Meet the Final Candidates for Assistant Director of DoIT Tech Store Operations: Allison Olson

The Position

In August of 2017, the DoIT User Services Search and Screen Committee began the process of filling the vacant position of Assistant Director of DoIT Tech Store Operations.

Retail Locations 3
Full-time Staff 18-20
Student Staff 20-25
Departments to oversee
Retail Sales
Technical Support
Repair Services
UW Missions and Commitments to Support
DoIT Foundational Principles
UW Academic
UW Research
UW Outreach

The last week of September, the search was narrowed to three finalists. Each finalist was assigned his/her own day to spend with User Services Staff and undergo the following final screening activities:

  • Welcome and Tech Store Tour
  • Interview Screen and Search Committee
  • Deliver a Presentation to User Services Staff
  • Lunch with the Leadership Team
  • Tech Store Staff Panel Q & A
  • Interview with Brandon Bernier, User Services Director

Continue reading “Meet the Final Candidates for Assistant Director of DoIT Tech Store Operations: Allison Olson”


2017 Expanding Your Horizons: Call for Presenters

For over 50 years, the Expanding Your Horizons conference has helped young women in grades 6-8 learn more about careers in science, technology, engineering and math fields (STEM). We would like to invite you to join us as a presenter and role model at this conference, which will be held on Saturday, NOVEMBER 4, 2017.

windowsAs you may recall, at the EYH Conference, small groups of girls accompanied by a college student leader, attend three hands-on career sessions led by presenters like you. Typically, sessions are held at workplaces, both on the UW campus and off site. Each career session is 60 minutes long.

You can lead up to three sessions and select which time slots work best for you. We encourage you to register for as many sessions as you can. Many of our presenters work in teams, so feel free to recruit co-presenters if you like (women only, please, and be sure to list their names on your registration form). presentIt is not necessary for you to know what your career session activity will be at this time. Additional information about the conference including photos of past career sessions can be found on our website:

Please register using this online form by September 22; we will email you a confirmation of your registration details by September 25. If you know of other professional women or graduate students who might be interested in presenting at EYH, please email us at


Thank you
for considering volunteering some of your weekend time with EYH. Together we can help girls stay excited about STEM and encourage them to keep all career doors open.


We’ll leave you with a few quotes from EYH students:

  • “It was interesting and fun which helped me a lot for my future”;
  • “The hands on stuff that helped us learn was really cool!”; and
  • “[It] made me think of science in a new way.”


contributed by Heather Daniels, UW Secretary of the Academic Staff


Departmental Support Position Opening: Desktop Support Technician

The Departmental Support group within User Services is looking for Desktop Support Technicians who enjoy working with a diverse and dynamic campus culture.  The deadline to apply is September 14th.

What the job entails.

  • Exciting opportunity to provide desktop support to campus departmental customers
  • Support of customer servers and workstations in a diverse range of environments.
  • Leadership and project planning with existing and new technologies.
  • Help test and identify best practices with technologies and processes.
  • Position focuses on endpoint support, IT problem resolution, and systems planning and installation.

You might be a good fit if…

  • You possess excellent communication, interpersonal and customer service skills.
  • You have technical experience working in large-scale desktop support environments.
  • You have advanced knowledge of endpoint management software.

For detailed information and instructions on how to apply, please visit:

Feel free to reach out to Brad Thome ( if you have any questions about the position.


contributed by Jaclyn Zavoral

9th Annual Women and Leadership Symposium

Good leaders organize and align people around what the team needs to do. Great leaders motivate and inspire people with why they’re doing it. That’s purpose. And that’s the key to achieving something truly transformational.  

– Marillyn Hewson, CEO at Lockheed Martin

The 9th Annual Women & Leadership Symposium was attended by hundreds of people, and the ratio of women to men was approximately 200:1. Walking toward Varsity Hall in Union South you could hear the thunder of hundreds of conversations taking place simultaneously during the morning networking hour. Some of the most influential women on campus were there including Lori Berquam (Dean of Students), Diana Hess (Dean of the School of Education), Margaret Raymond (Dean of the UW Law School), Dr. Linda Scott (Dean of the School of Nursing), Kathryn VandenBosch (Dean of the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences), among many other prestigious faculty and staff.

The opening keynote presentation was made up of a panel of many of the aforementioned women on campus. They shared the most important advice that they have learned from previous mentors including:

  • The importance of finding what you’re good at and what brings you joy, and being better at it than anybody else.
  • The notion that we should all try to be, and to seek out critical friends. A critical friend is someone who is both an advocate for your success and also someone who will provide critical and constructive feedback.
  • When you think about where you want to be, it’s about walking toward those goals, and avoiding the urge to run away from challenges.

UW’s new Chief of Police, Kristen Roman, presented at a breakout session immediately following the keynote, about the idea of owning your individual story and using it to shape who you are as a leader. Kristen quoted Brenee Brown who said that “What we know matters but who we are matters more.” In this way, she describes her leadership style as “authentic,” and encourages us all to research the notion of authentic leadership. Her philosophy for the UW-Police Department is that they “will be leaders in innovative, community-oriented policing. [They] value diversity and will promote campus community wellbeing through collaborative approaches to ensuring safety.”

Leslie Orrantia, Director of Community Relationships for UW, gave another breakout session which explored reflection and identity as it shapes who we are presently and who we want to become. Leslie reminded us all to be an advocate for those individuals who don’t have a seat at the table. She spoke of the importance of adaptability in any given situation, and adjusting to the situation when necessary. When prioritizing for effectiveness, and efficiency, her advice is to look at deliverables from a short-game and a long-game perspective and tackle projects accordingly.


