What a Great Day for the Tech Store!

We would like to extend a giant THANK YOU to all the staff and students in all the departments who contributed to making our Customer Appreciation Day Sale on 11/16/2017 a tremendous success. Positivity and can-do spirit was out and on display everywhere; it is days like these that help reinforce what a terrific place to work we have here. The level of service we were able to deliver in helping customers, in the face of the sheer magnitude of orders and sales, was inspiring.

From a process/logistics standpoint, the new ecommerce reservation system, the day-before product staging at our 3 locations, using the pickup tally sheet at the registers, and our ratio of sales staff to help staff all seemed to be a winning strategy. We were able to send out a string of emails to reservation holders reminding them to complete their purchases, which was effective throughout the day. The extended hours helped spread the load out fairly well. From what we observed, we are guessing that our customer satisfaction scores will be the highest they have ever been for any of our One-Day sales.

We’re a learning organization and we’re getting better at this every time.

Besides Customer Satisfaction, another important measure of our success is our sales numbers. It may come as no surprise that yesterday was our highest grossing sales day, ever.

Here are some comparisons to illustrate the magnitude of yesterday’s workload:

Order Categories Percent change from last May’s Customer Appreciation Day Event (# of orders):
Personal Sales on the day +12.8%
Personal Orders on the day +24.7%
Apple devices sold w/Promo discount +29.1%
Payroll deductions +24.0%
Safeware+AppleCare sales -17.9%
Total sales on the day +16.8%

As another point of reference, here are our Top 5 One-Day Sales stats:

Dollar Sales percent of 5/2015 sales Personal (# of Orders) Apple Promo (# of Orders) Payroll Deduction (# of Orders) Safeware/
Applecare (# of Orders)
11/16/2017 512% 455 346 124 94
5/18/2017 454% 365 268 100 105
11/11/2015 208% 250 140 n/a 34
5/13/2016 197% 268 160 n/a 39
5/14/2015 100% 196 99 n/a 28

Having those measures in perspective further illustrates how tremendous 11/16 was when compared to our busiest sales and service days overall. We saw lots of smiles on both sides of the registers, a true testament to the fantastic level of service and value you all were providing to our customers and to each other. Awesome.

Great work, everyone!


contributed by Brian Kishter and Chris Hopp







Nominations Requested for December All-Staff Recognition

We are excited to offer two recognition awards at our December All-Staff Lunch! Consider nominating your colleagues to show your appreciation for their contributions to our team, below you will find additional details.


Nominations may be made for superior performance and/or contribution by a teammate involving activities such as: internal or external customer service, cost savings, productivity/work processes, or outstanding commitment to DoIT’s Foundational Principles.

How to Nominate:

Complete the following form by Wednesday, December 13th: http://go.wisc.edu/j35z56. Note that you are not required to list your name if you would prefer not to enter into the raffle.

The Reward:

Two $25 gift cards will be randomly awarded at the December 14th All Staff Meeting. You are eligible for the award if you are nominated by a colleague or if you take the time to nominate someone.

This is our third month offering this program; please share your feedback directly with Brandon and me so we can continue to improve!


contributed by Jaclyn Zavoral

Laughing, Learning and Volunteering: 2017 EYH STEM Conference for Middle School Girls

The Big Day


Looking under the hood.

The 2017 Expanding Your Horizons (EYH) STEM Conference was a total success! Saturday, November 4 was a very special day for 450 middle school girls from all over Wisconsin. Conference attendees selected three STEM Career Areas of interest. This year, attendees were also able to experience some of the cool happenings at the Wisconsin Science Festival held in the Discovery Center. Upon arrival, attendees were divided into groups of 10-11 girls. Each small group was assigned two volunteer Group Leaders (who, traditionally, are female undergraduates studying in a STEM field). Group Leaders spend the entire conference day with their group while sharing personal experiences and goals in their own STEM education and career endeavors.

