Desktop Support Specialist Senior and IT Manager Rebi Varghese received the annual Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering (CEE) Staff Excellence Award in recognition of his outstanding work adapting to the past year’s challenges.
The CEE Staff Excellence Award is presented based on feedback from fellow staff members and faculty on areas of professionalism, reliability, communication, teamwork, initiative, problem-solving, decision-making, planning and leadership.
The department honors Varghese for surmounting the unique set of challenges he has faced over the past year as COVID-19 shifted instruction and research online. In addition to coordinating laptops, microphones, iPads and cameras for all instructors for Fall hybrid teaching and Winter remote teaching and facilitating training sessions for remote work, Varghese assisted PhD students in their prelim exam preparation, ensuring that they had access to all needed equipment and remaining available to distribute and collect the equipment afterwards.
In addition, Varghese kept up with a drastic increase in work volume, responding to over 600 tickets for IT issues, including ones related to remote work, Zoom, VPN connections and other problems that required Varghese to use remote desktop access to identify the issue and troubleshoot promptly. Notably, feedback indicated that Varghese treated each ticket “as if it were the only task on his plate” and demonstrated care in unusually stressful times.
“As the lone IT professional in CEE, Rebi was called upon to address a myriad of issues he had never before encountered. He did so with a collaborative mindset and can-do attitude,” wrote Department Administrator Patricia Brainard. “He truly helped lead us through this challenging time.”