Staff Bytes

History of Gaming Class

The worldwide video gaming industry is projected to reach $70 billion by 2015, according to market researchers at DFC Intelligence.

This semester, Emory offered its first ever course dedicated to the study of video games. Titled Film 373: Special Topics Video Games, it was more than just an overview of the latest version of "Call of Duty," but rather an introduction into the history, theory, aesthetics and culture of video games.

Tanine Allison, American Council of Learned Societies (ACLS) post-doctoral fellow in the Film and Media Studies Department, taught the course hosted in the Computing Center at Cox Hall.

The class involved the normal class experience as well as a lab component. Students used the lab time for hands-on gaming, experiencing original Atari systems as well as the latest Xbox Kinect.

To help cap off the semester, the UTS Student Services team hosted a "Game Night" in the Computing Center for FILM 373 students and invited guests the last Friday of classes. The evening recreated the classic LAN party environment as closely as possible. While too spacious and well lit to recreate the cramped gaming conditions typically associated with LAN parties, the Cox staff made up for it with copious amounts of caffeine and pizza. The students of the class took it upon themselves to host a Super Smash Brothers tournament on a Nintendo 64. More living room-esque setups saw an Atari and an Xbox 360 sporting hit games from Pit Fall to the new FIFA Soccer.

The event also allowed the Student Services team to stretch their support skills. Sixteen laptops and iMacs were set up with Team Fortress 2 for the LAN Party. Those, along with students' personal laptops, were enough to have a strong PC gaming experience. The only hitch in the plan came when students were unable to find a server on which to play together. Sensing a potential problem, Robin Horton and Haynes Chewning (both of Student Services) fired up a TF2 server they just happened to have in their collective back pockets. With the server up and running, players were able to add a personal touch to their online gaming experience.

The overall response from students was very positive. The Student Services team enjoyed helping the class out and giving them an opportunity to end their semester with a return (w00t!) and not an exit (0).

- Kim Braxton, Student Services Manager, Academic Technology Services

IT People Can Run Too

OIT staff pictured: Lee Clontz (#479), Jay Flanagan (#1317), and Garrett Southwell (#1429).

OIT boasted several winners of this year's Staff Fest Fun Run. The winners were: Lee Clontz (Academic Technology Services), Sandra Smith (Enterprise Applications), Garrett Southwell (Enterprise Applications), and Matt Steinberg (Enterprise Applications). Other OIT participants were Jay Flanagan (Infrastructure) and Susan Henschen (R-WIT).

Said Matt, "The thing about having the best time in my age group is that I didn’t think I could still run that fast!"

The winners each received a stadium chair and a half-gallon cooler. Congratulations!

American Diabetes Bake-Sale a Hit

25.8 million children and adults in the United States, 8.3% of the population, have diabetes, according to the American Diabetes Association.

The American Diabetes Fundraiser Kick-Off Bake-Sale, held on May 21, raised a grand total of (drum roll.....) $205!

We appreciate all who assisted and supported the fundraiser. It is not too late to help and we welcome any and all help. If you would like to be a part the American Diabetes Walk on September 29th at Grant Park, sign up to be a part of our team, United Force. Individual goals are not necessary.

When you sign up, it automatically populates a $200 goal for you as an individual. However, being a part of Team United Force, all proceeds from fundraisers go towards the American Diabetes Walk. Therefore, when you sign up, delete the automated $200 amount and press next, unless you choose to have your own personal goal. In order to walk and receive a free American Diabetes Walk T-shirt, you must be registered. Anyone interested in assisting with fundraisers or needing help signing up, please contact Liteacha Davis (Call Center) or myself.

Please stay tuned for updates.

- Nicola Walker, Communication Specialist, Call Center

Lindsay Paroczai at the USA National Volleyball Championships

Lindsay Paroczai is second from the right.

Lindsay Paroczai (R-WIT) is currently (on vacation) at the USA National Volleyball Championships and her team won 2nd place in their division. Held in Salt Lake City at the Salt Palace Convention Center, this event has been around for over 80 years and features teams from across the country.

Lindsay was named to the All-Tournament Team. She'll be competing in the coed national championships this weekend. 

Congrats, Lindsay, and good luck!

