Mark Williams - Student Affairs Service Award 2002-03
Statement of Wonderfulness
In Celebration of
MARK WILLIAMS is the Educational Activities Technology Consultant, which, in a non-high-tech parlance, means “computer guru for Educational Activities.” As such he works with the students to make sure all their equipment needs are met and are fully operational with software and other related materials. Mark is responsible for the computer support for the computers purchased on the Educational Activities’ nickel. That means that on a daily basis he has to combat the manipulations of students who know just enough to be dangerous.
It is his job to de-load games, instant messaging, feature length films, and many more from the hard drives of our diligent and hardworking students. It is his duty to know (after they have been changed) the log-ins for the dozens of computers under his direction. Somehow, through all the rule violations and inconsistencies, Mark never seems provoked and somehow “gets it” that those around him really don’t mean to be a pain – they just can’t help themselves. Being a trouble- shooter, he is on call all the time.
Mark makes Educational Activities programming, organizations and committees run smoothly (or is that an oxymoron?). Since everything we do centers around the computer, anything that comes out of student media, from full-length feature films to letters of recommendation, has Mark’s stamp on it somewhere along the way. The same is true with ASOSU activities and the work of student groups housed in the MU East.. He is able to keep the computer running! That’s all he does, and does it brilliantly!
To see how Mark makes a difference in one’s life, here’s a true personal confession from a somewhat embarrassed colleague: “One day my computer was beeping regularly. We were concerned that it might be about to blow up, so I pelted downstairs to ask Mark what to do. He raced upstairs, sat down at my computer, moved the papers from the left-hand side of the keyboard, smiled politely, and said, ‘Well, that should do it.’ A lesser man might have pointed out my idiocy, but Mark seems to believe that everyone is entitled to be an idiot at least once in a day without paying a price. He has a gentle quality of being able to fix stupid user errors without giving the user the slightest hint that they have done anything out of the ordinary.”
Mark is a very dedicated person, and he keeps smiling when fixing a computer – yes, even the Sony ES7 video editing computer, which does not like to be fixed. He can’t just be described in one word because, simply, he is gifted, courageous, generous, humble, tactful, and, yes, British!!!
He truly lives up to the Campus Compact values by being open and very caring. He accepts all students that he meets with equal warmth and support. He is just, in that as he shows us something we need to learn about computers, he respects us for what else we know that we might be able to share with him. He is disciplined, responding quickly to concerns, following up on requests, and keeping us informed about what he intends to do concerning an issue. He is caring in the way he shows respect to all, even those who are fuming over issues with the computers he supports. He is celebrative (he eats birthday cake with us every time, even though he doesn’t really care for cake).
Congratulations, Mark, for being such a wonderful person and valuable colleague!
8th Annual Service Awards Celebration
Division of Student Affairs
Oregon State University
May 21, 2003