October 19, 2016 2:30PM
On Friday, Oct. 21, Pittsburg State University’s Office of Information Services will host an event on the Oval to observe National Cyber Security Month and also to celebrate the 10th birthday of Gorilla Geeks, a help desk that supports students, faculty and staff with their growing technological needs.
In addition to popcorn and prizes, students will be able to enter a drawing for a free tablet. Also that day, the first 25 students who bring e-waste to the Gorilla Geeks office in 109 Whitesitt for recycling, will receive a free Gorilla Geeks t-shirt.
Barbara Herbert, OIS assistant director of project and process management, said the Gorilla Geeks Help Desk began modestly.
“It was shortly after we put the first wireless Internet on campus and students were bringing their devices to the dispatch office when they had problems with connectivity,” Herbert said. “We knew that more and more students would be bringing their devices on campus and we needed to support them.”
Becky Qualls, OIS assistant director of campus services, said the demand for service from Gorilla Geeks grows each year. In the 2015-16 school year alone, Gorilla Geeks processed about 3,500 service requests for issues ranging from password resets to restoration of hard drives and operating systems. The Geeks serviced more than 200 computers for diagnostics, spyware and virus removal, hard drive replacements and data recovery.
“On any regular school day, an average of 25 to 35 faculty, staff and students come to the office for assistance,” Qualls said. “About 75 to 100 phone calls come to the help desk daily.”
Qualls said there are 14 persons, many who are students, on the Gorilla Geeks team.
“One of the most challenging items we’ve ever worked on was a Macbook Pro that looked like it had been bent around a pole,” Qualls said. “As distorted as it was, we managed to retrieve the data off of the hard drive.”
The Gorilla Geeks office in 109 Whitesitt is open from 7:45 a.m. until 6 p.m. Monday through Thursday and from 7:45 a.m. until 4:30 p.m. on Fridays. They are also available from 3-6 p.m. on Sundays in Axe Library.
For more information on National Cyber Security Month, visit https://www.dhs.gov/national-cyber-security-awareness-month.
For information about Gorilla Geeks, visit http://www.pittstate.edu/office/gorilla-geeks/