- Rachelle Willoughby, Manager, R-WIT

Chick Fil A Leadercast

OIT employees at the Leadercast were (Left to right, after the cow): Jay Flanagan, Phil Shaw, and Richard Fischer. Not pictured: John Wilson (no, he's not in the cow costume)

On Friday, May 4th, a group from Emory University attended the Chick-Fil-A Leadercast at the Georgia World Congress Center. This was a great event discussing Leadership in its many forms and included speakers like John Maxwell, Patrick Lencioni, Andy Stanley, Marcus Buckingham and Tim Tebow.

The group that attended was made up of many groups from around campus including University Technology Services: Richard Fischer (Enterprise Services), Jay Flanagan (Infrastructure), Phil Shaw (PMO), and John Wilson (Enterprise Applications).

The group was able to experience the event together and to share their thoughts and ideas as the speakers shared their information. Ideas shared by the speakers included asking yourself 3 important questions:

  1. What would my replacement do?
  2. What would a great leader do?
  3. What story do I want to tell?

Being passionate about what you do involves attitude (looking at what you do differently and not getting intimidated), authenticity (taking what is unique about yourself and using it), and thoughts and decisions (growing with a purpose and knowing ourselves to grow ourselves)

In order to grow a team, we learned that a manager must use the 3 R's:

  1. Return – What gives me the greatest return – What do I do well? Put your personal growth efforts to your greatest strengths.
  2. Rewarding - Bring Passion, which brings energy
  3. Requirements – What is required of me?

All in all it was a great event and the group looks forward to attending again next year!

- Jay Flanagan, Manager, Infrastructure

Bianchi Races in Cape Cod

Felicia Bianchi about to do her favorite!

On May 11-12, I participated in the Ragnar Relay from Plymouth to Provincetown, MA. The race was around 175 miles and benefited the HERA Women's Cancer Foundation. We started at noon Friday and finished at 1:30 am Saturday. The race involved two vans and 12 runners (6 per van). Basically the formula was run, sleep (?), drive, and repeat three times.

My sister, my partner and I were on a team with nine other people we had never met called Running for the Halibut (best team name winner). Since all of us grew up in Massachusetts, it was a wonderful experience. I got to run along the Cape Cod Canal as the sun set, Hyannis at 4 a.m. and Orleans in beautiful sunshine at 10 a.m.

This is the 6th relay for me and I got some great pointers for the next OIT laden relay team – Yes, We Are Crazy. YWAC will be running the Southern Odyssey relay in October and we have following OIT staff running on the team: James Alston (Enterprise Applications), Mark Eisert (Integration), Kari Meyer (R-WIT), Kaven Moodley (Enterprise Applications), Jason Stanaland (Infrastructure), Trisha Wilson (PMO), and myself. Marisa Benson, Susan Greene, and Farah Remtulla (all of the PMO) will do the driving and navigating.

We will be asking for volunteers in the fall, so watch your inbox!

- Felicia Bianchi, Project Manager, PMO

Puzzle Results

Many people believe that word games help stave off the onset of Alzheimer's disease.

A government-funded study of 1157 people age 65 or older who had no dementia at the start of the 12 year study. The results showed a correlation between active brain usage and the slowing of the onset of dementia and Alzheimer's. Active brain usage can include things such as reading, writing, word games, chess and puzzles.

Why are we telling you this?

Because the following people submitted correct entries in the May 2012 Online News Crossword Puzzle Contest!!

Amir Ali (Enterprise Services)
Paul Barrett (Enterprise Applications)
Nicole Byrd (Enterprise Applications)
Leah Chuchran (Academic Technology Services)
David D'Haene (Integration)
Jay Flanagan (Infrastructure)
Dawn Francis-Chewning (Academic Technology Services)
Celeste Hermida (IT F&A)
Robin Horton (Academic Technology Services)
Camille Hyatt (IT F&A)
Linda Mayes (IT F&A)
Kathryn Moore (Enterprise Applications)
Linda Richardson (IT F&A)
Laura Smith (Infrastructure)
Ramona Tucker (Enterprise Applications)
Tom Vincent (Enterprise Services)

From this group we held a random drawing (in a very computery way...we assigned everyone a number and used an online random number generator...who needs numbers in a hat??) and the winner was: KATHRYN MOORE! Kathryn, please drop by Wade Moricle's office in 1762 to claim your prize. Thanks to everyone who participated and please try again this month!