UWF degrees and graduation years:
BS System Science: Business, ’80
MS System Science: Business, ’83
Why did you choose UWF?
I was in the Navy for 10 years, and as a Naval Flight Officer, I had taken a couple of courses at UWF. Once I realized that I enjoyed working with computers, I decided to go for a degree.
What were your goals as a student?
I knew I wanted to work with computers. At that time, there was no World Wide Web and no one had a personal computer at home. It was really just catching on, so it was a great, innovative industry to study.
Who was your favorite professor and why?
Two immediately come to mind: Richard Earp and Theodore Elbert, both great professors. During the late 70s, several professors came to science from other disciplines because the field was so new. Earp and Elbert both became experts in the new field of Computer Science and taught a whole generation of programmers and systems analysts.
What do you do now?
I help write and maintain programs for various departments across campus. For example, with the controller’s office, I wrote a mainframe-based cashiering system which accounts for teller cash in drawers, calculates fee assessment, prints receipts and automates accounting transactions into the university’s ledgers. I wrote the Account Balance Web page on my.uwf.edu that lets students know how much they owe the university and the status of their financial aid.
How did UWF help you progress to this point?
I was lucky enough to get a job here because my professors knew me. Even though I didn’t have any experience, they were able to recommend me because they knew my work ethic.
Outside of working, what activities and organizations are you currently involved in and what are your hobbies?
I like to run and play volleyball. I participated in co-ed volleyball in intramural sports for many years. Morris Marx established the UWF President’s Competition as part of his inaugural celebration in 1988. Computer Services fielded a team of staff and students almost every year between 1988 and 1996. We won the championship in 1990, 1992 and 1994. In 1993, I was inducted into the Intramural Hall of Fame.
What is your favorite memory as a student at UWF?
I remember when I first came to UWF. I saw a course on Chinese and Japanese history that I really wanted to take taught by James McGovern. He impressed me as the epitome of all the good things I could expect from a college professor. At that time, registration was done in the Field House. I remember it took only five minutes for me to get admitted, see a counselor, have my schedule approved and pay fees. I was amazed at how fast it all happened and was totally impressed with UWF.
What advice do you have for current and future UWF students?
Listen to your professors. They have a good feeling for where things are headed. Take advantage of the opportunity you have here. UWF has excellent faculty and the best equipment.
What quality makes UWF special or unique?
I’ve always liked the saying that UWF is a place where the students have names and the buildings have numbers. It’s very personable. The charm of UWF is that people go out of their way to be nice. And, I really believe that you can get as good of an education here as anywhere else. It really is a first-rate undergraduate education for a bargain price.
What scientific or technological changes have you witnessed during your time working at UWF? How has UWF evolved?
I have definitely seen a lot of changes over the years. When I first started working at UWF, the cashier’s office used cash registers called “validators.” Eventually, when we had personal computers available, we had 10 megabyte hard drives and 15 megabyte color monitors. They were the size of an old television set, but back then, they were the hottest thing around. I remember when the Web first came about. Many people were skeptical that anything serious would ever come of it, but it ended up becoming a whole new industry.