Screen Shot 2017-12-04 at 3.13.57 PM

Groups 18 is looking for the bus to Career Sessions at Veteran’s Hospital Labs

Each group attended three fifty-minute Career Sessions. Career Sessions are presented by volunteers (e.g. women in STEM fields), some of whose workplaces are off of the UW Campus (like Edgewood College, Strand Associates and Filament Games, to name a few). Conference attendees were bused to and from the off-site presentations. Volunteer Bus Monitors made sure things went smoothly (e.g. made sure all groups arrived at their presentations on time and that any belongings left on the bus found their owner, etc.).

EYH Volunteers from DoIT User Services


The weight of the average human brain is 1300g-1400g (about 3 pounds!)

A small army of volunteers makes all the EYH moving parts operate smoothly year after year. This year, Teresa Arauco,  who created and maintains the EYH website, also coordinated all the volunteers. Among some of the volunteer positions: morning greeters, registration table help, all day student nurse(s), photographer(s), bus monitors and event set up and tear down.

Veteran EYH Coordinating Staff (e.g. Madison women in various STEM fields who coordinate this event, many since the late 1980s) were especially in awe of a remarkable group of volunteers. Our own Abrianna Barca, who is earning her MBA, expressed an interest in volunteering early on. When she requested the link for the Volunteer Spreadsheet,  it turned out that she requested it for her whole MBA cohort of 8 women, all of whom are work various STEM fields! Veteran EYH Coordinating Staff said that their presence, engaging manner and camaraderie left a really wonderful impression on EYH attendees. Abrianna and her MBA cohort made marked improvements in the efficiency of registration and keeping the girls on task while on the buses and at their various Career Presentations. One among them volunteered as photographer, her images are included in this article.


A very special thanks to the women in this MBA cohort!

Quick Post-Conference Chat with Abrianna

Q1: What did you expect when you signed up to volunteer for 2017 EYH?

AB: I didn’t know what to expect when I signed up to volunteer. That said, it was a great way to give back, have fun, and learn new things!

Q2: What surprised you the most from this experience?

AB: It was so cool to get to attend the sessions out at Madison College (Truax Campus) – I learned a lot about different industries like electrical engineering and geology.

Q3: What would you say to someone who was interested in volunteering for the event or presenting to a group of attendees?

AB: If you are even remotely interested, I would really encourage you to sign up. It is a one day volunteer commitment which makes it easy to help out! It was a lot of fun to talk with the girls, attend the sessions, and volunteer. I was able to sign up with a group of women from my MBA cohort. This meant we were able to give back but also network with one another.
* * *

Check back here if you want to be a part of next year’s super-fun event.


Mass and Weight (Im)possibilities!

Article Photo Credit and a Very Special Thanks to: Jordan Lee


Wow, thanks to everyone for participating (both baking and eating) in this year’s Bake-Off! We had 23 unique submissions and over 30 judges. Below is a list of our winners. But, with the exception of the “durable brownies,” I was truly impressed with everyone’s submission either for their taste or creativity. Thanks for making this year a success!

Best Baker: Nathan Weber

Best Item:

  1. Mini Cheesecakes (Nathan)
  2. Candied Bacon (Nathan)
  3. Oreo Truffles (Nathan)

Most Runner-Up votes:

  1. Twix Bars (Dawn)
  2. Candied Bacon-Tie for 2nd (Nathan)
  3. Honey Sriracha Chex-Mix-Tie for 2nd (David)

Most Unique:

  1. Candied Bacon (Nathan)
  2. Honey Sriracha (David)
  3. Red Velvet Cupcakes—tie for 3rd (Amanda)
  4. Twix Bars—tie for 3rd (Dawn)

Allergy Friendly:

  1. Candied Bacon (Nathan)
  2. Chocolate Popcorn-Tie for 2nd (Nathan)
  3. Honey Sriracha Chex-Mix-Tie for 2nd (David)

Most Bland:

  1. Day Old French Bread (Nathan)
  2. Dinner Rolls—noted as being delicious (David)
  3. Leftover Pasta (Jonathan)

*One additional note: both of our student submissions placed, despite it being finals week. Kudos to Amanda and Jonathan!

