidents generated from the alumni transfer project. He also resolved an impressive 9,500 tickets, which is nearly one-fourth of all tickets for the year. That number does not include the countless incidents he helped other help desk staff resolve or the incidents he preempted by documenting much-needed knowledge for the alumni transfer project and other IT processes.
Wagner and 11 other award recipients received a plaque, $1,000 and eight hours of paid leave. They also will vie for the Governor’s Awards for Excellence. There were 55 nominees across campus units and divisions.
Other OIT employees who vied for the University Awards for Excellence included: Damian Boyce and James Glover.
- Nominated in the category Outstanding State Government Service, Boyce, a technology support analyst, has been an asset in the successes of OIT ClassTech. He was recognized for this positive mentorship and inclusive, encouraging attitude. His work and dedication have been instrumental in the success of two new support analysts. Boyce has tuned in to their specific needs and openly shared knowledge to steer them on a positive trajectory with ClassTech. During the pandemic, ClassTech adopted several new technologies to address the need for asynchronous learning. Boyce quickly picked up and understood the new skills needed to support these changes. Among those changes were new tools to allow ClassTech to remotely monitor the status of essential devices in the classrooms, such as the desktop computer, the video conferencing equipment and the Panopto media capture devices. Using these tools, Boyce became an essential resource, detecting many equipment issues by leveraging Zabbix and coordinating with the rest of the support staff to resolve these incidents before significant impact to lectures and faculty could occur.
- Nominated in the category of Customer Service, Glover, a technology support specialist, was recognized for his dedication to his job, his team and the campus community. Glover works with end users to help explain issues with a recognition of the user’s time and its value. He understands that getting end users back to work is critical and does this with an urgency and understanding of what downtime means. Regardless of title, Glover provides that same sense of urgency and exceptional customer service to every user. He is also ready to help his team at the drop of a hat. When requests for assistance or questions come up in team meetings, Glover is often one of the first team members to respond. And as a team lead, he leads by example through his work, his attitude and as appropriate to the university, his ability to teach. In the last year, Glover has volunteered to help the College of Science (COS) for several months, while still assisting the OIT teams. While he helped at COS, he never stopped maintaining knowledge of the changes occurring in the Managed Desktop Support (MDS) team. After coming back to the MDS team, he has maintained a consistent relationship with the COS team to make sure they have the information and training required to continue rising as a newly rebuilt organization.
“David did an outstanding job of helping graduating students through the process of moving to an alumni email account making the transition smoother for them,” said Marc Hoit, CIO and vice chancellor for Information Technology. “David, James, Damian and all OIT nominees are excellent examples of the dedication, expertise and customer focus the OIT team has for supporting the university.”
OIT Awards for Excellence
Wagner, Boyce and Glover were recipients of OIT’s 2023 Awards for Excellence, which qualified them to vie for the University Awards for Excellence. Each received a plaque, $250 and eight hours of paid leave.
Other OIT employees who were nominated at the division level included Ryan Gallagher of Security and Compliance and Ed Rogers, formerly of Communication Technologies.
Pride of the WolfPack Award
The 2022-23 Pride of the WolfPack Award winners were Rhonda Batts, Mikhail Bugaev, Shawn Caton, Caffie Darden, Jennifer Domnick, Rhonda Greene, Kevin McDonald, Jenn McGraft, Trish Palmer, Balaji Parthasarathy, Andy Raynor, and Patrick Sperlein. The award honors staff members who make significant contributions to improving the services, systems and experiences of OIT as well as the university community.
The 2022-23 recipients for the Totally Outstanding Attitude, Service and Talent Award are:
- Everette Allen
- Elisabeth Bailey
- Danny Boemermann
- Eric Campbell
- Mike Donathan
- Gabbi Ferguson
- Kevin Ficker
- Rhonda Greene
- Jordan Hatcher
- Jodie Lanning
- Jill Phipps
This fiscal year, NC State recognized 53 employees who reached five-year milestones in their university service.
