With maroon still running through his veins from his undergraduate days, Jeffrey Thomas develops innovative technology for his alma mater. Thomas found the transition from student to staff member at Missouri State an easy one. Now a web systems analyst for the University, Thomas is a graduate of the computer science program and values the connections he was able to make as an undergraduate student. “Since I now work for Missouri State, it was very helpful to have worked with the professors and administrators on projects; it helped with my transition from student to staff.”
As a web systems analyst, Thomas oversees the development of web applications for Management Information Systems in Computer Services.
In addition to his long list of work responsibilities, Thomas enjoys creating applications that increase the effectiveness of Missouri State’s technology systems for both students and staff members. This is not always an easy task, but upper level computer science courses taught him how to think outside the box and provided him with the skills needed to create these applications. “These were the courses that were the most challenging but provided the greatest reward when they were completed,” said Thomas.
Thomas attributes his success in the program to the one-on-one attention he received from professors and the ability to take several courses with the same professor. “As you progress through the degree program, you get to know the professors, and they get to know you,” said Thomas. “This makes asking questions much easier, and since the professor has experience with many of the students from the class, they can adapt the lesson to meet the needs of the group.”
Thomas was previously a centralized user support specialist for the University and developed several applications, including a mobile application that allows students to see the number of computers available in open computer laboratories on campus. Another improvement developed by Thomas has made entering tickets into the computer services ticket tracking system a more streamlined process.
“The plugins I wrote help to reduce the time it takes to enter tickets into the system for users because it automatically populates detailed information about the user such as name, email and office,” said Thomas.
A browser compatibility checker is also being created by Thomas this he hopes will increase the efficiency of the programs that are used by the campus community every day. The web based application will help users quickly and easily identify potential problems with their browser and Missouri State’s systems including, Blackboard Learn 9.1.
In the future, Thomas plans to develop an application that will keep Missouri State Bears fans seeing maroon— Maroon Madness that is. “This mobile application will allow members of the Maroon Madness organization to view the athletic schedules, their points, prizes they have earned and other important announcements from the organization.”
His dedication to helping students access University services is something that is connected to his time as a computer science student at Missouri State.