Feature Article

Life before Purdue Calumet

by MARK LACIEN
Associate Vice Chancellor for Marketing

Tim Longacre, web communication and portal coordinator in University Relations
Tim Longacre, web communication and portal coordinator in University Relations

We all have a passion for something.  Sometimes that passion lets us pursue a goal in traditional ways, but sometimes we can only pursue it when the timing is right and when critical forces meet. The latter was the case for Tim Longacre, web communication and portal coordinator in University Relations.

Tim has had several jobs, few of which used his technical abilities. He was a manager of a local Domino’s Pizza, worked for the Federal Housing Authority, and he was also a truck driver.  Even with all of these jobs, he kept technology in his sights. His first engagement with technology was when he was a freshman in high school, when he took a programming language course.  From there he has kept up with this changing and dynamic field, even while he was working in jobs that offered less technical opportunity.

Tim was able to finally focus on his lifelong passion of technology when the truck driving company he was working for closed. His renewed focus meant starting at Purdue Calumet as an adult student. He graduated in 2008 with a degree in Computer Information Systems. While working on that degree, Tim became a student worker, which led to his full-time employment as the Web Communications and Portal Coordinator. He then was accepted into Purdue Calumet’s Masters in Computer Information Technology program, and as of May 2012, will be more than halfway toward his master’s degree.

He’s been encouraged by several faculty members who understand the demands of being an adult with a family and full time job pursuing a master’s degree.  Michael Mick and Lavon Green are two professors Tim is especially grateful to have in his corner.

Tim’s words of wisdom:

“Don’t be afraid to take chances, whether it’s moving away for work or taking a job outside of your degree field, as those chances you take can lead to opportunities you’ve never imagined,” Tim said. “Also, remember that just about every job you will ever have, whether in your degree field or not, is going to be a customer service job (helping internal customers or external ones). They come to you for your expertise, and it is always good to treat them with respect and kindness.”

Of course technically gifted people also have other passions.  Tim is a husband and father and also the owner of a working hovercraft, which he once used to travel from Whiting harbor all the way to Milwaukee on a two-day excursion.  He is also a certified hypnotist and is a terrific trivia player.