Staff Spotlights: Michael Wharton

Michael Wharton

Building Controls Engineering Analyst – University Housing


 

Cultivate your ideas. Volunteer to serve on collaborative groups. Never stop learning – keep your skills state-of-the-art. Remember to keep your focus broad – you really are an important part of a larger effort.

 

Michael Wharton works in University Housing as a Building Controls Engineering Analyst. He has been a staff member at UGA since 2008. Michael has been working with electronics for over 40 years and recalls taking things apart and putting them back together since he was nine years old. Before moving to Athens, he gained a wide range of work experiences. His experiences ranged from being an engineer that maintained and calibrated a mainframe-computer disk production line to working in IT systems administration and many other branches of electronics. “After moving to Athens in 1989, I have always had UGA on my radar. I was seeking a position at UGA that would utilize both my IT and electronics skill sets. In 2008, I started as a Systems Administrator for Card Services and in 2011 joined Housing, where I now serve Student Affairs as a Building Controls Engineering Analyst.”

 

When asked what he loved most about working in UGA Student Affairs, he said: “Working behind the scenes, so to speak, at Student Affairs can have a far-reaching impact on the lives of our students. Fueled by innovation and discovery, this university has numerous research projects that our students participate in. Their success is partly dependent on the facilities and programs that we support. Behind the scenes, we keep things running, graduating class after graduating class. Working together with the numerous Student Affairs folks to support our students provides me with a great amount of satisfaction daily.”

 

If he could give a piece of advice to staff as they start out their journey in UGA Student Affairs it would be: “Cultivate your ideas. Volunteer to serve on collaborative groups. Never stop learning – keep your skills state-of-the-art. Remember to keep your focus broad – you really are an important part of a larger effort.” Interviewing Michael in the low-voltage shop, it’s easy to see someone who has not only mastered their craft, but is also curious – always seeking new information and not afraid to take something apart to see how it works. “I’m excited to be a part of a collaborative group that is leading the way to securing our campus card technology, and how it influences our students’ campus experience. Due to the technology’s innovative and leading edge nature, my hope is that our campus will become a model that other organizations will seek out to potentially adopt.”

 

What's the coolest thing you've ever done?:

“Flight training and getting my pilot’s license. Flying demands precision and skill that involves coordinating many simultaneous inputs coming at you in real-time. There’s no ‘pulling over’ to stop and think; you must be automatic in your responses – even under extreme duress. There’s nothing that compares to the feeling of accelerating down the runway, pulling back on the elevator control, and leaving the ground – it’s one heck of an endorphin rush!”

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