Congratulations to Faculty/Staff Innovator – Sam Small

Sam Small - Julia Fractal background

Sam Small is one of our recently recognized innovators. He is the Applications Developer for Centralia College and in his own words, he “[serves] up data analysis, software engineering, and anything else related to the software/data side of Computer Science.” In addition to his mad computer coding, Sam  teaches in the Computer Science workforce program, building students’ web application development skill sets.

Around campus, we’ve come to look at Sam as the “answer guy.” If you’re in a meeting anywhere on campus, it’s highly likely part of the conversation will go like this:

– “It would be really great if we could…Is that even possible?…I bet Sam could come up with something.”

Here’s a look at Sam’s innovations in his own words:

I like to use technology to find better ways to do my job.  I look for ways that programming can help enhance our jobs at Centralia College, and more recently – student experiences.  This week I have been working on a low cost prototype attendance system that logs attendance and makes the results available instantly across campus.  Long gone will be the days of manual attendance verifications, and manual attendance taking!  I love innovation, and I particularly love innovation that improves return on investment.

Sometimes innovations come about as a result of a need, other times innovations happen because of a want.  For me, I am looking to innovate daily – improve our lives, our professional and student experiences, and in the end save us money.  My workload has increased a lot because there are a LOT of opportunities for innovation in this arena at Centralia College!  I often find myself thinking about how one innovation/implementation can affect others on campus, and try and find ways to improve the processes.  I hope that everyone’s work will be more focused as a result of new innovations and systems – because this is the real purpose.

Here is a summary of ‘official’ projects Sam is working on, has finished, or will be starting this year:

  • AEW: A modern, easily modified, easily measured system that provides instructional staff a means to report academic indicators to Centralia College support staff.
  • SMART:  A monitoring and reporting system that works with Office 2013 tools including access, and excel.  The purpose is to augment existing HPUX queries and provide staff at CC the ability to do ad-hoc data gathering against our database.
  • MyCC:  Relaunch of the intranet on a SharePoint 2013 environment.  This is the first major system overhaul I completed here at CC.  The success of this project allows us to launch both a Content Management System and Student Portal with much less cost and provide a much more robust, manageable information system.
  • Centralia.Edu CMS project:  Establish a system that facilitates content management on the public website.
  • Centralia College Student Portal:  A proposed project built upon the MyCC Framework to provide a unique student information system for Centralia College students to improve their academic experiences here at Centralia College.
  • CCVote:  An intern developed application to allow students at Centralia College to vote on campus elections.
  • Centralia College Business Intelligence:  Training and development of business intelligence tools including dashboards, pivot tables, and data driven documents.

Essentially, Sam is innovative in how he thinks and that he cares about making people’s lives easier. Thanks for all your amazing work, Sam!



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