IT pro rescues research project with care, persistence

A graphic shows Leland Wilson on the left and text boxes on the right that read, "Unsung Hero, Leland Wilson, KU Info Technology."

Leland Wilson | IT Support Technician Senior | KU Information Technology | November 2020

Kathleen Lynne Lane’s research relies on massive datasets.

Through a system called the Comprehensive, Integrated, Three-Tiered Model of Prevention (Ci3T), Lane and her team help schools across the country support students’ multifaceted needs to optimize academic, behavioral and social performance. When a recent technology challenge threatened to negatively — and dramatically — impact the team’s research plans, heroic intervention was required.

And Leland Wilson answered the call with grace.

“Leland was not only available, but also patient, collaborative and solutions-based,” said Lane, Roy A. Roberts Distinguished Professor in the Department of Special Education and associate vice chancellor for research. “I am beyond thankful to have such talented professionals to work with at KU.”

As IT support technician senior in KU IT’s Workstation Support group, Wilson works on complex issues that are escalated from the Customer Service Center because they demand a high level of expertise. In Lane’s case, there was a challenge that resulted in data changing locations.

“There was so much data that it took Leland two days to recover her files and get them back in the place that they belonged,” said Aaron Carver, IT technology coordinator and Wilson’s supervisor. “He kept her calm and aware that she was not losing any of her information, just losing the time that it took restore it where it needed to be.”

The research community presents unique IT needs, including support for large datasets, data security and specialized equipment.

“Leland has a very wide knowledge base for the needs of the university as a whole,” Carver said. “And I can’t think of a case where he’s ever lost user data.”

Lane, for one, appreciates Wilson’s pristine record.

“I know these are indeed challenging times, but the highlight of challenging times is the opportunity to work with people who care deeply about the mission of the work and remain committed to finding solutions kindly. Leland Wilson exemplifies what it means to be a Jayhawk.”