C.A.T.S. service is a hidden technology treasure


Graduate Assistant David Mitchell and Director Pete Grant are both apart of C.A.T.S. digital and multimedia services department.

Kalyn Hayslett, Verge Editor


The heartbeat of Pete Grant; director of digital and multimedia services is meeting the needs of his graduate assistants through applied learning and mentorship with the Center Academic Technological Services program.

Since 2003 Grant has oversaw several graduate assistances performing services of video production, consultations, educational media and digital communication.

Grant recently established a new approach to helping the graduate assistants grow and learn in their technological skills by using a hands-off tactic.

“Since I am the only full-time manager back there, out of necessity I have hired my graduate assistant as managers, they manage their own client, their own students, their own projects so they act as low level managers of media based projects,” Grant said.

Each graduate assistant is assigned projects including online newsletter, recording conferences, uploading video packages online etc. as well as assigned a student assistant (s) to help and train.

Thus giving the graduate assistant more freedom to handle their own projects, use their own creativity and develop managerial skills.

Fatemeh Khastkhodaardekani graduate assistant in the digital & multimedia said, “We do the work but we also have this responsibility to do it a little different. So, it adds a level of creativity to the work so every one has their personality and their passion into the work which makes the work really different.”

The Director gives the graduate assistants instruction and guidance throughout their projects however the graduate assistants are ultimately responsible for their own work and assignments.

“I really like Pete doesn’t manage like a typical manager and tries to be a friend to all the people here. So, I think that’s what makes him a very strong leader because he is up front with you instead of trying to order you to do something,” Khastkhodaardekani said.

Even in the midst of working on their own separate projects and assignments Grant encourages the graduates assistants to help one another as much they can whether it’s giving help with brainstorming or just providing encouragement.

“I think this is a great working environment because of this feeling that is coming from our team leader that makes us become friends to each other. I feel  equal, helpful and useful,” Khastkhodaardekani said.

With the high level of collaboration between the graduate assistants, student’s assistants and director has turned the work studio in MacAfee in to a home like atmosphere.

David Mitchell, graduate assistant of digital and multimedia services said he was not expecting to establish such a close connection with his boss and co-workers.

“It’s kind of like a family and I wasn’t expecting on gaining a family,” Mitchell said.

There are distinct job roles however no one considers themselves superior and inferior to each other but try to listen and assistant each other, similar to a family.

“Yes I am their supervisor but I look at it as their mentor,” Grant said. “CATS historically as a department if your including all four divisions is very team based and so as the students work back here I try to inspire team work, collaboration and almost an atmosphere of family.”

Outside of the work environment and with non-related topics Grant gives support and overall help to his staff members.

“Not only have I’ve learn a little bit more about photography I’ve learned a lot of life lessons and people skills that I feel like I would not have gotten just by having conversations with Pete,” Mitchell said.

The fall of 2016 in August Pete Grant’s position will be terminated due to lack of funding from the budget.

“My whole reaction was like wow, It was shocking because he had just talked about this and we felt like he was good the whole office was in shock, ” Mitchell said. “We didn’t say anything because we didn’t know what to say. “

It is unclear what will happen with the position but while Grant has occupied the position several graduates can testify that his help and guidance has changed their lives for the better.

“He is the sole reason I got into grad school and if It wasn’t for him I probably won’t be here,” Mitchell said.


Kalyn Hayslett can be reached at 581-2812 or [email protected].