2016 Penny Crane Award Recipient – Phil Isensee
Phil attended Pacific Lutheran University and graduated from the University of Idaho with a BS in Electrical Engineering. Phil never practiced engineering but began a career in higher education information technology at his alma mater in 1970. During the ensuing 36 years he served Iowa State University, the University of California at San Francisco, Oregon State University and retired from Oregon Health & Science University in 2007. Phil worked as a systems programmer, applications programmer, user consultant and managed groups ranging in size from 5 to 90 people. He also worked in county government and with a startup firm.
He joined SIGUCCS when he first began working in higher education and continued his membership throughout his career. He attended his first User Services Conference in 1980 on the suggestion of his boss Claire Maple, who then provided the funding! Phil would forever afterward refer to the User Services Conference as “the conference for PEOPLE in computing.” He attended many other conferences which were about the software or hardware but the SIGUCCS USC was a favorite because of the focus on the people. He was Treasurer for two USC’s and co-chaired a Computer Services Management Symposium.
Phil’s wife, Martha Maier, recently retired from her work as a Lutheran pastor. His daughter, Emily, works for Brave Leaders, Inc., a Brené Brown company (a very people oriented company). His son, Jeffrey, works part-time at a chip manufacturing company.
Since retiring Phil & Martha have been able to travel to France for three different month long trips. Phil has also consulted with TouchNet Information Systems and has hosted a live webcast for their customers for the last seven years. He says: “Who would think of asking an old retired IT guy to host a webcast?” It has been a very enjoyable retirement gig offering an opportunity to keep up with some things in higher ed. He also has stayed current with much of Microsoft Windows, supporting a few clients and his wife’s church. Whenever he can, he fritters away his days writing PowerShell scripts to automate mundane tasks.
After several retirement years wondering “How did I ever have time to work?” he plans to stop any gainful activity at the end of 2016 and enjoy more travel and PowerShell puzzles.