The Other Side of the Story…
A few months ago, I had an opportunity to sit down and chat with Jason Schafer. For those who are not familiar, Jason is an adjunct instructor for the Wescoe School and the IT Operations Manager for the City of Allentown. He is a husband, father, a Wescoe School Graduate, and he has served his country as a Marine.
Jason teaches within the Information Systems Accelerated Program at the Wescoe School. This includes courses such as Information and Process Engineering and Fundamentals of Programming. Recently he branched out into the Financial Services program to teach Information Systems and will teach a Corporate Strategy course in 2013 for the Business Administration program. “It’s refreshing to step out of my comfort zone,” says Jason. “I love the students at Wescoe and respect the sacrifices they make in pursuit of an education. I also appreciate the opportunity to learn as much from them as they do from me. I am a lifelong learner and cherish the time spent with like minds.”
Jason also serves as the IT Operations Manager for the City of Allentown. This is his day job. When asked his official title he replied “I am a humble servant to those who consume technology services. IT Operations Manager fits better on a business card.”
As someone who plans, organizes and evaluates IT operations, Jason saw a need to more efficiently track assets and inventory. The legacy methods include many manual and time consuming processes.
With this need in mind, he reached out to Esther Karoleski, instructor for a recent IS capstone course. She put him in touch with students, Mike Kilmer and Ann Bunch. In August, Mike and Ann met with the City of Allentown’s IT Group to discover their work flows and gain an insight into their goals. They performed an analysis on a software suite, which also has asset management built in, currently used to manage calls for IT service. Mike and Ann discovered that the asset management process that came standard with the help desk management suite was being duplicated. Their recommendations were centered around expanding the use of the help desk software and replacing the legacy asset tracking.
“It was a beneficial evolution for us as a team to be able to temporarily adopt new members for a project and ramp up quickly,” says Jason.
This was an opportunity most instructors in the Accelerated Program do not experience. Jason was able to see the other side of the story, to be on the receiving end of a final capstone project. “We were quite impressed with the professionalism shown us by the capstone team. We learned flexibility and humility. We gained way more from this than I could have ever imagined,” says Jason.
Reflecting back on his own journey through the Wescoe School he comments “This pedigree has opened many doors for me, and my gratitude fuels the desire to pay that forward with those who have made the Wescoe School a part of their lifelong journey. I am honored to be both a Muhlenberg Alumnus and an instructor for the Wescoe School. The latter is a relationship I will nurture with great care.”