On the Job with Tony Berry
Tony BerryTechnology & Equipment Manager
Student Activities Center
Clayton State University
If you had the opportunity to influence someone thinking about a career similar to your area of expertise, what career advice would you give them, knowing what you know now?
Branch out and try different things. I was a computer science major, but it didn’t exactly fit with my personality. I dropped out, worked in a variety of fields, and eventually went to Clayton State. Building on my computer science experience, I studied web design, writing for digital media, photography, videography and video editing, and sound editing. I was asked to join campus life as a student worker, where I applied everything I’d learned. After I graduated they asked if I’d like to continue as professional staff. I accepted and never looked back.
What do you foresee to be some of the biggest approaching challenges in meeting the technology needs of the communities you serve?
One of the biggest challenges will always be money. With technology advancing every day to where it is obsolete in months, keeping up will be a constant struggle. So as a tech person I often have to find workarounds to meet budgetary constraints. Sometimes this proves difficult; sometimes impossible. One good thing from this is students talk to me to discuss what they can, and cannot, do and this dialogue allows me to find out what their goal is and try to meet them where they live. I can give them solutions or a sense of understanding when I can’t deliver.
If you had a surprise budget windfall what would be a technological “dream purchase” you would make to benefit your facility and your students, and why?
A top-to-bottom renovation of our ballroom tech. Upgrade projectors to the latest HD models; replace drop down screens with newer, lighter models; replace control panels and incorporate lighting system controls into them. I’d make input ports (VGA and 3.5 mm jacks only) more versatile, and include output options for recording live sound, replace in-room speakers with wall-mounted performance-rated sound, and update the microphone count. I’d include a re-install for moveable walls for operation from a control panel touchscreen . Also add ceiling-mounted direction canned lights for spotlights or focus. I believe these changes would make the space far more useful to our campus community.