***Best Durable Brownies (Patrick)***


contributed by Patrick Johnson

Highlights from the EDUCAUSE Panel Discussion: “Being Male Allies for Advancing Women in IT”

October 18th was a sunny autumn day in Lincoln, Nebraska, perfect weather for the 2017 Women Advance IT Leadership Conference featuring topics on women advancing the future of IT in Higher Education. Among the sessions was a Coffee and Conversation panel discussion: “Being Male Allies for Advancing Women in IT”. Brenda Spychalla co-leads the Women in IT EDUCAUSE group, along with Bernadette Williams-Looper from University of North Carolina – Charlotte.

Discussion Panelists:

  • Jesse La Grew (JL) from UW DoIT User Services Departmental Support
  • Andrea Mascher (AM), University of Iowa,
  • Heath Tuttle (HT), University of Nebraska – Lincoln
  • Wes Juranek (WJ), University of Nebraska Central Administration.

Conf Slide
The first three questions of the panel discussion dove right in to the heart of the matter:

Q1: What does it mean to you to be a male ally/ what do you look for in a male ally?

HT – For me, it is about awareness first and foremost: how I interact with everyone in my department, with women colleagues and how those interactions may be perceived by others.  There has been more interest around this in the past year or two. To me, there is a big difference between an ally versus an advocate. While I do not want to define each role for all, I feel there is definitely a distinction. I want to further the voice of women in IT and be cognizant of this on a daily basis and considering it at all times.

JL – Being a male ally means helping support any individual and taking an active role – which is more than just sitting behind a desk. Self awareness in a huge part of this effort. I start with myself, I work to understand what I am thinking, what I am feeling and how I am being perceived and getting that feedback. If I am not being a good example, I am not helping to forward this effort.

WJ – My awareness began a year ago when I was invited to a Male Ally meeting at the 2016 Women Advance IT Conference. It felt intimidating, I asked myself, “Am I an ally”? It was the beginning of a journey. I was willing to start on journey to promote a more diverse organization in an effort to be a better organization.  Allyship means being engaged, learning about current topics and issues. Use what resources are at my disposal to help our women counterparts.

AM – What I look for in a male ally is for someone willing to take action. When discussing this with my partner, he did not believe there is gender inequality, but after I made him aware, he noticed it at his own place of employment. Work and credit were misapplied to him. No one took action to correct this. He struggled as he asked himself “what should I have done in that moment”? He would like to be more fluid bias interrupter.

LaGrew_EducauseQ2: Can you share an experience that showed you the value in being a male ally?

HT – I can’t pinpoint any specific moment or incident. Now that I am more aware, I’ve noticed people taking credit and giving away credit. I also noticed the (verbal) interrupting cited widely in literature I’ve read. I encourage you to be aware of your own actions: do you interrupt people? do you interrupt women?

JL – I have a 16 year old daughter. I want her to see all of her own possibilities and have a future without facing a barrier she may feels she can’t overcome. I attended a discussion at a Big Ten Leadership Conference that encouraged openess, honesty and open dialog. Unfortunately, attendees were all communicating very, very cautiously. They were all careful with what they were saying, afraid to step on toes. That group put in so much time, energy and effort to build a culture and rapport but it was still so hard to have an honest dialog. We all trusted each other but struggled to talk it out.  The message I got was ‘we are still not comfortable talking about this/ are in an uncomfortable situation’. There is fear around the discussion, and I have felt it myself but I need to embrace it. I need to engage in the conversation that people are thinking and feeling and engage in all the emotion behind it.  I know I am going to screw up:  I need to hear feedback and then do something about it and around it. We need to be willing to learn along the way and acknowledge that we may stumble.

Brenda Spychalla – We need to acknowledge that we are all vulnerable in this conversation and that all are awkward in their first steps when entering this conversation…and that’s okay.

Q3: What are some initial steps individuals and campuses are taking to engage men in becoming allies?

