New Faces in ITS: Leyi Zhu

 Leyi Zhu has joined Widener’s TLT team as an Instructional Designer. She looks forward to collaborating with faculty to develop engaging learning experiences for our students, and exploring effective teaching and learning strategies and digital pedagogy practices within the entire Canvas ecosystem.

Leyi earned her master’s degree in Instructional Psychology and Technology from the University of Oklahoma. She also has a master’s degree in Business Management from Zhejiang University in China. Prior to moving to the United States, Leyi worked for over six years as an auditor and financial analyst.

In her spare time, Leyi enjoys reading with her two daughters and encourages them to create stories of their own. If anyone has any ideas about engaging children in storytelling or good books to recommend, please share them with her. Leyi’s office is in the TLT space by the FISHtank (Wolfgram Library, 1st floor).

New Faces in ITS: Ambria Smith & Anupama (Anu) Yalamanchi

We are excited to introduce to you the two newest members of the ITS team.  Please join us in welcoming Ambria Smith and Anu Yalamanchi to Widener.

Ambria Smith joined the Client Success team as a Customer Support Specialist.  She will be working at the Chester campus as well as the Widener Partnership Charter School.

She was previously employed as an IT Analyst at the PA Leadership Charter School for three years. Ambria has been accepted to the Computer Science and Legal Studies programs here at Widener and will begin taking classes this summer.

Outside of work Ambria has been playing the piano and singing for the past 15 years. She also enjoys learning about the law, doing community service work, and learning about programming.

Anu Yalamanchi

 Anupama (Anu) Yalamanchi joins ITS as a Programmer Analyst.  She is an experienced programmer and web developer whose most recent employment includes nine years as an Application Developer in higher education.

Anu holds a bachelor’s degree in math and chemistry from Nagarjuna University in India and a master’s degree in computer applications from Andhra University, also in India.

Anu prides herself on having a good sense of teamwork, quality, and integrity.  She is self-motivated to learn new things, and she will be working closely with the Enrollment Management areas of the university to understand and support their business needs.

Doylestown is home for Anu and her family, and, when she can find the time she enjoys painting–usually flowers on canvas.  She has some lovely pictures of her work on her phone.  Ask her to see them when you meet her!

New Roles for Two ITS Employees

Our new employees are great, but so are our veterans. We’re celebrating two long-time employees in ITS as they take on new roles in the organization.

kitchenjJohn Kitchen

Long-time ITS employee John Kitchen ’97 stepped into the Interim Director of Client Success position several months ago. Good things followed immediately, so it didn’t take long for it to be clear that he was the right person for the job. Effective immediately, John Kitchen deletes the word “Interim” from the beginning of the title.

The director of client success position is responsible for leading a variety of crucial services at all three campuses: our help desks and student labs, the asset management program, desktop software, and technology training.

John Kitchen has deep experience in all of these areas. He has worked in ITS for a total of 18 years, and has been in charge of supporting law school IT needs since 2006. He’s a recognized leader in his field, currently serving as a vice president for the Philadelphia local chapter of HDI, a professional association for the technical support industry.

Jackie MacDonald

As part of John’s charge to deepen our focus on client advocacy, he promoted Jackie MacDonald ’12 to the newly created position of client success analyst. Jackie has worked in several different positions in ITS in her eight years at the University. Jackie is an in-house expert for Macs as well as the systems that manage our trouble resolution and asset management data. Most importantly, Jackie has always been a person who acts as a “voice of the client” in ITS processes, pointing out how we can improve our services for faculty, staff, and students.

The client success analysts—we will eventually have two at the Chester campus— focus more of their time on the parts of IT support that extend beyond the help desk. In addition to asset management, Jackie will spend a lot of her time supporting training and professional development efforts to make better use of our supported software. She was the driving force in our launch on Lynda.com last year, and one of the main reasons that over 825 Widener community members have already taken advantage of the technology learning platform.

If you or your department would like to discuss technology learning needs, contact Jackie to let her know of your interest.

New Faces in ITS: Steve Stratoti & Jessica Storey

We are thrilled to introduce two dynamic professionals to the Widener University community

 

StratotiS
Stephen Stratoti

Steve Stratoti joined ITS as a Sr. Programmer Analyst in October 2017 and has been quickly getting up-to-speed working with the University Systems team in ACN 105.

