Thank you, TPS IT staff

Thank you to our diligent and dedicated TPS IT staff! When the pandemic hit, faculty had to pivot from in-person to online teaching, creating an overnight need for digital support. Our IT staff stepped in with critical resources to take our classrooms online in a matter of days. We are grateful for their quick and generous support at any hour of the day and with a smile.

A Q&A with Pyisone Win, manager of IT at The Polytechnic School

How have you and your team faced the challenges of 2020?

Spring 2020 was a challenge and came as a surprise for me and my team, but we were able to overcome the challenges by working together as a team. Team work is the IT department’s greatest strength. Whenever there is a problem, the whole team is willing to support and resolve the issue. We also worked closely with the ETS and UTO teams to resolve issues.

Describe the transitions you and your team made when the pandemic hit.

As soon as our team went remote, we also needed to provide remote access for students and faculty to computers in the lab using specific software. After discussing with ETS, we decided to switch our computers to Virtual Desktop Environment (VDI). It took us about a week to bring those computers fully online and we worked late nights with ETS folks to make it happen. Because the end of the semester was close and neither faculty students were familiar with the system, I stayed up past 10 p.m. every night for many weeks working with faculty and students to test it out and make sure they knew how to use it before exams started.

What have you and your team learned since the start of the pandemic?

We have been working on moving IT files to the cloud and providing remote/virtual access to our users. The presence of COVID convinced our IT folks to move forward with remote/virtual options. Cloud services are the future for us and right now we are working on migrating to cloud services. For example, we recently moved our Fulton shared folder S: drive to Microsoft OneDrive cloud services and we will continue working in this manner.

How did you assist faculty in switching to virtual teaching modalities?

It was a team effort between IT and faculty. There was a learning curve for all of us. We worked closely with our faculty to make sure they had what they needed. We also supported our faculty by presenting alternate solutions. We are thankful that our faculty are flexible and that has helped us overcome the challenges that 2020 and the pandemic have brought.

Messages of gratitude from The Polytechnic School faculty and staff:

“Thanks to Pyisone, I was able to convert my labs to an online version using virtual desktop machines. He took the time to come in over a weekend to reboot the machines. His care to the Poly students is outstanding.”

Thomas Sugar

professor of engineering

“The Polytechnic School IT staff is the best IT group I have worked with in my 32 years at ASU. They always go the extra mile to make things work. They are enthusiastic and helpful, even when you ask them for something minor. The pandemic has increased the difficulty of their jobs by an order of magnitude and yet they still provide timely help and support for both big and small requests. I am very grateful for their support and help.”

Darryl Morrell

associate professor of engineering

“The IT staff at Poly has always been kind, courteous, prompt and able to resolve all of our IT issues. They continued to provide similar service during the pandemic and I am truly appreciative of their continued exemplary support of the GIT program!”

Susan Squire

lecturer and program chair for GIT

“Our Poly IT staff really had our backs when faced with the technological challenges of COVID and delivering quality higher education. We could not serve our students without them. Thank you to the whole IT team!”

Chad Kennedy

lecturer for technology entrepreneurship and management

“I am so grateful for the hard work and dedication of our IT Team! Every time I need help, they drop everything they are doing to help me immediately. They are always kind and patient since I usually don’t have a clue when it comes to technology. Their customer service and work ethic is remarkable, and I appreciate them so much! A special thanks for everything they do for all of us!”

Anna Wales

business relations coordinator

“We are very lucky at the Poly School to have Pyisone and his team. Considering the many technology challenges this semester and last, I’m amazed at and grateful for how much they do and how quickly they respond. Thank you!”

Deborah Prewitt

senior lecturer for GIT

“The IT folks were and are nothing short of amazing. I think they wear capes!”

Mary Niemczyk

graduate program chair for aviation

“The entire IT team (including folks from outside TPS), starting at the manager level all the way to the student workers who showed up in the classrooms to troubleshoot Zoom issues, did an amazing job during a very trying semester. The express training sessions and the follow up support they pulled off is very commendable. The TPS IT team, under the capable leadership of Pyisone, has always been a solid supporting unit for us but their untiring response to all calls big and small, always with a smile on their face during this semester was tremendously reassuring. It definitely made things easier from my perspective.”

John Rajadas

associate professor and program chair of engineering

“The IT team completed a Herculean task in getting us ready for Fall 2020. Their work included physically upgrading the rooms to support hybrid learning, and then an even bigger job of training faculty and tech assistants to use the technology. They did all of this with great competence, efficiency, kindness, and patience. I’m grateful to work with such a great team and thankful they’re here!”

Jennifer Bekki

associate professor for EESD and associate director of The Polytechnic School

IT staff