Congratulations to Debra Miller for being named Santa Rosa Junior College’s Employee of the Month for July 2014. As a computer lab coordinator in the Information Technology Department, Debra is responsible for hardware and software installs, and oversees maintenance and upgrades in computer labs and classrooms including the math and chemistry departments as well as MESA. She also coordinates activities within the math lab, and is responsible for scheduling; updating policies and procedures; hiring, training, and supervising up to 13 student lab assistants; keeping up with changing technologies, and serving as a liaison between IT and academic departments with issues regarding technology.
Debra, a San Francisco native, holds a BA degree in Management and BS in Information Technology. Prior to her arrival at SRJC, she was owner and project manager of a general construction contracting business in south-eastern Alaska. Debra was first hired at SRJC as a computer lab specialist in 2001, then later became a computer technician approximately five years later, before attaining her current position as computer lab coordinator in 2011. Debra has dedicated 13 years of service to SRJC.
Debra is described as being a productive and knowledgeable team player. Josh Adams, Manager of Instructional Computing, and Scott Conrad, Director, Information Technology, nominated Debra for her hard work, technical ability, and capability to quickly adjust to changing technical environments to support her clients’ needs. Josh remarks, “Debra’s colleagues in the math department have commended her performance, her working relationships with staff and students, and her technical abilities. She effectively initiates solutions and has consistently gone out of her way to learn. I have found Debra to be consistent, dependable, careful, detailed, and accurate in carrying out her responsibilities and initiatives to a successful conclusion.”
The computer lab coordinator position requires a wide range of skills in administration, supervision, communication, collaboration, decision-making, in addition to the technology skills that would be expected.
Debra supervises 13 student tutors in the computer labs, and finds working with student employees deeply rewarding, and enjoys encouraging and supporting them. “Without a doubt, working with students and student lab assistants is what I like most about my job. They are full of aspirations, either starting on their career path or changing course. The students and student lab assistants’ hard work, enthusiasm, commitment, and educational goals are simply inspiring.”
“The best evidence of the caliber of students Debra hires and works with can be found in the fact that eight of her student employees are moving on to prestigious four year programs: seven to UCs and one to Cal Poly. Debra serves students and her classified staff peers, and consistently demonstrates strong teamwork, technical, and collaboration skills. She is a great asset to SRJC and the IT department,” said Josh.
Asked her greatest accomplishment at the College, Debra responded, “I can make decisions, many times collaboratively with instructors, which affect the learning environment and operations of the math labs to the benefit of students. As coordinator, I believe I have a hand in this learning environment and consider it one of my greatest accomplishments.”
Aside from her role as coordinator, Debra also serves as a member of the Fringe Benefit Committee and Classified Executive Council. Aside from College-related activities, Debra has attended rallies, precinct walks for candidates, and walks for social justice issues such as health care for all.
Debra‘s main interests include architecture, traveling, and interior design. She also enjoys gardening and long walks with friends during her free time. Debra’s immediate family includes her husband Tim, of 39 years, and son Anthony who graduated from the SRJC in May 2014 with an associate’s degree in Allied Health. Debra’s sister, Stephanie also graduated from SRJC this year with an associate’s degree in Landscape Design with CAD (computer-assisted design) Skills.
“I believe every person deserves a chance or second chance in acquiring an education and the skills they need to be successful in the community. SRJC provides the vehicle for this in our community, along with many other support services, to reach and encourage Sonoma County’s diverse population. Overall, I am proud to be an employee of Santa Rosa Junior College.”
When told of her nomination, Debra explains, “I was pleasantly surprised! My supervisors Josh Adams and Scott Conrad were so delighted to tell me of this award. I feel overwhelming support from them. I also believe many, many, many other Classified employees deserve this recognition.”