The Frontlines of Education

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Undaunted, in the throes of a global pandemic, Arizona State University remains a beacon of research and discovery at the heart of innovation.

Unlocking the power of the mind takes commitment. ASU’s student body prove the rule, as do the men and women who support them. The information technology professionals embedded within the Ira A. Fulton Schools of Engineering (FSE IT) are one such team.

The Fall of 2020 commanded unprecedented change in the realm of student success. Overnight, decades of FSE IT’s pursuit of inclusive, technological excellence across all engineering campus-based classes came to a halt. They had to rebuild, redesign, and add a physical virus to a long list of foes. It’s one thing to combat computer exploits, but a fight for their students’ bodily health in the landscape of education and technology was new.

By leveraging university resources and working on and off the clock to fill in the gaps, FSE IT met the need head-on. Like an army on a rescue mission, this band of pros cut the campus into dedicated support zones. With whatever they had, be it computers, tablets, cell phones, paper, or voice, they stood-up hybrid classrooms with their bare hands.

They enlisted more than forty Technology Assistants, student workers with the skill and grit to get the job done, standing in the zones, side-by-side with the IT staff that hired them. Together, they trained faculty and fellow students on cutting-edge technology. They spread themselves thin, moved fast, and it’s unclear if any slept or ate. And that’s fine by them if education flows smoothly and securely, and a student may choose to work remotely or not via in-person, ASU Sync, or iCourse.

With hybrid education normalized at the cusp of this new world, information technology support is again on the frontlines. FSE IT, along with their colleagues, stretching the globe and touching every university satellite-campus, will not waiver. The stakes are too high. Their commitment too deep. In the name of education and superior technology delivery to students at-large, perseverance is not only vital but their promise.

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