The energy and mood of the Symposium remained high throughout the day. The Endnote presentation consisted of a panel of women who shared their experiences in advisory and policy-making roles at both the state and federal government. These women gave a message that consisted of patience, hope, and change. They all overcame significant obstacles in their work, devoted years of their life to the betterment of the country, and quickly discovered how powerful partisanship was. One of the most important leadership qualities that they identified was the ability to bring together different people with different opinions to advance a common goal.


User Services Professional Development Plan Workshop

Looking to develop in your current role or for a new role at DoIT but unsure where to start? Stop by 3139BC between 10:30AM and 12:00PM on Friday, June 14th for the User Services Professional Development Plan (PDP) Workshop. The Workshop will provide a time, place, and assistance to help you complete your PDP self-reflection and draft your professional development goals.

Here is a suggested timeline for the PDP portion of this year’s PDP/Performance Evaluation process:

If you have any questions about the process, please contact Jaclyn Zavoral at or stop by 3118.

Systems Engineering and Operations Track & Snack

Systems Engineering and Operations (SEO) is the operational hub of all IT Services provided by DoIT to campus. Two managers from SEO, Mark Nessel and Beth Wendt, spoke at the third Track & Snack on 6/27/2017.

Mark manages Systems Engineering (SE), which is responsible for research, design and system administration for all of the hardware systems resident in the data center(s). In addition they are the primary design and support technologists for mass storage, backup and disaster recovery infrastructures.

Beth manages Customer Application Services (CAS), which is responsible for application administration and service delivery and customer support for many of the mass applications (portal, mail, etc) as well as direct customer support of many enterprise services and tools (back-up, service scheduling, document management).

You’d think SEO would be looking for people with tech skills above all else. But even with the technical nature of the services their groups provide, both Beth and Mark emphasized their need for the things User Services staff have in abundance: people skills, customer service skills, and communication skills — the so-called soft skills.

The way Mark put it, it doesn’t matter what tech skills you do or don’t have, if hired you would be trained in SE’s standard way of doing things. He credited SE’s highly standardized procedures with making it possible for 9 of his staff to administer 1,700 servers, and said that he could train anyone in the room to be a system administrator.

The soft skills, on the other hand, are more difficult to teach and learn. Generally, you have to have those going in, and Mark said that half of his job interview questions will concern customer service and soft skills. He also said that when hiring he’s more interested in enthusiasm than in tech skills.

As DoIT’s services face campus more and more, CAS needs people who can have that business conversation with departments on campus, Beth said. It’s no longer technologists talking with technologists to get things done — she needs people who can engage with not-necessarily-technical department heads to understand their needs and deliver the service.

Beth said that her group is focusing more on soft skills now. She needs people who are not only technical, but can also talk to customers. Technical people with the soft skills of customer service plus people skills are much less common than purely technical people. She mentioned Sarah Buszka as someone who recently made the jump from User Services to CAS as a Critical Infrastructure Service Lead.

Like those from other groups who presented at the previous Track & Snacks, Beth and Mark indicated their willingness to talk with people one on one about tech careers. So if you’re interested in the work SEO does, a conversation with one or both of them is a great opportunity to develop your career path.

The Track & Snacks were designed to introduce interested User Services staff to leaders from other areas within DoIT, to familiarize current US employees with the missions of other DoIT groups, and to discover the skills and characteristics those groups want in their staff. The presenters could also announce any positions available now or forecast for the near future. The SEO Track & Snack was the last in the series, but Jaclyn Zavoral indicated that there could be more in the future — contact her with suggestions of other DoIT roles or groups for future Track & Snacks.

Design Thinking Workshops

This past week User Services welcomed Dee Warmath, an assistant professor with the School of Human Ecology’s Department of Consumer Science, to lead a Design Thinking exercise focused on identifying and empathizing with the needs of the customer.  Dee led User Services staff through a fast-paced version of the Design Thinking process.

This crash course in Design Thinking allowed staff to get a feel for the entire process of Design Thinking.  The process begins with building empathy for their customer through a process of asking questions and synthesizing the information.  Design Thinking focuses heavily on collaboration, customer service, and innovative problem solving.  Dee discussed innovation as a process of finding a fresh idea that is feasible and adds value to the current solution being implemented.

Staff were asked to redesign the process of gift giving on behalf of a partner.   By gaining empathy through an interview and reflection process, participants were able to create an Empathy Matrix.  This consisted of reflecting on what their partner said, what their partner may have been thinking, what their partner does currently, and how they partner may have been feeling.  Using the information gained from the empathy exercise, each partner created a physical prototype that may help their partner in the gift giving process.

Dee walked staff through the five steps that she identifies as essential for the Design Thinking process.  The first step is “Empathizing” with the customer by asking questions and learning precisely what the customer needs in order to be successful.  Once you have a good idea of what the customer may want, you will “Redefine” or “Reframe” what you have learned from the customer and understand what the customer needs.  Often it is helpful to use a “(customer) needs a way to (need of customer)” statement to keep you on track.  When the need is clearly identified, you can “Ideate.”  Ideation involves working with other staff members as well as the customer in order to come up with several possible solutions to the customer’s need.  It can help to ask the question “How might we…?” to start forming solutions and new ideas.  After you narrow down your solutions, you can create a tangible version of the solution.  This is the “Prototype” phase.  After creating several iterations of the prototype based on feedback, you are free to test your solution.

Design Thinking has been broadly used in fields ranging from Computer Science and Engineering to Ethnography and Anthropology.  Design Thinking is an additional tool to keep in mind which can help to provide new perspectives, and enable us to maintain our “customer first” attitude.


contributed by Annie Erickson