Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Kevin Nealon: Level 20 iPad Sorcerer

Nerds, bow to your king.
Warning! Exposure to Kevin Nealon is akin to being administered an iOS-knowledge epipen in order to halt the progression of poor ipad-use-anaphylaxis. If you've ever met Kevin Nealon, this is not new news, but if you haven't, you're in for a treat; Kevin is one of IC's most unique personalities.  Kevin's wit is so cunning, you could slap some pointy ears on it and call it a Vulcan. He somehow manages to blend jovial, charisma, knowledge, helpfulness, and hobbies, into a conventionally cool package. Oh, and if you ask him how is day is, he'll always respond with a smooth, "Still alive."

In order to complete my interview with Kevin, I had to do a West Wing style walk and talk because he was manning the Help Desk, and that means unexpected phone calls and visits from end users. Doing this interview was a great reminder of the type of work that Kevin does.  He answers questions, he works on stuff, and is flexible enough to see his projects through to the end!

Q: Mind telling me a little about yourself?
A: I always wanted to be a veterinarian, but that didn't pan out.  Turns out, I didn't prove brilliant enough, or lucky enough, to make it into vet school. I'm from New Jersey, exit 10.  My folks moved down to Virginia when I entered college. After college, I lived in Maryland, and took a job in Flint Hill, Virginia. One day, I saw an add in the paper that SU needed a Mac nerd, I applied twice and handed Quaiser my resume personally. That's how I got here!

Q: How long have you been working in technology?
A: Thirty years or so.

Q: Word on the street is that you have a few cool hobbies, care to share?
A: I like to roast coffee beans. Yeah, I pull a killer shot of espresso. I used to teach rifle marksmanship, that was a lot of fun. Then, let's see, I ran the Warren County Shooting Education Club. I used to be an avid cyclist, but I ride a big scooter these days. I also teach ballroom dancing.

Q: Kevin, so you think you can dance?
A: I don't suck. You name it, I can probably dance it. Well, that's not true, but I can Rumba, Cha-Cha, Salsa, Swing (east-coast), Foxtrot, Waltz, and a few others.

Q: Do you have any super hero nicknames that we need to be aware of?    
A: Noodles.  Why that is my nickname is a secret.  Also, the student workers like to call me Kfro Noodle-Head.

Q: Are you an animal lover? 
A: Absolutely! Remember, I said i wanted to be a veterinarian. I'm a cat lover.

Q: Do you have any cats?
A: Kind of... I had up to seven at one point, it was not my intention to end up with so many cats...

Q:Who is your celebrity look alike?
A:Well, people say I look like Jackie Chan... Believe it or not.

Q: Let's get into the serious stuff.  What does a typical work day in your life look like?
A: Fixing stuff.  I am fixing stuff all day. Now that I am working with Tom (Anderson), I am fixing more complicated stuff as well.

Q: How does your work directly affect end users at SU?
A: If their technology does not work, I make it work for them.  It's pretty simple really. I'm hoping to move into working with faculty to help them use technology to help SU students learn!

Q: If you disappeared into an extra-dimensional pocket for an extended period of time and nobody took over your job responsibilities, what would happen after six months?
A: Oh my, that sounds like fun! There would be more work load for everybody, and probably a lot of things that have not been fixed yet.

Q: What would you tell end users about your labor that they might not know?
A: I'd love to educate more people about using the technological resources they already have access to, that's actually a big part of a master's degree I am working to achieve.

Q: If you could give users one quick pro-tip regarding technology that you support, what would it be?
A: Don't let your password expire, and because we are, more-or-less, a Mac school, staying within the Mac framework can probably make your life a little easier. Also, run Dis Repair once a week.

Every department needs a dancing, cat loving, coffee-bean roasting, fixer-of-technology, marksman, right?  Kevin Nealon is IC's, and we're lucky to have this on our team. If you need to reach him, you can always contact the Help Desk #5555, or email him at knealon2@su.edu.

No comments:

Post a Comment