Kerry Hasa, instructional support analyst at UC Davis, has been steadily working to automate processes in the School of Education. “I never consider myself ‘techy,’” says Hasa, “but I use technology all the time and don’t even think about it, so I guess I will have to start admitting to my ‘techiness.’”
In fact, Hasa has been at the frontlines of administrative technology for twenty years. She began using FileMaker Pro in 1991 to build databases for room scheduling at UC Riverside Extension. “When I transferred to UC Davis,” Hasa explains, “I met Shawn DeArmond, and he knows FileMaker. I used to joke that if I came up with an idea he could figure out how to make it work – and he always did.”
Last year, Hasa and DeArmond used FileMaker to automate the Teaching Assistant hiring process in the School of Education. The process begins when the TA applies via a Drupal webform on the intranet – another creation of Hasa’s. Then, in the FileMaker “rooms database I assign the course and check if it gets a TA, then I can assign TAs to certain classes, and automatically send letters with all the course detail. Once the letter is returned, I track it in another database with which the business office also works.”
As you can see, Hasa’s databases do much more than just “rooms” these days – “I do all my scheduling and tracking of courses in FileMaker – it even makes signs for each door! One button calculates each class meeting and adds it automatically – what used to take me 2-3 minutes now takes only 2-3 seconds. That may not sound like a lot, but with over 350 entries a year, it adds up.”
While these applications of technology certainly make Hasa’s job easier, they also create painless processes for students and faculty. As a graduate student in the School of Education, I know I have benefited from Hasa’s “techniness.” Thanks, Kerry!