New degrees, game shows, babies, and race car driving—what more is there?

Mae Jemison, who spoke at the 2018 UITS Statewide IT Conference, became the first woman of color to go into space when she served as a crew member aboard the Endeavour.

Kenneth Gyan, a senior system administrator on the Enterprise Web Technical Services team, had an eventful year. He graduated with his Master of Science in Information Systems from Minot State University in North Dakota and was elected to serve on the IU Bloomington Professional Council. Stephanie Cox in Research Technologies mentored Gyan through the ITLC Mentorship Action program. She learned a lot about Gyan and raved about the great work he does on the web team. “I believe that Ken is an amazing, young, talented IT professional with a great future ahead.”

portrait of Kenneth Gyan

Congratulations! Gyan didn't just earn his master's degree recently—he was also elected to the IU Bloomington Professional Council. 

Elizabeth Venstra of the Knowledge Management team spent New Year’s in California visiting family. While there, she visited the California Science Center in Los Angeles and saw the space shuttle Endeavour. “It would’ve been very cool in any event, but it was extra cool to realize that this is the one that Mae Jemison flew on, having heard her speak at Statewide!” 

photo of endeavor aircraft

Out of this world. Venstra saw the Endeavour space shuttle at the California Science Center. 

December was a big month for Angela Mc Ilvaine, who works for the CRM initiative. She certainly felt the magic when she finally fulfilled her dream of going to Disneyland. Disneyland wasn’t the only place she visited. She went to Maui for a week and got to wake up to a beautiful view from her balcony. If that wasn’t enough, Mc Ilvaine also attended a filming of The Price is Right. One contestant even hugged her, so look out for her on TV February 28 in the front left of the audience!

photo of a woman spinning the price is right wheel

'Come on down!'. Mc Ilvaine poses with the iconic game show wheel. 

a baby on a blanket

'He’s a peach!' Julie Thatcher’s 14th grandchild, Tate, was born on New Year’s Eve. Thatcher is lead Knowledge Management editor. 

In October, software developer Satish Garneni and his manager attended the 2019 Educause Event to present their project Kumo. Garneni participated in a competition to race an AWS DeepRacer, an autonomous 1/18th scale race car designed to test reinforcement learning models by racing on a physical track. Using cameras to view the track and a reinforcement model to control throttle and steering, the car shows how a model trained in a simulated environment can be transferred to the real world. After standing first on the leader board for two days, Garneni completed the event with a record lap of 9.498 seconds and won first place.

“I look at the experience of DeepRacer as an opportunity to understand how you acquire technology and how you're going to improve it yourself. I'm very grateful to learn that through this DeepRacer experience.”

people standing on a podium with a trophy

Record breaker. Garneni stands proudly on the podium after winning first place in the AWS DeepRacer league. 

Staff anniversaries

5 years

  • Nicholas Bannister-Andrews, IU Bloomington
  • Jerry Downs, IU Bloomington
  • Joshua Edwards, IUPUI
  • Cody Miracle, IUPUI 

10 years

  • Ariel Cember, IU Bloomington
  • Kristie Solliday, IU Bloomington 

15 years

  • Ian Jackson, IU Bloomington
  • Lisa Leedy, IU Bloomington
  • Megan May, IUPUI
  • Jesse Oakes, IU Bloomington
  • Jackie Vest, IU Bloomington 

 20 years

  • Thomas Cockrum, IUPUI
  • Chris Eller, IU Bloomington
  • Rhonda Inman, IU Bloomington
  • Heather Warnsman, IU Bloomington

25 years

  • Sean Moser, IUPUI

40 years

  • Petrona Morgan, IUPUI