Russell Casseday was hired by Marietta College in the fall to serve as the new Windows System Administrator. Even though he has only been on campus for a few weeks, he has already started to adjust well and become comfortable in his position.
"I've already helped influence a few decisions about some changes that we want to make and I have even visited a few folks to work on their computers or printers," Casseday said. "There is a really good IT team already in place, and I'm just hoping I can become another link in the chain."
Casseday earned a bachelor of science degree from Kent State and is Windows 2003 MCSE+S certified. Casseday previously worked at MTD Products, a company that sells lawn materials, and he uses the tools and skills he learned through his experiences there as resources for him to draw from at Marietta.
"With a manufacturing plant, things move very quickly," Casseday said. "You could be working on 20 things at one time. At Marietta, things are a little more laid back, and you get more interaction with the customers, both employees and students, which is good because it can be pretty boring sitting at a desk."
Casseday also explains one of the most important tools he has acquired throughout his career is customer service. He feels that it is one of the most essential things an IT person can learn.
"Customers don't want to hear why something is broken or any other excuse," he said. "They want the 'switch flipped.' They want you to acknowledge that they actually have an issue and that you genuinely want to help them."
Casseday's addition to IT isn't the only activity among the personnel.
Aaron Cowdery '02, who has as the director of Administrative Services for the past four years, was recently promoted to assistant chief information officer.
Cowdery currently manages additional people and services and plays a bigger role in the strategic planning aspect of Informational Technology.
"One of my favorite aspects of this position is that every day is different," Cowdery said. "I do a lot of problem solving, project management, and planning in this position. While the type of work is consistent, the problems and projects are new and different."
Cowdery is a third generation Marietta graduate as well as a third generation Marietta employee. He learned that he had a passion for computer science through the efforts of his father, who worked in the IT field as well as his peers who recognized his talent concerning technology.
"Information Technology is a rapidly changing environment and with every evolution comes a new set of unforeseen problems to address," Cowdery said. "I also like to reflect on my experiences as a student to help me understand how my decisions may impact the students, and hopefully allow me to make decisions that improve both the administration and educational aspects of the College while limiting as many negative impacts as we can."
After graduating from Marietta College, Cowdery worked at Washington State Community College for four years as a senior programmer.
"I am very excited to be in a leadership role in the Information Technology department," Cowdery said. "Marietta College is a great community and I hope to continue to call it home for a long time to come."