JL – The seeds were planted at a Big Ten Leadership group after having a conversation with other men. We asked each other:

  • How do we get women more invested in IT programs?
  • How can we get something things moving?
  • How can we get men involved?
  • What would it take?
  • Who would be interested?

I was motivated to take some action. I sought out and received some great feedback and perspective from wife. Then, I went to our local Women in IT program coordinator Brenda Spychalla, and learned about this thing called “a Male Ally” and asked myself:

  • What does this look like?
  • How can we build a community and candidly discuss, “What is a Male Ally”?

Since then, we have been reaching out on campus to get support and generate interest. We are hoping early next year to create a space to talk about this.  We have people who are interested in starting this conversation. It wont be a session where you sit in a room an bare your deepest feelings. At this point its a all a grass roots effort where we talk to a few people, they are talking to a few more people. On the UW campus, we have a number of diversity efforts. In User Services we have a community, but I think this challenges us as a larger community.

To see and hear the rest of this Coffee and Conversation, please click here and listen to its entirety .


While there is no standard definition for “Male Ally”, here are a few timely articles to help spark some thought and discussion.

Check back here at the US Newsletter, we will keep you posted on developments for the upcoming UW-WIT event currently in the works.

Northwestern Mutual to Borrow from User Services Model

It’s great to see that well-known corporate business partners are looking to us as a model on how to do business.” – Sean Bossinger

On Wed, Nov 1, User Services hosted Northwestern Mutual (NM) to share best practices in walk-in help desk service & support. NM is a member of the UW E-business Consortium, and through this relationship they heard about the great services that the Help Desk and Tech Store provide to our customers. NM is considering implementing similar walk-in help desk services and wanted to see how User Services has shaped the customer experience.


Three members from Northwestern Mutual’s IT staff made the trip: Jim King (Director), Jeremy Lewandowski (Manager), and Daniel Casey (Experience Lead). They toured the Tech Stores at Dayton and East Campus Mall, as well as the Level 1 Help Desk. They took special note of our use of mounted displays and marketing materials for both internal and external purposes.

They engaged us in conversations covering everything from implementation, daily operations, modes of communication, ticketing, documentation, and the overall customer experience. They’re planning to adopt Cherwell 2018, and were excited to see how we’re using it. They even mentioned wanting to shift to hiring for customer service skills and training for tech skills.

Sean Bossinger, Abrianna Barca, Chris Grosspietsch, Leah Scheide, Bret Vlach, Karl Weirauch, and Patrick Johnson all participated in the conversations with NM. To round out the day, NM generously paid for lunch at Jordan’s Big 10 Pub.

The visit with NM went really well, and by the end of the visit, Jim, Jeremy, and Dan were extending an invitation to us to come and visit their operations after they’ve implemented their walk-in help desk solution in the spring.

“We will be [following up with] Northwestern Mutual to set up a time for us to visit with them at their new facilities in downtown Milwaukee.” – Sean Bossinger

User Services Recognition – November 2017

User Services recognizes and values the hard work and effort of our team and we are excited to highlight the following individuals who were nominated to receive an award at our November All-Staff meeting for their accomplishments.

