On April 14, 2010, Lone Star employee Nishae Brooks was awarded Symantec’s annual Visionary Award for “Security Optimization” during its keynote session at the annual conference in Las Vegas. The visionary awards recognize IT thought leaders for their innovative use of technology to develop policies and systems that effectively protect and manage critical business information.
The project that led to this nationally-recognized award involved the centralized management of computing resources system wide. Several years ago, Lone Star’s IT infrastructure was decentralized and complex. Nishae’s charge was to standardize and streamline management of computing resources on one centralized software system (Altiris). She and a talented team of OTS staff spent 7 months learning and implementing Altiris. One goal of the project achieved by the team was a reduction in the time it takes to re-image a computer classroom. What formerly took a technician 40 to 110 hours to complete, depending on the number of software applications needed, now takes 20 to 45 hours – a twofold increase in efficiency. Centralized management also allows OTS to take advantage of automated features that help reduce energy consumption. The Altiris system is used to power on computers in a specific classroom in the middle of the night, automatically install software updates and then power them down again. Previously, computers had to be left on overnight in order for the
software installation to occur automatically and the team projects a potential 60% reduction in power using the tool in conjunction with new hardware standards.
Nishae gives her Altiris team all the credit for the success of the project. Without their technical skills, dedication to the project’s goals and a willingness to work long hours, it wouldn't have happened. Asked about the award itself, Nishae says "I was surprised and overwhelmed by the honor. I didn’t realize I was doing anything remarkable…I was just trying to make a difference."
By the way, Nishae started at Lone Star in 2003 as a student at Greenspoint. She initially wanted to earn a certificate so she could quit working retail and land a decent job. But Jack De Sola, her first instructor, encouraged her to think bigger and it ultimately led Nishae to obtaining her AA degree from Lone Star and her BS from U of H. She also credits Brian Crawford, professor at LSC-North Harris, with teaching her it was okay to ask questions and try new things. Valuable preparation for her work on the Altiris project!
The Office of Technology Services is proud of Nishae's many accomplishments
and the national recognition she received working on the Altiris project. Most of all, it celebrates her as one of Lone Star’s many success stories in its mission to change the lives of students.