Rosalind: A Novel by Steve Paden

“In 1959, after years of abuse from her father, thirteen-year-old Rosalind Ann Stump finds a way out of the house from an unlikely source-her drug addict mother. Rosalind is whisked away to a nearby town where she finds that her parents weren’t unique in their transgressions, and that those who claimed friendship weren’t really friends at all. Follow Rosalind as she meets new people in a new town, tries desperately to embrace the normal life she never had, and does her best to deal with an old wound that returns to threaten her new existence.”
The above is an excerpt from Steve Paden’s first novel Rosalind.

Steve currently works for BIT as a Software Engineer II. Steve began seriously writing in 2005 and joined Francis Ford Coppola’s writing workshop website, giving him his first introduction to peer-review.

In 2006, Steve began a friendship with The Hand That Rocks The Cradle actor, Kevin Skousen. Steve explained,
“He [Kevin] showed me a picture from the movie that was more of a prop (it was the picture on Julianne Moore’s desk). When I saw her, a character formed in my head named Maggie. I began writing a novel called Hollow Hill about a woman who never got along with her mother, but she didn’t know why. I was about 285 pages when I realized why: her mother was not her real mother. Then I asked myself, who is her mother? It came immediately: a thirteen-year-old girl from the back woods of Kentucky named Rosalind. I closed that document, opened up a new one, and wrote 80 pages that night of what would be the first version of Rosalind.”
When asked where he gathered inspiration from this book Steve elaborated, “I was not living in an ideal situation. Verbal abuse, watching parents kill themselves with drugs, living very poorly while finishing my B.S. When you read the book, you will see what I did to the characters modeled after my parents, and the home we lived in. It was very therapeutic 🙂.”
Steve went on to explain, “It is a dark book dealing with sexual abuse and incest. It is, after all, just a story, but this kind of thing does happen. I did not get too explicit with the two scenes that are in the book because it would not have pushed the narrative. Writing this book was a terrible experience. I just had to get the story down.”
Currently, Steve is working on finishing Maggie and is currently on version 5 or so. You can purchase Rosalind from Amazon, CreateSpace eStore, or at Sarah Etzkorn’s desk (while supplies still last)! Be aware, the digital version available on Amazon contains a different ending than the unabridged, physical copy.


Linda Peterson: Serving the State for Over 33 Years!

On Friday, April 22nd, 2016 Linda Peterson will be retiring from the Bureau of Information and Telecommunications.