Steve is a graduate of Drexel University and has worked as an IT Developer and a Business Process Engineer for 11 years with a variety of educational institutions.  He is very familiar and comfortable working with university students, faculty and staff.  And he’s already proven a perfect fit for the new Client Success focus within ITS.

Steve LOVES learning new technologies and tinkering with home automation gadgets.  He’s into gaming of all kinds–including board games; sings tenor in a Semi-professional A Cappella group; and enjoys cooking and grilling.

Steve and his wife Arielle make their home in Philly along with their dog, Frankie, and cat, Ruka.  Thank you to all who have already made Steve feel like part of the Widener family.  And for those who haven’t met him yet, you are in for a real treat when you do!

Storey Picture

 Jessica Storey has relocated from Fredericksburg, VA to join Widener’s TLT team as an Instructional Designer. She looks forward to working with faculty on digital pedagogy best practices as well as creating course content. In addition, Jessica is excited to assist with the migration over to Canvas and help faculty take advantage of all the exciting features Canvas has to offer.  You can find Jessica holding training sessions and workshops in the FISHtank (Wolfgram Library, 1st floor) or working 1-on-1 with instructors or with department groups.

Jessica has spent the last eleven years in the education field, as both a classroom teacher and Instructional Technology Resource Specialist. She obtained a bachelor’s degree in Education from the State University of New York at Fredonia and a master’s degree in Instructional Design and Technology from the University of Mary Washington.

In her free time, Jessica enjoys chasing after her two-year-old daughter, traveling, and cycling. She looks forward to getting to know the local roads and continuing to ride in the MS Bike to the Bay each year.

John Kitchen assumes new role in ITS

Kitchen is appointed interim director of client success for all three Widener campuses.

kitchenjAs we were starting the new academic year needing full-time leadership for the client success team, we were fortunate that John Kitchen stepped up to help.

The director of client success position is responsible for leading a variety of crucial services at all three campuses: our help desks and student labs, the asset management program, desktop software, and technology training.

John Kitchen has deep experience in all of these areas. He has worked in ITS for a total of 18 years, and has been in charge of supporting law school IT needs since 2006. He’s a recognized leader in his field, currently serving as a vice president for the Philadelphia local chapter of HDI, a professional association for the technical support industry. A Widener alumnus ’97, his dedication to the University and gold-standard service is apparent to everybody he meets.

Outside of Widener, John enjoys spending time with family and friends. He volunteers for Wills For Heroes Delaware Charter by providing technical support. In his leisure time, John enjoys reading, hiking and fishing.

People at the Delaware and Harrisburg campuses know John well already. We’re excited for the Chester campus community to have a chance to work with him more closely.

 

 

Congratulations, Casey!

CaseyGraduationCongratulations are in order for Casey Croson, Classroom Support Technologist in the ITS Teaching and Learning Technologies (TLT) group!

On May 19th, Casey graduated with a Master’s of Education in Instructional Technology. His personal interest is “the gamification of learning.” Casey also holds a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Acting from Old Dominion University in Norfolk, VA. In fact, he originally came to Philadelphia back in 2013 to do a one-month study at the Pig Iron Theatre for Mask, Mime, and Physical Movement (or as he refers to it, “Clown School!”) After returning home to Norfolk, Casey decided to take a chance and pursue opportunities in the Philly area. He has been here ever since and says his decision has worked out well!

Allow us to introduce…Jeremy Wheeler

Jeremy Wheeler is the new classroom support technologist with Teaching and Learning Technologies (TLT).

JWpicWorking alongside Rick Orme and Casey Croson, Jeremy is on the team that keeps the AV and other multimedia technologies in Widener’s formal and informal learning spaces in working order. He just moved to the Delaware County area from Syracuse, NY, where he was employed as a technician in the field of AV integration.

Jeremy is a graduate of Lebanon Valley College, where he majored in Music Recording Technology and Music Theory/Composition. His passions include writing and listening to music, building new PCs, and reading bad fantasy/sci-fi novels. Jeremy says that he “already enjoys the friendly environment from all at Widener and hopes to stay for quite a while.” We agree with that and are thrilled to have him on our team!