Behind the scenes: Rocking Information Technology at Delta

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MORE THAN COMPUTERS: Diego Nunez, top, with Thomas Yee, bottom, set up sound equipment for the President’s Pledge Signing with the National Association for Community College Entrepreneur- ship in the Delta College Plaza on Oct. 7. PHOTOS BY KRISTEN RIEDEL
MORE THAN COMPUTERS: Diego Nunez, top, with Thomas Yee, bottom, set up sound equipment for the President’s Pledge Signing with the National Association for Community College Entrepreneur- ship in the Delta College Plaza on Oct. 7. PHOTOS BY KRISTEN RIEDEL
MORE THAN COMPUTERS: Diego Nunez, top, with Thomas Yee, bottom, set up sound equipment for the President’s Pledge Signing with the National Association for Community College Entrepreneur- ship in the Delta College Plaza on Oct. 7. PHOTOS BY KRISTEN RIEDELIT2

Tucked away in a quiet corner, near the police department, sits the unassuming building that acts as the nerve center connecting Delta College to the world.

Every time a student or staff member sits down at a computer on campus, there is one group of people to thank for the Internet connection and availability of desired programs: the IT department.

“When they designed it, they designed it with the intention of being a state of the art data center that’s going to take us 20 years into the future, so we’ve got great systems in here and plenty of room for growth,” said Bill Deater, Assistant Director of Information Technology.

Deater retired from a career doing avionics in the Air Force and transitioned into IT for the K-12 system in his home state of Michigan.

The job at Delta lured him to Stockton, with the benefit of leaving behind the forbidding winters.

Nancy Salon, a Delta graduate, answers service calls, assigning and scheduling the computer support technicians (CSTs) to do things as simple as changing a lightbulb in a projector to resolving complex computer issues.

“They are rarely here, they’re out working,” said Deater.

Maintaining more than 2,500 computers using more than 2,000 software titles is a daunting task for the 13 net administrators and CSTs.

“At my previous job I felt like I was stagnant and not learning anything new. Here, it’s something different every day, it keeps you interested and awake,” said Diego Nunez, the newest CST on campus.

Nunez likes to code in his spare time and tries to get his fiancé involved by creating programs to send her coded messages.

“Diego comes in with all kinds of new ideas and just a great attitude, so he’s been a great hire for us,” said Deater.

Nunez was hired just in time to help install over 40 new computers and 18 Smart Classroom podiums in buildings without working elevators this summer.

The department tries to schedule major projects during times when there are fewer students on campus, as does the facilities department.

This led to the unfortunate overlap that had technicians carrying computers up and down the stairs in 105-degree weather.

IT Project Coordinator Jeff Sears remembers another large project from 2009, shortly after he was hired.

“I coordinated the move of all of the people that are in DeRicco now who were scattered all over the campus in various offices and complexes,” said Sears.

After studying electronic technology at Delta, Sears worked for 28 years in the Lincoln Unified School District first as a systems services tech, and later as director of computer resources.

“I like the amount of change that is taking place on this campus,” said Sears, “It keeps me busy and makes me feel like I have a purpose.”

The men and women of the IT department enjoy the challenges of keeping up with constantly changing technology, but they never lose sight of the larger purpose behind their work.

“It’s getting to know some of the students over time and watching them graduate and move on, it’s quite exciting,” said Michael Kilgore, CST of 11 years.

“We’ve had a lot of good students work for us. We had one graduate from here, and then graduate from San Jose State, and then open up his own business. He still drops in during the summertime, or at least once a year to say hi,” said Kilgore.