The BE-IT Team is Aran Parillo and Alexis Runstadler. Read a little about who we are and what we do in this piece from the Spring 2014 BE Newsletter:
It’s two hours before a grant deadline and your computer breaks down…who do you call? The BE IT department of course, headed by Aran Parillo who describes BE IT as “the place to contact when mission critical or urgent IT needs arise.”
When he’s not putting out technological fires around the department, Parillo stays in tune with trends in information technology and advances in software development, with a particular interest in those with potential to aid in the mission of the Department.
By identifying common technical hurdles faced by faculty, staff, and students within the department, Parillo is working to establish “departmental best practices… being more proactive in how we deliver technology solutions and support.” All of Parillo’s hard work and dedication have not gone unnoticed. In recognition of his high quality of service and indispensability to the department, Parillo recently received a 2014 MIT Excellence Award for “Serving the Client.”
Asked about BE IT’s future direction, Parillo explained that he would “love to grow the BE IT services into the space where current gaps exist, where we might be outsourcing [support]… It’s a landscape rich with opportunity to learn and employ new and challenging technologies.”
Parillo pointed to LabKey as an example of technology BE laboratories should check out, an open-source informatics data sharing platform that is working to offer enhanced collaboration and data integration for researchers. “I think what LabKey is doing is really exciting, potentially revolutionizing, but as you might expect, equally complex to implement and support.”
To enable BE IT to keep up with this “shifting landscape” of technology and continuing expediently serving the needs of the department, BE hired Alexis Runstadler, who joins the team as an Information Systems Administrator.
A biologist by training, Alexis most recently worked for four years as the Executive Director of a nonprofit for wildlife preservation in Alaska. Previous to that she was a computer programmer and technology support specialist at the University of California Davis. After moving with her husband, Jon Runstadler, to Cambridge, she originally joined MIT last February to assist in laboratory setup and technical support and now works part-time alongside Aran as an additional point-of-contact for BE IT.
Alexis is excited to be a part of the community, explaining that “the BE department has a very welcoming and friendly culture.” She now plans to hit the ground running learning and assisting with the technical needs of the department.
BE IT would like the community to know that they now have a single point of contact for all support-related questions and can be reached via email at firstname.lastname@example.org or phone at 617-324-7650.