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AAIT Hosts Open House, Shares Information about New Services

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Roger Smith (left) and John Bowman

Arts and Architecture Information Technology (AAIT) held an open house on Tuesday, Sept. 1, during which faculty and staff from across the college checked out the AAIT suite, learned more about AAIT’s services, and enjoyed refreshments.

AAIT launched a number of new initiatives in 2014–15 and has many more planned for 2015–16. According to Steve Sobotta, director of information technology, one of the most important upcoming changes will be the transition from the old Footprints trouble ticket system to a more user-friendly, web-based trouble ticket system. In addition, AAIT will conduct an inventory of all IT equipment across the college so the department can better determine how to support it and when it needs to be replaced.

AAIT now employs many interns (from the College of Information Sciences and Technology) and work-study students from a variety of academic areas. Among other duties, interns have assisted with the complete redesign of the AAIT website and begun to document all AAIT business programs in ISO 9001 standard format, which is the business standard for information technology organizations.

AAIT has also launched the Print Assistant Program, in which volunteers from the Stuckeman School provide after-hours printer support in their respective departments in exchange for a small stipend toward their semester printing bill.

“This helps us tremendously because they are the primary support team available after hours, as we are unable to have full-time staff during the evening and early morning hours available to support,” said Sobotta.  

According to Sobotta, the AAIT full-time staff benefits greatly from the supplemental workforce. “They give us an opportunity to expand our workforce to meet the ever-increasing appetite and need for technology support across the college. And the students gain valuable work experience around a high-caliber technology team.”

Sobotta notes that, in light of the recent security breaches at Penn State and across the nation, AAIT is working hard to protect the college network and maintain faculty and staff’s ability to perform their responsibilities. The easiest way for faculty and staff to assist in that effort is to simply restart their computer every night, which allows AAIT to apply patches and updates over the network overnight, thus not disrupting the workday.

For all technical support questions or issues, please contact the AAIT Help Desk at 5-AAIT (2248) or email aait-help@psu.edu (all communication must come from your Penn State account). Help Desk staff is available Monday through Friday from 7:30 a.m. to 5 p.m.  Extensive information is also available on the AAIT website, http://aait.psu.edu. Live chat support will be offered soon.