CAST IT Enables Fast, Efficient Support

April 15, 2024

A discovery series on the diversity and uniqueness of technology services at UArizona

College of Applied Science and Technology IT

If you are teaching, managing an event, or working remotely, you need your technology to be working smoothly. The College of Applied Science and Technology (CAST) offers highly technical programs and the employees within CAST are often working remotely. The CAST Information Technology (IT) Team is critical to keeping everyone working efficiently without disruption or pause caused by technological issues.  

The CAST IT team has a unified goal in mind: speed and efficiency. They understand the urgency the CAST community has when facing technology issues and they have created a process and strategy that allows for near-immediate support to get community members back up and running as soon as possible.  

Stephen Masterson, CAST Information Technology Manager, joined the team nearly eight months ago and has led some initiatives to help streamline and speed up the technology support process. “If someone has an issue with their technology—their laptop or any of the devices they use to access their work—we are here to help with great speed,” stated Masterson.  

“We are most committed to the end-user needs and experience. We support a lot of events and are present to ensure audio and visuals are working as they should and provide quick solutions to resolve any technology problems in real time.” 

Recognizing the highly digital and remote way of working and learning, the team implemented a new process shortly after Masterson joined the team to offer support faster. A CAST IT Team shared phone line ensures that within a matter of a few minutes someone on the team will answer, ready to assist with any issues. “Our team receives calls from faculty working from home facing machine issues. For example, sometimes the VPN or NetID is not working as it should and we offer support to rectify those problems or mediate with the UITS team that handles the service.”  

The team coordinates with staff during their initial onboarding to understand their technology needs. They learn what kind of laptop and specs are required for staff to do their jobs and they proceed with the purchasing and installs. For new on-campus staff, the team meets with them to get them set up with their Zoom number through their close partnership with the Zoom Team.  

The CAST IT team recognizes that they are the technology experts to support staff, so they are committed to taking the stress of coordinating with various departments out of the hands of their customers. That is why so much of their work is relationship-based.  

For streamlining purposes, the team acts as the liaison between their customers and the technologies and/ or service providers, like Zoom, or shared Exchange accounts, that they need. This is because of the already established and strong partnership the CAST IT team has with their UITS partners and it takes the complication away from the community. They provide the legwork and deliver the final product to their customer.  

If this team’s work sounds like a lot, it is. One of the most impressive facets of this team is the size. The responsibility of CAST tech support for faculty and staff, the liaison relationships, purchasing and prepping devices, and ongoing technology maintenance falls on only three talented people. 

The staff encompasses Stephen Masterson, Stephen Folino Gallo, IT Support Analyst and Brad Bryce, IT Support Analyst. Folino Gallo has been at the University for over 20 years in various roles and has spent ten of that within CAST as their lead IT support provider. Bryce is a veteran of the Marine Corps with extensive technology experience.

The CAST IT team’s technology strategies, goals, and initiatives continue to grow. This is critical for the faculty and staff providing a technical education in Sierra Vista via remote and on-site means.   

The CAST IT team’s technology strategies, goals, and initiatives continue to adapt to meet the needs of a growing college that has always been committed to offering programs in modalities that best serve students. This is critical for the faculty and staff providing programs on-site and remotely. CAST has been teaching online prior to the establishment of AZ Online and has been teaching fully online since COVID. CAST will begin offering face-to-face classes in its most popular programs on Tucson main campus in Fall, 2024. Regardless of modality, many of CAST’s classes are taught in CyberApolis, CAST’s state-of-the-art Virtual Learning Environment, which requires both faculty and students to utilize advanced technology.

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