  • Abrianna Barca
    • Abrianna is a mastermind of scheduling, coordinating and whiteboard brainstorming! I’ve always admired these abilities in her but I am extremely grateful for her willingness to share these skills- especially when it comes to onboarding. Her assistance, patience and skill in coordinating activities and schedules is superb and was of great relief when I was struggling to onboard and arrange schedules for 4 full-time employees starting in pairs on staggered weeks.
    • Abrianna volunteered to represent User Services at the first ever DoIT Career Exploration Fair. Abrianna, you’re awesome!
  • Andy Muschlewski
    • Andy continues to be an invaluable source of institutional knowledge and always willing to jump in and help apply it when needs arise. Thanks Andy.
    • I’m nominating Andy for serving as a liaison with the Dev team to ensure that POS doesn’t break, and for always being willing to work weekends. Thank you!
    • Outstanding external customer service. Before the ECM location was officially open for the morning, Andy did some trouble shooting and came up with a fix for a customer that was having configuration issues with a group of rental laptops.
  • Angela Terrab
    • Angela was a huge help on the Level 2 team in going out of her way to help train four new hires at once, including creating a checklist to get us all set up with the tools and resources needed. Thank you, Angela!
    • I’m nominating Angela for her help and hard work getting Help Desk support processes and documentation updated for Campus Network Housing, just days before move-in!
    • Exceptional customer service! During Fall Rush, Angela assisted several Learn@UW customers that had walked to the DoIT Tech Store seeking help with a complex Learn@UW issue.
  • Brent Lesley
    • Brent was able to provide fantastic service for our customers at the Wisconsin Humanities Council by working in consultation with System’s Engineering to completely replace their aging server infrastructure and successfully migrate all of the services from the old server to the new. This was a complex, multi-step process that required a high level of organization and expertise, as well as strong communication skills to ensure the customer was kept informed during every phase of the project.  Nice work, Brent!
  • Brian Gratrix
    • For having a great vision for our new office space during our recent office moves. Brian took a fresh approach and came up with an office design that created great work and collaboration spaces.  2130 is a happy place!
    • Brian was one of four people who willingly relocated his workplace so that we could make room for additional staff in his former office. He worked with us to help us roll with the changes, and enabled us to build a better space for some Level Two staff who we relocated to his former office.
  • Chris Grosspietsch
    • Chris was one of three people who willingly relocated his workplace so that we could make room for additional staff in his former office. He’s always a team player, and is awesome to work with!
  • Chris Last
    • Chris volunteered to represent User Services at the first ever DoIT Career Exploration Fair. Thanks for arranging the swag, Chris!
  • Collin Leavitt
    • Collin has done a great job in owning his professional development by being intentional in proactively managing his time for cross-training in the SAS unit.
    • Collin has led a team in conducting a complete physical inventory of all of the computers supported by DS as part of the Division of Enrollment Management.
  • David Schlaefer
    • Exceptional work on the space planning team. David consistently sought feedback from the Repair team and always maintained a high level of enthusiasm for the project.
  • Dawn Karls
    • Productivity and cost savings – Dawn and her team of students have done an incredible job taking on the responsibility of managing the Apple Product portfolio in addition to all of their other responsibilities, and making this transition as seamless as possible for all of the Tech Store and Logistics. Thank you for all your hard work!
  • Fred Murray
    • I want to thank Fred for stepping up and providing leadership support for the Office of Data Management and Compliance in their effort to pilot a new piece of software called Toad Datapoint for the entire campus. Fred willingness to step up and provide support is appreciated given his already very full workload.  Thanks Fred!
  • Henry Huang
    • During the beginning of this semester Henry Huang went over and above in his dedication to customer service. [Due to staffing model changes at Union South and the SAC], on a daily, even multi-daily basis, Henry ensured that each lab location was functioning at 100% capacity, even though his primary location is at Memorial Union. Great Work Henry!
  • Jason Atkins
    • Jason shared his technical expertise in representing DoIT’s involvement with conference center technology support as part of a conference call with consultants from Huron Consulting.
    • Jason is an engaged member on the Partners in Giving committee. Jason’s participation on this team allows DoIT staff persons to make positive contributions to our larger society and make the world a better place.
    • Jason provided phenomenal customer service throughout an experience with a particularly complicated Box issue. He worked with me throughout the process to ensure all the steps were communicated to me in a timely manner and he stuck with the issue until he solved my problem. Thanks Jason!
    • Jason volunteered to represent User Services at the first ever DoIT Career Exploration Fair. Kudos to Jason!