Linda began working for the State of South Dakota 33 years and 7 months ago initially as a Programmer Trainee for Department of Transportation before BIT was consolidated.  Initially, Development was comprised of two main groups: Business Requirements and Application Development and was eventually combined into the Development Division. Denise Luckhurst, the Director of Development at the time decided that she wanted Development to be even further broken down into 6 teams. 
Linda applied to be the team manager for DOT. She explained that Denise wanted to identify the teams by letters: A, B, C, D, E, and F. DOT was the 6th team and would therefore be the “F” team. Linda explained, “I said I much preferred to be the A team and not the F team, so it was then decided to just number the teams 1 through 6.  When Denise retired in… I think 2012 – I moved up to Director.”
When Linda first began her journey with the State, mainframe is what was used and COBOL or Natural were the main languages. Linda elaborated:
“We wrote our code out on paper, gave the hand written sheets to Data Entry staff, then edited the code using the latest and greatest online editor called Panvelet (pan-vă-lāy’).  When pc’s arrived, we had a bank of those that we shared.  Eventually we each had our very own pc at our desk which was totally awesome and could type in our code ourselves!”
Another thing that has changed drastically over the years? Her scenery. She illustrated:
“At the DOT building there were about 10 of us and we shared 4 mainframe terminals.  My desk was in a room that in the past had housed a large plotter.  Apparently the plotter was noisy so the walls of the room were carpeted in a very lovely gold shag carpet to help with the noise. Long after the plotter was removed, the carpet still remained. Three of us shared that room, one was a chain smoker (smoking in state buildings was still allowed then).  There was one mainframe terminal in this room as well and was the one used by all of the smokers.  I inhaled a lot of second hand smoke that first year. “
 When asked about memorable moments throughout the years, Linda shared this story:
“I had only been in my position for about a year when my first boss, Al Yocom, decided to experiment with these new cards that could be inserted into a PC to make it emulate a mainframe terminal. He asked me to test it out, so I grabbed my screwdriver (one came with every new AT&T PC in those days), opened up the PC, screwed in the card, hooked up the cable, and fired up the PC. And then the mainframe went down. In those days- it wasn’t unusual for the mainframe to go down (sorry Wayne), so I didn’t give it a second thought. When the mainframe came back up, I tried it again. And the mainframe went down, again. I thought it was a bit odd, maybe still a bit of a coincidence, but I felt I needed further proof before I gave up. So, when the mainframe came back up, I tried a third time. To this day, I suspect that I may be the record holder for bringing the mainframe down 3 times 🙂.”
Linda will miss successfully accomplishing complex projects and working with smart people who care about doing their best every day. She believes that working at BIT has made her more confident, going on to say “It may be hard to believe, but I used to be even more quiet and reserved.”
When asked if she thought being a woman leading a team of technologists who support a department dominated by male engineers made a difference, Linda said that because her predecessor was also a female, it didn’t seem all that new. However, working with other leaders from any given agency was a little more challenging. Linda explained, “I’m not an assertive speaker, so my voice tends to get lost in discussions.  I read an interesting article from Discover magazine:
‘..A psychiatrist monitored the brain activity of 12 men as they listened to voice recordings and found that they process male voices differently from those of females.  Women’s voices stimulate an area of the brain used for processing complex sounds, like music.  Male voices activate the ‘mind’s eye,’ a region of the brain used for conjuring imagery…..’
She went on to say, “I believe that for a woman to be really heard, she must speak up and speak confidently … and, as Sheryl Sandberg has written in her book Lean In, ‘Sit at the table and reach for opportunities. Most importantly: Believe in yourself- believe that your achievements are due to your talent- not just luck.’”
After retiring, Linda plans on selling her house and moving to Colorado! She wants to be closer to her sister who lives in Denver, but not actually live in Denver! There’s too many people (especially in comparison to Pierre 🙂). Linda will continue her beloved hobby of reading (she has quite the lengthy list of books she wants to read!) and playing the piano. Linda shared:
“I have two older sisters who started piano lessons when I was about 5.  My mother said I was too young for lessons, but when she found me playing the songs my sisters played, she sent me to the same piano teacher who assigned me the same piano books that my sisters were using.  After about a year,  she assigned a new book to me that I had never seen/heard before.  It was then that she realized I couldn’t read a note and had been just playing by ear.  She was really, really unhappy that we had to go back to square 1.”
Words of wisdom to those she is leaving behind? “Never stop learning.  Never stop being open to new ideas.  Don’t be afraid of failure or of making mistakes because if you’re not making mistakes then you’re not learning anything new.”
Although the Bureau of Information and Telecommunications has been so fortunate to have you these past few years Linda, there are a few other people who are also very proud of you as well…
“Linda has been my coworker, supervisor, and mentor over the last 20 years. During that time she has helped create many of the development standards that are in place today. She was very instrumental in removing DOT’s data silos. Due to her involvement in creating an enterprise wide data model, almost all data is stored once, and only once. Her “data first” mentality has been the inspiration for many critical systems that will be in production several years from now. It’s been a pleasure to work with her and for over the last couple of decades.”
 Lonnie Stoltenburg
“It’s exciting to think of Linda in retirement mode. Travel, wine, admin privileges over her own machine, the freedoms are endless. Yet I can’t help but express sorrow at losing daily interaction with a friend and mentor. The two most important things I’ve learned from Linda in the four years since she hired me are:
1.       If you believe in people, the greatest thing you can do is trust them
2.       We can always be better
Linda has the ability to show people the value of the work they do and how it fits into Development’s larger goals – and that’s something that I will always strive for as a leader. This focus on people plus an unending dedication to improvement allowed her to move up through BIT. She carried this dedication into her role as Director of Development, and it will be carried along after her retirement.  We will all miss Linda for her leadership and service, I will miss her for her guidance and friendship. “
– Adam Emerson
“Linda has been challenged to guide the evolution of Development to a modern, standards based, integrated unit characterized by common ideals and processes, sharing, creativity, and customer service. She has successfully met this challenge, and now challenges us to sustain and advance these improvements. We thank her for her efforts and her accomplishments.”
-David Zolnowsky