30 Years of Service
- Deborah Booth
- Bill Coker
- Wade Cornett
- Scott Dean
- David Ladrie
- Stan Martin
- Gail Proper
- Ed Rogers
25 Years of Service
- Aaron Peeler
20 Years of Service
- Peyton Armstrong
- Billy Beaudoin
- Therese Burkhart
- Tony Copeland
- John Foster
- Michael Frechette
- Randall Greenly
- Bill Jenniches
- Kristina Kelly
- Gary Li
- Neal McCorkle
- Christopher Radabaugh
- Connie Reitfort
- Eric Sills
- Samson Teshome
15 Years of Service
- Derek Ballard
- Jeff Boone
- Mary Kay Cahoon
- Amy Coggins
- Matt Domnick
- Mark Harben
- Marc Hoit
- Mounika Jala
- Derek Jordan
- Taylor Lundy
- Brittany Mastrangelo
- Stephen Neal
- Jason Proctor
- Ken Rich
- David Van Emden
- Shawn Van Hulst
- David Wagner
- Charles Walker
10 Years of Service
- Saritha Bollapalli
- Steven Burkett
- Brett Horton
- Jamie Hufnagel
- Jill Phipps
- Eric Poirier
- Cody Sutler
5 Years of Service
- Brandon Bouché
- Elizabeth Cole-Walker
- Anne Holt
- Marie Hotaling
- Kathryn Rees
- Gabe Simerson
- William Stevenson
IT Community Awards
During the Fourth Annual NC State IT Community Awards ceremony held on Nov. 17, several OIT employees were recognized for making a significant collaborative impact at NC State in the following categories:
The Extraordinary Team Impact Award recognizes a high-functioning team that has facilitated, promoted or advanced the university’s mission, vision and values through its collaborative efforts. The 2022 recipient of this award was the OIT Enterprise Research Administration (ERA) Team, which included Natalie Boone, Angie Fullington and Matt Schultz.
The OIT ERA Team was nominated for its efforts in implementing two compliance modules: the Conflict of Interest (COI) module and the Institutional Animal Care and Use (IACUC) module. The COI module monitors research compliance involving faculty and staff and outside activities they perform for other organizations as well as necessary training and assertions related to grant funding. The IACUC module manages the research and treatment protocols governing research using vertebrate animals at NC State’s facilities across North Carolina. The ERA team is the primary day-to-day contact between the software vendor and NC State and the main technical contact for the Office of Research and Innovation (ORI) and other central office stakeholders. The ERA team works closely with technical and non-technical staff in ORI to troubleshoot the system, determine configurations, create data integrations, and support faculty and staff end users and dozens of other activities involved in implementing and supporting an enterprise-level application suite.
The Team Player Award recognizes an individual who has taken the initiative to foster collaboration, communication and cooperation with units or individuals outside their respective department. The recipient of this award was Joseph Perry of Communication Technologies. Perry was nominated for his oversight of the data centers and network main distribution frames at NC State. They must remain operational 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. In his five years at the university, Joseph has added and enhanced numerous processes and systems to increase the resiliency of these critical facilities. Perry is also the lead of one of the largest and most impactful IT infrastructure projects in the history of IT at NC State – the relocation of Data Center 2 to off-campus colocation sites. He has worked effectively with many internal and external stakeholders and kept disruption to campus services minimal.
The Rising Star Award recognizes a new employee who has made significant collaborative contributions to their department or university community. Gabriella Ferguson of Outreach, Communications and Consulting is the recipient of this award. She was recognized for her numerous contributions to the Data Security Training instructional materials, helping to develop and edit content, create slides, record the training, and incorporate the quiz component. She performed all tasks successfully, all while working through the challenges of short timelines, learning new technologies and collaborating across departments. In addition, she was commended for her work on several internal and external teams and committees including OIT’s Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DEI) Committee, the UNC CAUSE Conference Planning Team, and a new UNC CAUSE Diversity, Equity, Inclusion and Belonging Special Interest Group.
OIT employees who retired during the 2022-23 fiscal year included:
- Evan Cherry
- David Ladrie
- Stan Martin
- Ed Rogers
- Henry Schaffer
- Willy Steinbrecher
- Dana Strickland
Major new appointments
- Kim Vassiliadis was selected as the assistant vice chancellor for Outreach, Communications and Consulting.
- Jason Proctor of Communication Technologies was named director of Engineering, Construction and Critical Facilities.
- Mykola Aleshchanov, Mardecia Bell, Rennie Bidgood, Elizabeth Cole-Walker, Cristian Gradisteanu, Dan Grigg, Mark Harben, Andrew Kotynski and Lavanya volunteered at various Wake County elementary schools to help students learn a graphical user interface to generate code that creates stars and orbiting planets, resulting in musical tones and percussive beats when the stars’ and planets’ paths crossed.
- Damon Armour, Mardecia Bell, Rennie Bidgood, Deborah Booth, Elizabeth Cole-Walker and Andy Kotynski served as members of the Information Systems Security Association (ISSA). Cole-Walker is also appointed member of the ISSA career services board.
- Damon Armour, Mardecia Bell, Doug Lewis and Adria Snead co-presented on “Developing Advanced System Security Plans” at the EDUCAUSE Cybersecurity and Privacy Professionals Conference.
