New IT director starts from ministry focus

Among the new campus staff this year, Robert Hyatt might be the least well-known because he does not teach any classes. However, his job is one of the most vital ones on campus, responsible for pretty much everything that is plugged into the wall.

Jennifer Smith | The Feather Online Archive

According to Hyatt, one of the biggest challenges of his job is dealing with the legacy of former Director of Technology, David Martens, who had held that position for 18 years. Martens accepted a new position in Kansas in mid-September as a worship band director.

Because each IT system is unique and has special ways of joining small sections together as a whole, learning the purpose of each specific part can be a complex and tough process.

“As far as working with different websites, and working with different server languages, multiple operating systems and different pieces of hardware for each,” Hyatt said. “I would definitely say that trying to take all I have learned, studied, experienced and applying them to that {the system} is the largest challenge.”

Hyatt, who took ancient Greek and Hebrew classes during his college career, relates the process of adapting to a new network system to the process of learning a new language. He describes his difference with Martens on programming as different accents of the same computer language.

“His accent {Martens} is different than mine, and I have to learn how he talks to the machines,” Hyatt said.

However, Hyatt is optimistic towards his challenge.

“I have no doubt that I will learn them {the computer systems in FC},” Hyatt said. “Each system has its own unique characteristic; its own language. And learning that language is one of my strengths, I can adapt pretty well to different technologies.”

Superintendent Jeremy Brown commended Hyatt?s professionalism and commitment to his new job.

“Mr. Hyatt is proving to be a valuable asset to the FC campus,” Brown said. “His technological knowledge and expertise pair up nicely with his heart to help people. Mr. Hyatt has the responsibility of managing over 300 devices on our network as well as supporting the ‘Genius Bar’ with Mr. {Michael} Fenton. Both the BYOD program and FC are better because Mr. Hyatt is continuing on the vision of FC equipping students for the future.”

Hyatt was born in Fresno and spent K-5th grade at FC. Later his family moved to Madera, where he spent his junior and high school years. He started to show his interest in computer science in junior high.

Yet despite few classroom resources, he taught himself computer knowledge without a teacher or mentor.

“I learned {programming} on an Apple IIE,” Hyatt said. “And I did basic (a kind of computer language) programming on a Commodore 64. After it broke, I got one of the first colored Macintosh, which has a screen about the size of the new iPhone 6 plus!”

His fascination of computers, however, did not lead him into a computer-related major. He went to California Christian College in Fresno for his two bachelor degrees in Bible and Theology, and in Christian Ministry. Later, he received his master degree in Biblical Studies and Religious Education at Liberty University.

“{I attended Christian College} Because I was called into ministry,” Hyatt said. “There were a lot of things before me, but all the doors opened up for me to go to Christian college.”

While he was working on his degrees, Hyatt also assisted others on computers and varied technology-related projects such as designing and installing car stereo systems.

After he finished his bachelor?s degree, Hyatt became a full-time pastor of discipleship at Millbrook Presbyterian Church in 2005.

Hyatt also worked for a program at Fresno State University called Wayfinders, which is aimed at helping people with individual disabilities. He taught them how to use electronic products and set up hardware for the program participants.

“How I look at technology and the work I am doing now {technology related} is that I look at it as a way of ministry,” Hyatt said. “And if I can help to make somebody?s day better by helping them working through their technology problem, that’s ministry. So in a sense I am doing a ministry work even working on a computer, I?m just not doing it in a traditional way.”

This writer can be reached via Twitter: @MojunPan.

For more features, read the Oct. 23 article, Seniors strive to wrangle a win.

By |2014-10-24T00:00:00+00:00October 24th, 2014|Features, Uncategorized|0 Comments

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