New Staff Profile: Tino Kaltsas

Title: System Engineer III, GNP IT

Photo: Tino Kaltsas

Start Date: June 12, 2023

1. Can you tell us more about your path to UW-Madison and your new role in the Geography Department?

I first started in Higher Education almost 20 years ago, serving as the Evening and Late-Night Supervisor of the Krueger Library at Winona State University. I provided a broad range of services and support during the evening and late-night hours including basic research assistance, interlibrary loan processing, equipment checkout, and technology support. It was in this role at Winona State that I realized I wanted to keep my career path in Higher Education. I take great satisfaction in playing a role supporting the next generation and enjoy the vibrancy of a university campus.

Following the role at Winona State, I accepted a position as a Videoconference Coordinator at the University of Wisconsin – Platteville. This was a new position primarily supporting a new hybrid education initiative providing engineering courses to both in-person students as well as place bound students throughout the state of Wisconsin. I enjoyed the more technology focused responsibilities of this role as well as the opportunity to participate in a new initiative. In 2011 I accepted a position with the University of Iowa as a Learning Spaces Support Consultant with the Learning Spaces Technology Team within the Office of Teaching, Learning, and Technology. Initially I provided front line support for both audiovisual and computing technology in general assignment classrooms and general access information technology centers (computer labs). In 2013, I was promoted to Team Lead, providing guidance and leadership to this team of IT professionals and student IT analysts providing comprehensive technology support and consulting to classrooms and learning space. In 2016, I was promoted to IT Manager and a second team joined my unit, providing Audiovisual Engineering, Design and Installation to the University community. In 2020, following a multi-year efficiency initiative, I was promoted to Associate Director for Learning Spaces Technology and continued to provide guidance, leadership, and consulting for various University capital projects as well as continued hands-on support and service for university learning spaces.

This spring a personal and professional colleague and my predecessor in the IT Manager role in the Department of Geography suggested I take a look at this role with the University of Wisconsin – Madison. As a Wisconsin native, I have always entertained the idea of returning to Wisconsin and this opportunity seemed to be the right time and fit.

2. What excites you most about being a System Engineer III in Geography?

I am excited to participate at the ground floor of building a new IT team for service and support for the Department of Geography as well as the Department of Planning and Landscape Architecture and the Nelson Institute. It has been very satisfying to be closer to teaching, learning, and research in the departments and getting to know the work and the people at a deeper level. Everyone has been so welcoming.

3. Are there any new initiatives or details about your role that you would like to share?

We are still in the process of hiring the third IT professional for the GNP IT team. Once this recruitment process is complete there are a number of projects and initiatives we intend to work on. Highlights include completing the migration to Campus Active Directory, improving our endpoint management systems for better and more reliable patching and application deployment, and finding a new home for the equipment in the Science Hall server/data closet. In addition we expect to get caught up on the routine and non-routine IT support and service requests that have been a bit of a challenge through the transition. It will be a lot of work, but 2024 is looking bright!

4. What are some things you are looking forward to doing in Madison?

My family was finally able to join me in September. We’ve settled in Sun Prairie where my wife is teaching 2nd grade. I’m especially looking forward to the spring when we can explore some of the city and county parks in the area. We also look forward to catching a few Mallards games at Warner Park.

5. Are there any fun hobbies or other interests that you have?

I’m a bit of a retrocomputing enthusiast, particularly vintage Apple and Macintosh systems. I enjoy spending some time as a hobby on webstreaming radio. My favorite club in Madison was the college radio station at UW-Platteville, WSUP, where I served as Music Director, Program Director, and Chief Announcer. I didn’t take my career into broadcasting, but I still enjoy dabbling in production and programming radio as time allows. I am also a licensed Amateur Radio operator and am looking forward to getting the ham shack set back up and getting back on the ai.

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Author: lwunderlich