- Damon Armour, Deborah Booth, Andy Kotynski and Andy Raynor served as members of the International Systems Security Certification Consortium.
- Damon Armour, Chris Bradsher, Mike Donathan and Dan Grigg presented “Taking CMDB to the Next Level by Capturing Data Inventory on Assets that Will Automate GRC Efforts” at the UNC CAUSE Conference.
- Damon Armour, Mardecia Bell, Elizabeth Cole-Walker and Andrew Kotynsk served on the planning committee for the 2nd Annual North Carolina Cybersecurity Symposium held Jan. 19-20 at NC State.
- Damon Armour, Mardecia Bell, Elizabeth Cole-Walker and Andy Kotynski served as members of the FBI’s InfraGard.
- Damon Armour, Mardecia Bell, Deborah Booth, Elizabeth Cole-Walker and Lavanya Sridharan served as members of the Information Systems Audit and Control Association.
- BJ Attarian has recertified to teach Apple Final Cut Pro and Blackmagic DaVinci Resolve.
- Mardecia Bell serves as a member of the UNC Information Security Council, the NC Technology Association CISO Roundtable, and the CISO Society. She also continues to serve on the steering team for NC State’s Women In Technology (WIT) Interest Group.
- Rennie Bidgood served as a member of the Society for Technical Communication and the College News Association of the Carolinas. She served as a judge for the Carolinas chapter of the STC’s annual Technical Communication Competition. In addition, she volunteered with the NC State chapter of the National Coalition Building Institute, an organization driven to improve the campus culture of diversity; she co-facilitated two workshops. She also continues to participate as an active member of the campus “GLBT Advocate” community for the sixth consecutive year.
- Brandon Bouché has recertified his Comp TIA A+ certification.
- Ron Bradley was appointed as the president of UNC CAUSE and served as the chair; Gabriella Ferguson and Katie McInerney also co-chaired the communications committee.
- Elizabeth Cole-Walker earned the SANS Cyber Security Awareness Professional Certification and volunteered to help support Triangle INFOSECON 2022. She was also appointed to a two-year term on the Provost’s Committee on the Status of Women at NC State. She served on the Sisterhood Dinner Committee and led the charity silent auction that benefited the Women’s Center with record funds raised.
- Elizabeth Cole-Walker and NC A&T University colleagues co-led the Cybersecurity and Lessons Learned Special Interest Group at the UNC CAUSE Conference.
- Darren Fallis and Elizabeth Cole-Walker served as representatives to the Institutional Review Board that provides oversight of human subjects research. They worked with research faculty and staff to address data security issues and concerns.
- Kevin Ficker became a Certified Technology Specialist-Installation.
- Pat Gaddy represented NC State on the University of North Carolina System Staff Assembly.
- Rhonda Greene served as a delegate on the North Carolina Public Relations Society of America’s board of directors and as a member of the national PRSA Technology Section. She also served as a member of the NC State Staff Senate’s Computer Loan Program.
- Dan Grigg co-chaired the UNC CAUSE special interest group for IT Project Management. He completed the Agile Hybrid Project Pro and Value Stream Management micro-certification offered by the Project Management Institute and the 2023 Core Product and 2023 Project Management Smartsheet certifications.
- Dan Grigg, Andy Kotynski, Kevin McDonald and Lavanya Sridharan served as members of the North Carolina Project Management Institute.
- Dan Grigg, Andy Kotynski and Lavanya Sridharan maintained the Project Management Professional certification by completing at least 60 hours of continuing education in a three-year recurring cycle.
- Martin Kasprzak earned ITIL 4 Foundation and Knowledge-Centered Service Fundamentals certifications.
- Andy Kotynski served as a volunteer and co-chair of the Technical Advisory Board for the Town of Wake Forest for the sixth consecutive year. He also chaired the Third Annual Wake Forest Stem Saturday event, which provided outreach to more than 1,000 local K-12 students in STEM disciplines.
- Carrie Levow earned ITIL 4 Foundations Certification.
- Jill Phipps served as the 2022-23 NC State Staff Senate chair.
- Gabe Simerson and Michael Hester were ServiceNow Admin certified via Tokyo.
OIT’s diverse workforce currently consists of 207 men and 92 women ranging in age from their 20s to 70s. See related charts regarding our work culture:
|IT Staff (as of May 12)
|American / Indian / Alaska Native
|Black / African American
|Black / African American / Hispanic / Latino
|White / American / Indian / Alaska Native
|White / Asian
|White / Black / African American
|White / Hispanic / Latino
|White / Hispanic / Latino / Native Hawaiian / Other / Pacific Islander
|Number of Employees
|Percentage of Workforce