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STEMinist Profile: Deborah Resnick, Technical Services Manager/Systems Administrator

Deborah Resnick

Technical Services Manager/Systems Administrator

Purdue Intercollegiate Athletics

What inspired you to pursue a career in STEM?
I have always been fascinated by science and technology – I was the only girl in my high school aeronautics class. It was practicality that led me to my STEM career, though. My husband and I sat down one day and discussed what we liked to do and who would make more doing it. I won. I discovered several years previously that I had an aptitude for computers. In 15 years I’ve gone from knowing virtually nothing about computers to being a systems administrator and technology manager at a Big 10 university. It’s been amazing!

What is the coolest project you have worked on and why?
The coolest project I’ve worked on has been moving the support for game day stats in house. It seemed like a simple and straightforward project, but as in all things tech, it was so much more under the surface. It’s been amazing to see how the hardware, software, people, networks, and the Internet all come together to put that little line of sports statistics across the bottom of my television screen during a Boilermaker sporting event. I still get a little thrill each time the stats start working at each game or meet!

Role models and heroes:
My primary role model is Amelia Earhart. Such an amazing and independent woman! I would also have to say my mother, but I didn’t realize that until recently. She was a working mom when there were very few to be found. She was a nurse, who lived to care for people. In order to become a nurse (it was 1954) she locked herself in her bedroom until her parents agreed to let her go to nursing school! The independence and ambition of both of these women are what has kept me going throughout my life.

Why do you loving working in STEM?
Possibilities. It’s not so much about what is, but what could be. There’s a huge world out there that is just beyond what we can see. I love being able to show people what’s possible, and it’s always a thrill when those people start seeing the possibilities themselves. I think that one of the things I love most in my current position is the way someone’s eyes light up when I’m telling her about something and that child-like wonder shines through.

Advice for future STEMinists?
Don’t listen to people who say you can’t do something. You can do anything you can imagine. The only limits on you are those you place on yourself. Some things just take a lot more work – so do the work!

Favorite website or app:
My current favorite is really more of a concept. I love the cloud. Any cloud will do. I use several cloud services and I feel so much more free. No need to carry around my laptop – I can use a tablet or my phone and see any document I’ve got stored in the cloud. I currently use Google Drive most frequently, but I also like Dropbox.

My favorite app right now is IQTELL. It’s a great organizing tool. The interface is a bit busy, but it’s just in beta and testers can suggest modifications.

Twitter: @DebResnick



STEMinist Profile: Tia Stackle, Regional Data Engineer

Tia Stackle

Regional Data Engineer
Suddenlink Communications

What inspired you to pursue a career in STEM?
I was always good in math and sciences. I liked that there was a “right” answer out there and that the classes weren’t graded by the whim of the teacher’s preference. When I was a stay-at-home homeschooling mother for seven years, I used the computer a lot to get curriculum and other ideas. I taught myself how to use HTML to make my own webpages. But when it came time to pick a career, I wanted something less “artsy” than web design. I realized that network engineering is all about communication – and I like communicating and helping others to gain knowledge and socialize and enjoy all that technology has to give us today. Without networks, none of that is possible.

What is the coolest project you have worked on and why?
My version of cool may not seem all that great to others…But I was working for a cable company that was launching telephony services back in the mid-2000s. Marketing hadn’t timed their launch date with Engineering very well so we ended up with a due date that was two weeks after the equipment showed up in our warehouse. I led the team in installing, configuring and testing six UBR100112 routers (hip height routers that tie the Ethernet network to the hybrid fiber coax plant) in six different cities before our due date. It was fun, challenging and rewarding. What is cooler than that?

Role models/heroes:
Padmasree Warrior – CTO of Cisco, Nomi Bergman – President of Brighthouse, Charlotte Field – Senior VP of Infrastructure and Operations at Comcast.

Why do you love working in STEM?
It is exciting to be on the cutting edge of technology – doing things that no one thought possible 10 years ago. I love leading a team to make The Network bigger, faster, stronger, better and to know that without us (network engineers in general), broadband and the Internet wouldn’t be the essential tool it has become.

Advice for future STEMinists?
Work hard. Learn a lot. Love what you do. STEM changes the world every day and we want to be part of that change so hang in there.

Favorite website or app:
Honestly…Netflix. Probably shouldn’t publish that though since I work for a cable company. 🙂 Sudoku puzzles would be what I spend the most “free time” using. I have been told they’ll help to keep me from losing my mind…and with a house full of daughters, a new husband, and a crazy career that has me work at all hours of the day and night, I need every bit of help I can get!

Twitter: @tiastackle