Adventures With Wayne Wayt!

Recently, Wayne Wayt went to Washington DC and Mount Vernon, Virginia with his parents, aunt, and sister. While they were there, they visited the memorials of Jefferson, Lincoln, and Martin Luther King Jr. In addition they stopped by the Washington Monument, a few Smithsonian museums, a Holocaust museum, and the Arlington National Cemetery.

Wayne explained that his favorite thing to see was probably the Jefferson Memorial, because most of the other exhibits he has seen before. He went on to say that because of the time of the year they were there, they were lucky enough to see the cherry blossom trees blooming, which was a beautiful sight!

When asked if he learned anything interesting on his trip, Wayne elaborated:

“The Holocaust museum, although disheartening, is a good reminder of atrocities that should not have happened and need to be prevented from happening again.  I appreciated the monuments to our founding fathers.  I think I particularly liked the Jefferson Memorial, not only was it my first time visiting it, but the quotes from Jefferson regarding the formation of our nation. One could stand and read his words and could tell that he was talking about something greater than himself and that the faith that our nation would endure.  With all the political rhetoric that is going on with the current presidential campaigns, it was refreshing to be reminded how our nation was founded.”

Employees of the Quarter!

On a quarterly basis, BIT recognizes staff in honor of their outstanding performance and dedication to our agency, state government and the citizens of South Dakota. This time around, we gladly recognize:

Steve Matteo
Steve is a senior technology engineer working as a member of the Systems and Operations Team in the BIT Data Center. Steve was lured away from his previous position as a consultant for TEK Systems and his former home in Atlanta GA approximately four and a half years ago and has been a steady and valued member of our team ever since.

When he joined BIT, Steve already had over thirty years of experience with mainframe systems including the application of operating system upgrades starting with Multiple Virtual Storage (MVS) and progressing through to the current IBM operating system, z/OS. He has a broad knowledge of mainframe systems, mainframe programming languages, and product installation and patching processes. Since joining us, he has had the opportunity to put his skills and knowledge to good use supporting our clients and his team members. He has been our lead technician for the Compuware Product Suite, has played an important role in designing mainframe recovery processes, and after multiple attempts by former employees, he was able to successfully eliminate BIT’s dependence on Panvalet on the mainframe. Steve is also one of only a few remaining BIT employees that can write or modify mainframe assembler code, and is among only a handful that can code in the predominate mainframe scripting language, REXX.

Most recently, Steve played an important part in the project to encrypt all mainframe data at rest, was the lead technician during the installation of a third-party query tool for the mainframe security system, and played a lead role in the mainframe operating system upgrade that was implemented last fall. The project at the top of his list of current assignments involves him putting his knowledge of the Computer Associates product suite to good use by leading an effort to upgrade the mainframe tape management system to the latest supported release while also removing code and references to software packages that we no longer need.

When not on the clock, Steve counts himself among the many firearms enthusiasts in the area, has a passion of working on old cars, and can occasionally be seen being led down the sidewalk by his two miniature Pinschers.

Todd Dravland
Todd started his career with ATG/State Radio in 1989 as a network engineer after graduating from SDSU with a BS in Electrical Engineering. For the past 27 years Todd has managed the operations of the State Radio network with some notable accomplishments over that time:

· Design and installation of a new statewide radio communications system in 2003.

· Upgrade of the tower sites on the system between 2003 and 2014 from 35 to 58.

· Upgrade of the radio network core and site equipment between 2012 and 2014.

