Outstanding Service Award Recipient
2011-2012
Continuous Service

Sheri Pihlaja

Active Directory and Google Apps:  one affected all campus PC users, and the other impacted every campus member using email and calendars.  As broad-reaching as these two IT projects were, there’s a pretty good chance that many people here today called the Help Desk for assistance with one or both.  Perhaps you were talked through the solution on the phone.  Or maybe a student employee showed up to guide you through the problem.  In either case, you can thank Sheri Pihlaja for the assistance you received.  Early in these projects, Sheri had foreseen the potential need for assistance.  She developed a process that would provide assistance to faculty and staff in an efficient way.  In doing so, she made it easier on the campus community, and helped ensure the projects’ success and everyone got the help they needed. 

Sheri also did this while “holding down the fort” on the usual Help Desk issues, and the occasional not-so-usual ones as well.  Systems are built for the rule, not the exception.  Issues like the parents of triplets attending three different UM campuses and needing parent guest access at all three is the definition of an “exception.”  Sheri took the lead to make the necessary contacts and arrive at a resolution, making those parents’ lives easier and making the University of Minnesota look good.

For providing the helping hand we often need with IT, and for her wonderful work on 2 major projects in 1 year, I am very pleased to present this award to Sheri.