Behind the Scenes at UIS, Rick Geary, ITS Student Worker Supervisor

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Photographs courtesy of Tiffany Chin

Richard “Rick” Geary of ITS

Jessey Bruce, Staff Writer

“I just like being around people. Customer service. Meeting different people. Talking to people. That’s my favorite, just being here, learning different things, and meeting different people.”

That’s Richard “Rick” Geary, who’s worked as the Information Technology Services (ITS) student worker supervisor for close to five years this October.

Despite the title, his job is not just watching over student workers. Rather, as he states, he helps with just about anything tech related, “from media, help desk to the PC, printer set ups, [and] making sure the classrooms are operational for the staff.” He is “just here to help people.”

Geary is originally from Springfield, but lived in five different states: Illinois, Michigan, North Carolina, Indiana and Colorado.

During his summers, however, he would return to Springfield to spend time with his many relatives, including his grandmother.

Before getting hired at UIS, he worked in IT for more than 20 years, starting as a mainframe computer operator.

In 2003, Geary earned his Network Administer Certificate from Lincoln Land Community College. He began doing contract work, hopping desks in Decatur until his contract ran out.

Geary then decided to look for a full-time job, and ended up applying at UIS.
“I just like the people around here. I wish I had worked at a university years ago, just such a laid-back atmosphere. Stress-free and that’s always good,” he said. “Working at a university, you learn. There’s so much stuff at your disposal to learn. Teach yourself.”

Lester Cruz, a student worker for the past semester who transferred to UIS this past fall, said that Geary “cares about the well-being of the workers. He’s a hard-working individual and gets a lot of the stuff set up when it needs to be.”

Geary does not work the day shift, but during the evenings, when most events are. He works Saturday through Wednesday starting at 4:30 in the evening until close.

Devon Cooperider, an ITS student worker for the past three years, said, “Rick is great with the workers. He’s very reliable and has a lot of trust in his student workers.”

Geary currently lives in Springfield with his wife, Dianae Geary, who works for the State Budget Department. He has two daughters, ages 22 and 24, and one son, who is 37 years old.

When he’s not working, Geary said he, “piddles around the house. In the summer, I’ll go fishing or something like that. I’m always piddling around, working on stuff I should’ve had done. Just taking it easy, relaxin’.”