· Increase in the number of users on the system from 14,000 state, local, tribal, and federal radios to over 22,000 over the past 13 years.

· Drafted and received FCC approval for the states 700mhz and 800mhz spectrum plans.

Todd leads a staff of nine technicians that maintain the system, is the frequency coordinator for South Dakota, and participates with the interoperability governance within our state and is actively engaged with our border states to improve cross-border communications.

Todd’s family includes his wife Pam, and children Trey and Marlee, both currently in High School at Pierre Riggs. As a family they are actively engaged in the Pierre swim team, with both Trey and Marlee competing regularly.

In his spare time, Todd enjoys his amateur radio (HAM) activities, golfing, and keeping up with his beloved Minnesota Vikings.

Todd has made a lasting impact on public safety communications for our state.

Members of the CC03 DPS Driver License System Team

The CC03 DPS Driver License System was a mainframe system written in house by BIT approximately 30 years ago. BIT partnered with DPS in May of 2013 to completely rewrite the system into a .NET application. The new systems, now known as the PS11 SDDrivers System, was successfully completed and placed in production in January 2016. The 2 ½ year project was completed for $1.5 million, which amounted to 100 hours under the estimated project hours and only $13,000 over estimated project cost (some of which can be attributed to an increase over the BIT Development hourly rate of the 2 ½ year period).

The following BIT employees are being recognized for their superior roles in this project:

Ross Effling
Ross started with the BIT family in August of 2014 as a Software Engineer I and was promoted to a Software Engineer II a year later. Upon joining the team initially, he was immediately appointed the lead web service representative for the team and also joined the DENR FoxPro Conversion project team. Ross served as one of the Lead Developers for the Driver License project. Once the DPS Driver License rewrite project took off, Ross became part of that project team with the intent that he would become the primary support of that system upon completion. The successful rewrite of the system has officially passed the torch from Gary Larson to Ross as he is now Primary Analyst for the PS11 SDDrivers System. In his spare time, Ross enjoys snow skiing, and mountain biking. He also is an avid golfer and officiates high school boys and girls basketball games. Ross is from Clear Lake, SD, and graduated from South Dakota State University.

Paul Bousa
Paul initially joined BIT in September of 2000 as a Programmer/Analyst, and through perseverance and hard work, he now stands as a Software Engineer IV as of 2013. His many years of experience with the State made Paul an excellent candidate to be one of the Lead Technical Architect/Developer for the Driver License project. He has extensive experience working in a Lead Technical Architect role as he has spearheaded some of Development Team 2’s major projects over his tenure. Paul spends a lot of time staying in touch with IT trends and technology. He does enjoy gaming and actively attends gaming conventions when he has time. Paul just recently became a home owner, which also keeps him busy. Paul is originally from Spearfish, SD and graduated from Dakota State University.

Scott Schuricht
Scott came aboard the BIT team in April of 2002 as a Programmer Trainee, and through perseverance and hard work Scott has risen to Software Engineer IV as of May of 2012. Scott acted as one of the Lead Technical Architects/Developers for the Driver License project. Like Paul, Scott has extensive experience working in a Lead Technical Architect role and has also spearheaded some of Development Team 2’s major projects. One of these was the Department of Revenue CEDAR System which is a complex accounting based system. It combined 5 existing tax revenue systems and 1 additional new application into one central tax revenue system, CEDAR, which is responsible for approximately 1.5 billion dollars in payments from tax filers. In his spare time, Scott enjoys fishing and has a green thumb for gardening, growing a variety of hot peppers for his homemade salsa. Scott is from Clark, SD and graduated from Lake Area Technical Institute.

Kari Stulken
Kari began working for BIT in July of 1998 as a Programmer/Analyst, and currently serves as both the head of the BIT Project Management Office and an active project manager. Fittingly, Kari was the Project Manager for the SDDrivers project. She did an awesome job of keeping it organized, on schedule, and on budget. None of these were easy tasks considering the constantly changing dynamic of the project, not to mention the project’s duration. Kari successfully navigated the waters of deciding such matters as how much money to spend in the first year, the use of an agile approach, increasing development rates, and simply coordinating 5 developers and countless users. Kari regularly met with Mark to discuss resources, project status, project budget, and any issues that would arise.

