Brian D.

Senior IT Project Leader, Classroom Technology Services — ISC Client Services
Portrait photo of Brian D.

ISC service(s) or programs/projects:  System design, project management of system installation and programming, and ongoing support of new tech installations for all Central Pool classrooms

Length of time in ISC:  Joined ISC and Penn in 2022

Previous work experience:  Worked for ten years for an audio-visual integrator formerly contracted to Penn; earlier I was an intern in the recording industry in Nashville

Tell us about a challenge at Penn that made you proud to be part of ISC.

In the Spring of 2022, we were short-staffed, as well as dealing with a lot of supply chain issues. Everybody on the CTS team pulled together and we were still able to complete the summer classroom technology upgrades for the originally targeted 45 classrooms by the start of classes in the fall.

What’s an interesting technical or business problem you’ve faced with ISC?

Our upgraded classrooms are designed around dedicated touch panels that control the AV systems. When those panels became temporarily unavailable due to supplier delays, our team was able to devise and deploy a quick workaround using Microsoft Surface devices to successfully meet our launch deadlines for the start of the fall term. As the dedicated touch panels arrived, we swapped out the Surfaces, which were not as seamlessly integrated, and required more maintenance. We took what could have been a show-stopper and instead gave faculty and staff the same user experience they rely upon for a successful live and hybrid classroom experience.

What do you like best about working with clients?

Everyone is so unbelievably nice! Even when we have to fix problems, they are so happy to see us and to work together. In my prior positions, I often had to fix things fast for some very unhappy clients. Here, people recognize that everyone’s trying to do their job as well as they can. I think that speaks to people actually liking their jobs here at Penn.

What lasting effects did the pandemic have on your role and your work?

COVID forced remote learning to become more essential, so our classrooms had to become more remote-capable. We are always making sure cameras and microphones are all in working order to support remote formats. Some people are still affected by the pandemic, but even for those who aren’t, their pedagogy and habits have changed. I was on Locust Walk and saw a student with a laptop out on a table. In passing, I glanced at the screen and it showed a video image of Chemistry 102. So she was on campus… and still doing remote learning!

What do you appreciate most about the time you spend on campus?

In our group, we strive to do things the right way, and at Penn we get the opportunity and the time to do it. I have confidence in the work of those around me. I can focus on my job and strive to do it to the fullest. Having the time to do my job and make sure it’s done right is a breath of fresh air for me.

What are you passionate about in your free time?

I have three kids, so I love spending time with my family. This job has definitely given me more work-life balance. It’s been great knowing that I’ll be home the same time every day. In addition, I love music and audio. So don’t worry — sound in the classrooms will always be top-notch!

What would you like people at Penn to know about you?

People sometimes think that since I talk AV all day long, they shouldn’t ask me about it. But I enjoy it! If anyone’s got AV questions, whether it’s a home thing or a personal tech issue, I’m here. I enjoy trying to help people out, especially if I can help them not spend thousands of dollars to fix little problems that I, as the guy down the hall, know the answers to.