  • Jayme Dickenson
    • Jayme continues to go above and beyond for our customers, especially Transportation Services. Transportation has a responsibility to keep all of our automated parking ramps functioning. This responsibility can often create stressful situations and Jayme’s assistance with this important service has not gone unnoticed. She has created a great relationship with Transportation Services and has been able to handle daily requests in addition to rolling out new hardware to the various lots at the same time.
    • While we have been short-staffed, all of our team members have pitched in to serve our customers, take on extra duties for Athletics game handling and also assisting with new staff onboarding. They’re constantly helping out each other and ensuring that our customer needs are met.
  • Jeff Meyers
    • Unprecedented Collaboration, Productivity, and Support within the Tech Store group. Jeff consistently supports the TS staff with resolving advanced, complicated, and technical issues that sometimes occur in POS. Jeff’s advanced CBS & POS knowledge, and his collaborative and friendly attitude results in a seamless experience for customers which allows us to continue to provide excellent customer service.
  • Jeff Wiltzius
    • Jeff was one of four people who willingly relocated his workplace so that we could make room for staff from his team. His flexibility and willingness to move enabled us to build a better space for some Level Two staff.
    • Jeff volunteered to represent User Services at the first ever DoIT Career Exploration Fair. Excellent job, Jeff!
  • Karl Weirauch
    • Outstanding productivity and significant contributions to the Tech Store group. Karl has consistently delivered a high standard of service and productivity, and it’s with his departure from the TS group to Departmental Support that the TS team realizes the full scope of all of the tasks and responsibilities that he’s owned for so long. Of notable mention are the contributions he’s made to our KB and Cherwell. Thanks, Karl!
  • Nathan Van Hogen
    • Stepping up to cover for Bascom support while we work to hire a replacement.
  • Nick Reynolds
    • I would like to recognize Nick for his help with setting up our Customer Appreciation Event reservation system using our new e-Commerce magento platform. This was a new idea and there was risk involved in getting the system up working and in time for the promotion kick-off to our customers. His attention to detail in populating the many product details to make the customer experience a positive one is greatly appreciated!
  • Pat Daley
    • Pat has been a tremendous help with our latest recruitment. Not only did he facilitate the entire recruitment, he also gave his valuable insight into the process. We were extremely successful due to his efforts.
    • While we have been short-staffed, all of our team members have pitched in to serve our customers, take on extra duties for Athletics game handling and also assisting with new staff onboarding. They’re constantly helping out each other and ensuring that our customer needs are met.
  • Patrick Johnson
    • Patrick participated on the planning committee for the first ever DoIT Career Exploration Fair and took on additional responsibility to work with departmental representatives to staff the fair and provide resources. His excellent communication skills and thoughtful approach contributed to an extremely successful event. I also want to note that Patrick went above and beyond the day of the event to set-up the equipment. Thanks for your hard work, Patrick!
  • Roksana Baladi
    • Roksana brightened up the space in 1150B by placing fun seasonal print outs outside of our work spaces. Thanks for the smiles! 🙂
  • Sean Bossinger
    • Sean volunteered to serve as the User Services representative for the first ever DoIT Career Exploration Fair. He successfully coordinated volunteers and resources which well-represented the department at the event. Also, he was a great advocate and encouraged staff attendance. Thanks for all you do, Sean!
    • As the Women in User Services Team shifted missions. The Assistant Directors were asked to each take on hosting an event. Sean stepped up and welcomed the opportunity to host the first AD hosted event. He quickly reached out to his contacts and has done an amazing job with taking the lead and embodying the inclusive environment we work to instill daily. We are all excited to attend this Friday’s event!
  • Steve Schroeder
    • For working tirelessly in the days leading up to fall rush to ensure Help Desk agents had all the information and resources they needed.
  • Teresa Arauco
    • Outstanding commitment to communication and transparency. Teresa has contributed nearly 30 articles between FY17 and today. Teresa strives to ensure that all User Services staff have access to the information that impacts them.
  • Tony O’Rourke
    • While we have been short-staffed, all of our team members have pitched in to serve our customers, take on extra duties for Athletics game handling and also assisting with new staff onboarding. They’re constantly helping out each other and ensuring that our customer needs are met.
    • Tony is an excellent employee who has really done a great job helping out our short-staffed team.
  • Wanjiru Pontes
    • Wanjiru was one of four people who willingly, and rapidly, relocated her workplace so that we could make make better utilization of space in offices on the 2nd floor. She was the first to raise her hand and recommended herself for the move.