Kari and her husband Troy have two daughters, Megan and Molly. Megan is a freshman at USD and Molly is a junior at T.F. Riggs. In her free time, Kari enjoys spending time at her lake house on Chantier Creek and working on her photography skills with her new camera!

Mark Cichos

Mark joined BIT in January of 1987 as a Program Analyst. Over the years, Mark has climbed through the ranks and currently serves as a Software Engineer Manager II for Development Team 2. Mark was very supportive of the SDDrivers project. During the project, Mark made sure the project had development resources with the correct skillsets. He provided excellent advice to address the issues at hand and became an avid supporter of project management in the process.

Mark and his wife Sue have two sons. Kyle is attending the University of Alabama Medical School and Scott is in the Doctor of Physical Therapy program at the University of Minnesota. Mark enjoys traveling, especially on the ground, to see his kids. Mark also enjoys following many sports activities, especially the NFL draft, NCAA Men’s Basketball, USD Coyotes, Pierre Governors, Post 8 Baseball and the Strasburg Clippers.

Again, congratulations and thank you all for your efforts and for all the years of dedication of service to the State—BIT looks forward to many more!

Claude Garelik: Serving the State for 21 years!

On April 22, 2016 Claude Garelik will be retiring from the South Dakota Board of Regents after serving the higher education community for 21 years! 

Claude began his journey working in South Dakota in October of 1995 when he joined the University of South Dakota (USD) to become the manager of Networking Services. A native of Newark, New Jersey, he was recruited from the east coast to attend Yankton College. He graduated from Yankton College in 1968 after enduring many 44 hour train rides back ‘n forth to NJ. After working for many different companies he returned to South Dakota for his graduate study and working at USD in 1995. In 2001, he took on a new System-wide role as the Director of I/T Security for the South Dakota Board of Regents (SDBOR). Eventually this position transitioned to the Chief I/T Security and Networking Officer. During his tenure with the SDBOR, Claude has served as a valued partner with BIT on many projects and initiatives.

“Claude’s impact across the networking & security world in South Dakota is legendary,” said BIT’s Chief Security Officer Jim Edman. “His technical skills are top notch but his relationship building has catapulted SD onto the national research scene. As well documented in his achievements – Claude has invested untold hours in working with other national leaders to secure connectivity from South Dakota to the national research scene.”

In his most recent position, Claude was responsible for overseeing network planning, implementation and I/T security for all of the SDBOR public universities. These duties led to Claude working closely with BIT staff for wide-area networking, security, compliance, and advanced technology efforts. Claude was a key member of the task force that led to the construction of South Dakota’s Research, Education and Economic Development network, commonly known as REED. Claude was instrumental in bolstering South Dakota’s position in the Research and Education network communities with his work with Internet2 and the Great Plains Network.

The relationship between BIT and the Board of Regents can be challenging considering varying political, financial and technology considerations. Claude has always been successful to bridge those gaps without losing sight of the end-goal.

Currently, Claude serves as the chair of the Great Plains Network (GPN) Executive Council, specifically holding a place on the Network Program Committee (NPC), which aims to provide networking services to members that wish to participate. He also serves as a committee member for EPSCoR and the Sanford Underground Research Facility. Claude has also served as a former chair for the Quilt, a national coalition of advanced regional networks for research and education.

Whether Claude was serving as the principal investigator (PI) or co-PI on National Science Foundation research grants, securing our public higher education institutions through rigorous security assessment and compliance checks, or collaborating on the latest telecommunications and network technology project, Claude has always put the students and faculty from South Dakota first and foremost.

His coming days will be filled with travel around the world with his wife by his side.

Best of luck in your travels and best wishes for a healthy retirement, Claude! You have left a legacy of networking and security footprints that will be remembered far into the future.