Sarah Gingerich Is the September Employee of the Month

Posted: September 1, 2009 at 1:01 am, Last Updated: August 31, 2009 at 4:28 pm

By Rashad Mulla

Sarah Gingerich, September Employee of the Month. Creative Services photo

Sarah Gingerich, September Employee of the Month. Creative Services photo

When computer problems at Mason are too complex for the Information Technology Unit (ITU) Support Center to solve, the Advanced Desktop Technologies unit is called into action. Sarah Gingerich, a desktop analyst and the September Employee of the Month, is one of those who lead the charge.

Of being named Employee of the Month, Gingerich says, “It’s an honor.” She adds, “It’s always nice to be recognized for something like this.”

During a career at Mason that has spanned more than a decade, Gingerich has worked at two of the university’s campuses. She started working at the Prince William Campus in 1999, first answering phones and doing administrative work, and then gradually gaining expertise in fixing computers.

In June 2008, she moved to the Fairfax Campus. Now a Microsoft-certified desktop support technician, Gingerich is at the forefront of several major projects at Mason.

Gingerich works on computer problems using a ticket system – usually, it’s first come, first served. She can troubleshoot from her office by phone and e-mail, and sometimes she gets up and hikes across campus to fix the more complex problems. She notes that ITU recently implemented a remote-help service in which staff and faculty connected to MESA, the Mason employees’ remote network, can request computer help online (

“On a typical workday, I’ll log into our queue, see what’s pressing and take a few calls. Sometimes I’ll walk around [campus] and fix some computers,” Gingerich says. “I do some research if we’re having a particularly hard problem.”

Gingerich deals with software problems, viruses, hardware problems and even dead computers. On Monday, Aug. 10, when power went out on the Fairfax Campus four times during the day, she says she replaced at least five computers herself.

It’s not surprising that people are always happy to see her when she arrives on the job, an occurrence that she describes as her favorite part of the workday. And it is not only the nature of her job that keeps her customers happy. Gingerich is dedicated to solving whatever problems come her way, her colleagues say.

“My brand-new computer recently had a bit of a meltdown. Sarah stuck with the problem until it was completely remedied,” says Laura Bell, publishing assistant in the Office of the Provost. “No matter how complex the problem, she’s willing to take the time to get our computers up and operational. All of us rely heavily on our computers to complete our jobs.”

Gingerich says she doesn’t know how to do her job any way other than quickly and thoroughly. On average, she deals with just under 10 tickets a day.

“Everyone’s always so happy to see you when you show up,” she says. “You can’t really do your work here without a computer.”

When she’s not working, Gingerich plays in a co-ed softball league – she has been playing the sport since she was six, and played in high school and at Longwood College. She also likes to go on hikes, sometimes with her dog, Kelekele.

She lives in Fairfax with her fiancé, and they are planning an April 2010 wedding.

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