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Behind the Screens: The People of OIT

Meet Ryan Cakerice

‘Behind the Screens: The People of OIT’ is a Connections series that features the people working hard behind the scenes to make OIT run.

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Ryan Cakerice

 

Position: Analyst, IT-EMS (Departmental Applications)

Time spent with OIT: Two years

Those who know Ryan Cakerice know that he does not hesitate to complete a task, nor does he hesitate to help a colleague. Ryan plays a vital role in scheduling events for OIT, Duke Athletics, and other units at Duke.

What he does for OIT and Duke Athletics:
Ryan worked with Duke Athletics for several years before transitioning to OIT. He still assists Athletics by managing their Push-to-Talk radios, card access, and door scheduling. Along with these responsibilities, Ryan plays an integral role in Enterprise Management Software (EMS) management, which allows Duke employees to book and manage rooms and resources.

When he came to Duke in 2007, Duke Athletics used a big book to schedule space. Over the next few years, Ryan and his colleague, Bob Weiseman, transitioned from manual entry to digital, using Outlook and Google Calendar to schedule events. However, this system eventually proved to be insufficient as events were often booked on top of each other. Ryan and Bob found a solution: EMS.

In 2013, the two introduced the software to Duke Athletics, and by 2018, had convinced eight groups on campus to use EMS. In the past two years, Ryan has received approval from the Office of the Provost to transition from EMS Enterprise to EMS Campus. He now focuses on EMS management and expanding use of the software across campus.

What he hopes to accomplish at Duke:
Going from EMS Enterprise to EMS Campus was huge for Ryan. EMS Campus has a larger capacity for data and unlimited functionality in terms of usability. This upgraded version also offers a tool that will help with the class scheduling process, and it will allow for use of the Direct Space mobile application. The next step for Ryan is to see EMS integrate with other applications such as Zoom, Outlook, and Teams. He is currently working to get the software fully operational.

“The biggest goal to accomplish right now is getting EMS Campus up and running with everyone on board,” Ryan said.

What he enjoys about working at Duke:
In Ryan’s 16 years at Duke, he has come to appreciate a lot about the university—especially its flexibility.

“I think the willingness to be flexible in where and how you work is important to me, and Duke does that well,” Ryan said.

Advice for those new to OIT:
Having worked in Duke Athletics before moving to OIT, Ryan has seen how departments on campus operate differently, each with their own expectations.

“It takes some time to familiarize yourself with how each department runs, but the people in OIT are very willing to help,” Ryan said. “If they can’t answer your question, they’ll tell you exactly who to go to.”

What he’s learning:
In his two years with OIT, Ryan has enjoyed steadily learning how to fix his own technology problems and even solve others’ issues.

“Having been in on conversations about how things work or how to fix certain things, it’s important that I can do many fixes myself or help others,” Ryan said. “Working in OIT, I can at least have a knowledge base of how to fix something, but I also know who to go to if I can’t fix it.”

Who he’s rooting for:
Ryan is an avid sports fan. During college, he was the quarterback for the Buena Vista University football team in Iowa. These days, he’s moved from the field to the sidelines to coach his daughter’s softball team and cheer on his favorite teams – the Iowa State Cyclones, Indianapolis Colts, Chicago Cubs, and Chicago Bulls.

A fun fact about Ryan:
As an ambitious first grader, Ryan became determined to learn all the states in alphabetical order. On a road trip from Iowa to New York with his grandparents, he finally memorized them and can still list them to this day. Test him if you run into him at the Power House.

What he’s doing when he’s not at work:
In his free time, Ryan loves spending time with his family, firing up his grill, and playing a round of golf. He’s also an avid homemade ice cream maker. While he usually makes pumpkin or vanilla, his favorite flavors are salted caramel and pistachio. Maybe he will show off his ice cream making skills and bring a batch by the Power House sometime!

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A bowl of Ryan's homemade ice cream

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Know someone in OIT with a story worth sharing? Nominate them (or yourself!) by emailing kaylee.wilkinson@duke.edu.