Emanuel Brunson is a Lead Technology Support Technician at DELTA and is committed to providing quality support to faculty. A proud graduate of Fayetteville State University, Brunson began his journey in accounting as an undergraduate.
In the private industry for 15 years, Brunson spent time generating financial reports and was always the person that people would come to for technology troubleshooting before they went to information technology (IT) help. He eventually landed in an IT role that transitioned to his current type of work.
Brunson joined DELTA in October 2011 as a professional temp and was hired full time in February 2012.
“It’s been an interesting path. I started off as an end user of various tools and ended up moving to the more technical side,” said Brunson.
How would you describe your position to someone unfamiliar with DELTA?
“We [LearnTech] are the first point of contact for faculty to have questions answered about our enterprise-level tools. We troubleshoot issues and provide consultations for faculty to be able to use a tool more efficiently,” said Brunson.
Depending on the time of year, Brunson’s responsibilities include a range of faculty support services. “The few weeks before classes begin is pretty much all hands on deck with answering the LearnTech line,” he added. Helping navigate questions for the LearnTech Help Desk are three student workers who report to Brunson.
A large part of Brunson’s time during the semester is spent engaged in face-to-face consultations helping faculty reimagine their content. He has also become more involved in projects and support for software updates.
Brunson serves on the WolfWare Best Practices committee and the Information Technology Strategic Advisory Committee – Client and Application Support subcommittee (ITSAC-CAS) to meet and discuss happenings around campus. “If someone has a feature request for WolfWare, we review it first to see how users will be affected and if it would be beneficial and sustainable to the larger university,” he said.
What has been your favorite experience at DELTA?
Brunson noted being able to interact with faculty on a regular basis has been a rewarding experience. When faculty call the Help Desk, he does not see it as a one-time interaction but instead as an opportunity to create a lasting partnership.
“I’m a partner in helping faculty make their course better. I have tools that can help them do what they’re trying to do either better and more efficiently or by helping them rethink how they use certain tools,” he added.
Brunson believes in having good rapport with faculty. He has been invited to teaching circles on campus where faculty are able to ask questions which usually leads to a followup call or consultation.
What is your area of expertise? What do you enjoy the most about your work?
“I have inadvertently earned the title as ‘the Moodle guy,’” said Brunson. He explained that in a previous DELTA structure, he worked on many trainings that were tool specific which included leading Moodle workshops.
Before workshops, Brunson learned as much as possible about the tool to not only show faculty how it works but to be able to answer their questions. “It was great to dig into the tool that way and learn more about it,” he added.
When it comes to enjoyment, Brunson noted the variety of help calls and consultations keeps things interesting. “You never know what you are going to get when answering the phones,” he added.
In addition, Brunson enjoys being a voice for faculty. He is able to present issues from faculty to DELTA’s programmers to see if there are any problems with the software itself or inquire about additional workshop offerings with the training team.
“I love being a part of a proactive environment and a proactive action to improve the product,” said Brunson.
What makes your job special?
“The access to the professional and educational side of things. Realizing that what we do has an impact on the student’s experience with their instructor,” said Brunson. He is an advocate for making sure every job is done well and making it the best experience it can be.
Brunson also noted it is special to see faculty evolve when using technology. “When faculty first call in, they are usually trying to get familiar with the tool and learn the basics. Once they are familiar, they ask more complex questions and have a certain level of expertise with the tool,” he said.
What do you like to do outside of work/in your spare time?
“I love photography and being able to tell a story with pictures,” said Brunson. He got into photography because he enjoys knowing he can pick up a picture and remember a family event.
“As much of a technical endeavor as photography is — there is room for art. It is where art and science mesh for me. I always feel conflicted because I have an analytical side and an artsy side and photography allows me to marry the two,” he added. Not only is his photography a creative outlet, but other people tend to enjoy his work as well.
Another joy of Brunson’s is music. His musical taste is eclectic, and he loves to listen to songs and artists that reflect his mood. “For me, music is as much a part of the environment or setting of a room as the lighting,” he said.
Brunson also makes time to relax by crocheting. During the holiday break, Brunson is busy making scarves and other items for family. When he was in high school, a doctor recommended learning to crochet or knit to relieve stress. His mom had crochet hooks, and the rest is history.“Imagine this guy on the yarn aisle,” he joked.