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2020 Excellence Award

Division of Information Technology

Congratulations, Clinton Cauley

Clinton Cauley was awarded VSU’s 2020 Excellence in Service for Classified Staff Award. Clinton is a programmer analyst associate under IT Enterprise Applications and Analytics. In 2011, he first worked for IT as a student assistant and then became a full-time IT staff member in 2014. As one nominator stated,

Clint is held in high esteem by coworkers and clients alike and treats everyone with humility and grace.

Additionally, Clinton is described as an “exceptional IT professional” and someone who “truly represents what the Blazer Creed is all about.” One of the many examples of his commitment to service excellence include his integral role in collaborating with stakeholders to ensure a successful migration to the new Banner Managed Service.

VSU IT is extremely proud of Clint’s accomplishments and his positive impact on the VSU community.

The Excellence Award is given to full-time staff members who have worked for VSU for at least three years. Awardees are nominated by fellow full-time staff and faculty for their high standards of service, exemplary performance, and leadership skills. To learn more about this award, visit the Staff Excellence Awards Page. To read a full article on all award recipients, visit,-staff.php

New IT Staff: Alfred Stanley, Computer Operator for TSS Classroom Support

Alfred Stanley is the most recent staff to join the IT division.

He is a recent VSU alum who holds a B.S. in Computer Information Systems. He was previously an IT student assistant, here at VSU, and was a recipient of the SuperTech award multiple times.

Alfred Stanley has unparalleled work ethics, Windows expertise, and exceptional customer service experience that makes him a great addition to the team.

His responsibilities include the setup and maintenance of lab and classroom equipment and software, such as the Extron system and DeepFreeze. He will also assist in identifying and resolving technical issues.

The IT division is pleased to welcome Alfred Stanley to the team.

Personnel Spotlight: Cathy Sowa

Person smiling in front of body of water

U.S. Cyber FastTrack Finalist!

CATHY SOWA, an information security associate at Valdosta State University, recently participated in the 2019 U.S. Cyber FastTrack competition and is among the 100 finalists who were awarded a $22,000 scholarship to attend the SANS Technology Institute’s undergraduate certificate program in Applied Cybersecurity.

Inaugurated earlier this year as part of the Governors Cyber Skills Program, in which Georgia is one of 28 participating states, Cyber FastTrack provides interested college students free online cybersecurity training that is designed to launch their careers in the cybersecurity field. Through a three-stage progressive approach, participants of the highly-competitive scholarship program had to solve over 250 cybersecurity challenges. Sowa, among the other finalists who represented 63 colleges across the nation, outperformed more than 13,000 students.

The duly-earned scholarship award allows Sowa the opportunity to complete three advanced immersion courses in the SANS Applied Cybersecurity program, a Middle-States accredited college certificate program. She will also be able to obtain the professional GIAC (Global Information Assurance Certification) associated with each course. GIAC certifications are branded as the ‘highest and most rigorous assurance of cyber security knowledge and skill available to industry, government, and military clients.’

Cybersecurity is a fast-growing field where the demand for skilled workers surpasses the current supply. These winners will set a new, high bar for candidates for entry-level positions and demonstrate to employers that Cyber FastTrack graduates are the among the best prepared and most effective new cybersecurity employees they have ever hired. – Alan Paller, President of SANS Technology Institution

Based on the success of these recipients, Paller plans to make the Cyber FastTrack program available to all students in every 4-year and community college in the United States with the goal of closing the nation’s cybersecurity skills gap within the next 48 months. – Source: SANS press article

Registration for the next Cyber FastTrack competition opens March 2020.

Sowa currently holds certifications from CompTIA in networking (Network+) and cybersecurity (Security+) and from Cisco in cyber operations (CyOps). In August 2019, she earned the EC-Council’s Certified Ethical Hacker (CEH) certification, which assesses skill sets in penetration testing and defense of networks, computers, and web applications. Sowa is also completing a master’s degree in Information Technology with a concentration in Cybersecurity at Middle Georgia State University.

Both the online graduate program at Middle Georgia State and the SANS Technology Institute certificate program mesh perfectly with my role at Valdosta State, where the Information Security team focuses on building relationships with our strategic partners in the campus community to protect our technology systems. At the completion of these programs, I hope to mentor future cybersecurity professionals and perhaps become a cybersecurity course instructor. – Cathy Sowa 

VSU Division of Information Technology strives to provide services and technologies that allow our employees and students to work and learn in a more secure and engaging environment. As an integral member of the Division’s Information Security team, Sowa uses her advanced knowledge to help protect the University’s digital information in the face of an ever-changing risk environment.

