Stephen Gamblin   2012 Distinguished Service Award

There is an irony if you think about the computer networks we use every minute. The better they work the less you notice them. In a large part Mr. Stephen Gamblin is the man behind the curtain on the Saint John campus making sure we don’t notice the network! Steve is the Manager of Network Services and started in this position in 2005. Steve is responsible for ensuring we have access to the network. This encompasses all wireless and wired access for students, staff and faculty. This service is absolutely critical to all of our work. Every search for a scholarly article, every email, every access to learning resources in Blackboard, every update to Facebook, and much more, is dependent on the network Steve manages.

 Here are some examples:

  • Steve was able to convert the networks at Saint John College in the Scotiabank building and Beaverbrook House to a high-speed network. He did this with minimal disruption to the staff and students in the facility and at time when his department was short staffed. Mr. Peter McGill, Director Saint John College, says “Steve has provided outstanding service to our students and staff, both at the main campus site and at our new quarters in UNBSJ’s uptown campus. Steve was early on in researching the Information technology needs of SJC uptown and leading his technology team to bring these services on line and on time. I continue to appreciate how he handles his work with a smile for all.”
  • Steve has quickly responded to equipment failure, and this often means coming on campus at night and on weekends.
  • During the move from the Ward Chipman Library to the Hans W. Klohn Commons Steve ensured that staff were able to get working quickly and the network was ready for opening day for the students.
  • To ensure that the iPad project ran smoothly last Fall, Steve ensured that we had extra Access Points installed near the classrooms scheduled for the classes. The trick was waiting until the classrooms had been assigned to know where to instal the extra APs.

Steve has worked on standardizing and replacing equipment to help speed up response time.  Mr. Eric Eastwood, long time colleague in Information Services and Systems in his letter of support wrote “On the network side, he has been able to build a stable, redundant network with a relatively small budget with a carefully planned and executed project.” 

Karen Keiller, in her nomination letter wrote “As a Director, I appreciate Steve’s “can-do” attitude and our frank discussions on the future directions of IT on this campus and how best to accomplish our goals within the bi-campus reality.”

When we consider the meaning of “distinguished service” in the context of a computer network, the most distinguished service is a network that no one notices because it just works! But the complexity of the system and the knowledge, skill and dedication needed to keep it running should not be overlooked.

Karen Keillor, Information Services and Systems
March 14, 2012