CAMPUS CLOSEUPAnn Ermey - program director Networking and Telecommunications Services
R. Steve Dicki/University Relations
Ann Ermey is a program director with Networking and Telecommunications Services. She oversees ResNet and NTS customer and network services.
Years at current job: 13
Job duties: I oversee the ResNet program which provides network connectivity, voice service and cable TV; the NTS customer and network services areas and manage the HR needs of the NTS department.
How has the increasing prevalence of cellular phones changed the communication needs of campus? For the world of ResNet, cell phones have improved our ability to work with our customers and vice versa. We are able to reach them almost 100 percent of the time, instead of relying on them to be in their rooms to reach them. We can text or talk with the students and this is so helpful in getting problems solved in a more timely fashion. The students can also contact us at their convenience, in between classes, on their way to dinner, etc.
One duty of ResNet employees is removing viruses and spyware. How common is this problem in student computers? It is very common to find spyware on the student machines. Viruses are still problematic, however, with the ResNet registration process, the student machines have to be free of viruses before being allowed to complete their registration. At the same time, the university anti-virus (Sophos) is downloaded to the students machine. This is helpful because we know that all the students registering to be on the university network have an anti-virus program on their machines. The virus problem is still common, however, not as common as it was two to three years ago.
How will the upcoming expansion of wireless Internet zones on campus affect your services? We expect wireless to be a technology that the students will want to use in their place of residence very, very soon. Since the students are able to use wireless on campus and that area will be expanding soon, we feel it will only be a short time before wireless is demanded in the residence halls, apartments and scholarship halls.
The use of routers or other means for users to implement their own network infrastructure is not allowed and can result in deactivation of an account. Why is it important to prevent this? Security is very important while sharing the University Network. Many routers allow students to get on the network without going through the ResNet registration process and this can leave the machines open to many security violations, which can then spread quickly to other machines. Routers can also interfere with other students' ability to use the network and can cause those who register properly to be "bumped" rom the network.
What do you enjoy most about your profession? The fact that technology changes on a daily basis means that there is always something new around the corner, or something to learn. My job is rarely, if ever, dull or boring. I enjoy learning about new things, interacting with others that I am able to learn and grow from, and strive for success with something that is not second nature to me. These are the things that I enjoy most about my job.
What are some aspects of your job others might not realize you're involved with? I think the diversity of my job (ResNet, HR, customer and network services) is something that not many people are aware of. While many peers across the campus have worked with me on such things as residential networking, recruiting, ordering services and voice mail requests, sometimes they are not aware that I also work in other areas within NTS.
ResNet has developed several products in house. What are some of these products, and are they being offered to the public? RINGS (ResNet Integrated Next Generation Solution), is a product that was developed in house. This is our registration and security analyzer program that every student must use when registering to use the University Network. This allows students to have an automated process when they move in to their new homes here on campus and plug in their machines, to check on security issues, download the antivirus program and make sure they have all of their patches. This allows them to do this without having their machines checked by our staff on a manual basis saving lots of time and frustration.