BOOTCAMP Preps AV Team for Year Ahead

Friday, August 30, 2013

On Monday, August 26th, 15 students teamed with faculty and administrators for an all-day-long intensive training session that has become known as "AV Bootcamp"

The heavily-scheduled day focuses on building team unity while covering a long list of policies and procedures that staff members need to grasp to adequately perform service and support for the campus community. This year's offering included visits from college President Richard Dorman, Director of Library Services Erin Smith, Director of Information Systems Paul Wallace, along with other college staff and alumni. Some of the many topics covered included technical and media support, customer service, licensing and law requirements, disaster response, and various associated software applications.

"Technology service and support has become so specialized," Gary Swanson, Director of Audio Visual Services explained. "It's crazy to expect anyone person to grasp it all, especially in one day, and honestly that's not what Bootcamp is all about. We focus on sharpening our abilities to concisely communicate freely amongst the team, explain various roles and how they interconnect, and take everyone on a whirlwind tour of everything AV. It's exhausting to our veterans, so we make a point to let our rookies know that this isn't a one-and-done day. Nobody will be an AV wiz kid after our bootcamp, but hopefully they feel a little more acclimated to the pace and professionalism of all that we do, and when we return to a particular topic for advanced training, they have some familiarity of it and it isn't so intimidating."

The AV department's employee training has received acclaim on the local, national, and international stage for providing its student workers with a highly effective environment for personal growth and invaluable experience, providing students the rare opportunity to earn money while enhancing critical marketing, technical, and office skills and providing professional services to the academic community.

Students are actively sought with the right mix of professionalism, intellectualism, autonomy, judgment, independence, service, and dedication. They must be motivated by a uniquely large workload and opportunity for a wide range of experiences.

Falling in line with the mission of Westminster College which is to "help men and women develop competencies, commitments, and characteristics which have distinguished human beings at their best," AV staff members traditionally are self-motivated, upwardly moving professionals who regularly work to extend themselves to meet this overall college mission, honoring the past and embracing the future while striving to improve both themselves and their department to meet a rapidly changing world.

"We know that what we do here isn't for everyone," Swanson shared. "It's demanding work requiring a very specific mix of qualifications. But for the ones that do sign on, they learn very quickly that they are getting something really special that will serve them well no matter what direction their life leads after they leave Westminster. I'm excited about this team's dynamic and the effort they are showing already, and believe the Westminster community will greatly benefit from their commitment."

For more information about AV Services and employment in the department, please contact director Gary Swanson at (724) 946-7188 or

Click image to enlarge.

Click image to enlarge.
Gary Swanson talks through Copyright procedures with AV staff members.