To learn more about VSU Information Security, please visit our site at

To read SANS press article: 100 U.S. National Cyber FastTrack Winners Announced Today, Each Winner Receives $22,000 Scholarships to Launch Their Cybersecurity Careers, visit





I Caught You Caring

I Caught You Caring

I Caught You Caring: August 2019

A Candle loses nothing by lighting another Candle – James Keller

The “I Caught You Caring” program was developed in 2004 as part of the Partners for Campus Excellence initiative. The program was developed to acknowledge those individuals who provide exceptional service. As one member of the implementation committee states, the goal is “to encourage and reward employees who go out of their way to make that personal connection with the people they are here to help.”

Last month, four of our own were recipients of this lovely honor:

Tyler Angelier, IT

The Solutions Center is always looking for opportunities to improve operational efficiency with technology and Mr. Tyler Angelier has done an amazing job providing us applications tailored to the needs and goals of our team. Tyler meets our app specifications and he goes above and beyond to ensure our tools are both sustainable and intuitive. Thank you, Tyler for working hard to make our jobs easier and for being available to assist even during this busy time of year.

Wade Bugby, IT

I have had the pleasure of working with Wade multiple times in the last month on two projects. He is consistent, cheerful, and has managed a quick turnaround for every request. His responsiveness has played a major role in helping my team meet our project goals.

Wes Duke, IT

Wes has always provided the necessary information and service when I have requested assistance. This week, I was struggling to work out the technical details for a project with an upcoming deadline, and he was able to set up an operating system image for testing within a few minutes of my request after discussing possible options for configuration. I truly appreciate his work.

David Pulliam, IT

I would like to commend David Pulliam not only for today but for all of the times we have worked with him for assistance on new or on-going projects. He always listens intently, provides helpful feedback and suggestions, and genuinely cares to get you the best help he and IT can provide. He has never complained or dismissed any requests, but always tries to gain a better understanding of the desired end result and provide a solution. If he can’t provide one immediately he gives you a temporary alternative and updates on progress, until he can resolve the issue, which he does in a timely manner. It is always a pleasure to work with him, and yes that is his job, but the attitude and respectful manner in which he does it is exemplary and always appreciated.

Sterlin Sanders: A True Blazer

Sterlin Sanders standing next the Valdosta State University sign

Sterlin Sanders, Director of Technical Support Services


Confucius once said, “The will to win, the desire to succeed, the urge to reach your full potential… these are the keys that will unlock the door to personal excellence.” Sterlin Sanders has been with Valdosta State University for 14 years and he has been living proof of those words.

Sterlin began his academic and professional career as a student assistant at VSU while completing a Bachelor of Science in Computer Science with a minor in Mathematics. While working a full-work-week, he also acquired a Master of Public Administration in 2009 and a Master of Information Technology in 2013.

He has progressed through the Division of Information Technology starting as Computer Service Specialist II and moving to Computer Specialist III, Desktop Coordinator, and to Assistant Director of Technical Support Services (TSS). In his standing position as Director of TSS, he is responsible for the Desktop and Classrooms Support areas, as well as licensing and procurement. He also takes on project management, campus engagement, and technology consultations and serves on a technology committee.

If that wasn’t enough to put under his belt, Sterlin has also completed seven years of teaching in the Computer Sciences department. He has been a member of Council of Staff Affairs (COSA for four years and served as president for one year. He has served as Faculty Advisor for TKE, Fire Pit and Future Business Leaders of America (FBLA) and as a mentor for Valdosta Early College Academy (VECA), VSU Athletics and the African American Male Initiative. In his free time, he enjoys watching football, weight lifting, watching anime and cheering on the mighty VSU Blazers.

It is clear that Sterlin has made his mark not only at VSU but in the Valdosta community; so much so, that he will leave big shoes to fill. We asked Sterlin how it feels working at Valdosta State for so long and he responded “It’s like being part of a team that felt like family.”

Sterlin says he wants to be remembered for

“My laughter, upbeat personality and a willingness to help out in any way I can; because you can’t run with the cheetahs, if you’re always walking with the turtles.”

He is a source of motivation, inspiration and a friend to us all.

His wish for the VSU Division of IT is

“to continue to have a unified partnership and give VSU the best customer service possible each day.”

Sterlin will be taking on a new position as Director of User Services for the Ellucian branch at Tennessee State University, in Nashville, Tennessee.

Valdosta State and the Valdosta community cherishes you and will definitely feel your absence. Best of luck, Sterlin!

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