|Steve Varga, Ellensburg, WA
Employment: Applications Group
Information Technology Services
Central Washington University
Born in Richland, Washington, I spent most of my childhood in Stillwater, Oklahoma and have moved between those two states three times. I've called Ellensburg home since 1979. It is a small college town located in the Kittitas Valley of central Washington state, 110 miles east of Seattle on Interstate 90. We have four seasons and an arid climate since we are east of the Cascade range. It is a world different than Seattle and I love it! But Seattle is close for what it has to offer.
My route to UA SIRLS...
Clark Community College - Completed an AA degree in 1974 and went to work for Portland Public Schools as a computer programmer.
Oklahoma State University - Returned to my hometown, Stillwater, and became a full-time employee, again in the computing department, of the university and a part-time student completing a bachelor degree in 1979.
University of Washington - Was admitted to the Graduate School of Library and Information Science in the fall of 1995 and with a leave of absence from Central, attended for one quarter. It was a great fall but I could not secure further leave. Not being a great risk taker, I looked for alternatives.
University of Arizona School of Information Resources & Library Science (as if you really need that link) - Took LIS 688 from Rick Gates in the spring of 1996 as a non-degree student. Admitted to the program that spring, I attended summer pre-session in May. Since then I have done an internship and taken one distance course each semester through the spring of 1998. Two-thirds through the program, circumstances have temporarily delayed completion of the program although I am committed to it. One of those circumstances is that at Central I am now the technical project lead for the replacement of our student systems with PeopleSoft Student Administration. This is a major undertaking and has been another educational avenue. It involves migration to a relational environment and client server architecture for our administrative systems. It is a great opportunity but its demands are just not very compatible with continuing academic studies. PeopleSoft's web page claims to be an integrated solution for higher education but we have found that it is only a matter of degree. Its solutions are more integrated than those of the past. It does not include library systems so once again one of our tasks will be interfacing Innopac's circulation system to student, human resources, and financial modules.
Why SIRLS? ... read on if you wish, but the good stuff is further on down
As a computer analyst for the university, I became responsible for computer support of the library systems somewhere in the late 80s. The first project was the never-ending retrospective conversion. I also did substantial work with the circulation system, in particular its patron file interfaces to the institution's student, personnel, and financial systems. Work also included being on the project teams for a major upgrade of the system and following that, for the selection and evaluation process for a new system. Over time, connections and attachments were made with the people in the library. I liked what I was doing and saw possibilities. But alas, I worked for another unit on campus, library support was not all that I did, and the library wanted their own, an automation librarian, with credentials. Now with their automation librarian doing a lot of good work, my involvement has been limited. But it motivated me to seek an advanced degree.... so here I am.
Enough of that!!
Ever thought of running the Grand Canyon rim to rim and back?
It is called ultrarunning and the Grand Canyon double and is the type of challenge ultrarunners love ... I haven't done this "unofficial" event but have completed the Western States 100, Vermont 100, and others.
The background for this page was taken from the Comrades Marathon site. This is the premier event in the sport and a national holiday in South Africa. The closest comparison may be the Tour de France. It is a one day event drawing the attention of the whole country. It may be of interest to some that the superstar of ultrarunning is Ann Trason from Northern California. She has won Comrades the last two years and has nine straight wins at Western States. She holds many world records competing on a even basis with the elite men of the sport. It is not unusual for her to be the overall winner of a race.
For most of us, ultrarunning is not a race or a competition. To finish is to win.
Have a great term!!
LIS 688 - Spring 1996 - Rick Gates
LIS 506 - Fall 1996 - Charles Seavy
LIS 606 - Spring 1997 - Charles Hurt
LIS 583 - Fall 1997 - Margaret Higgins
IRLS 613 - Spring 1998 - Martin Frické
Links to 2005 Heartland 100 story, photos, and Ultrarunning magazine article:
Fill it up - outbound
Mansfield Junction outbound
Mansfield Junction inbound
Ridgeline Aid Station inbound - at the top of this hill
Ridgeline Aid Station inbound - a few more steps
Lapland inbound - crew photo
Lapland inbound - Where's Waldo?
Finish - first order of business
We did it!
Satisfied runners at town sign
Let there be no question where we were
Ultrarunning magazine article in December 2005 edition - page 1
Ultrarunning magazine article in December 2005 edition - page 2
2006 Umstead 100 personal storyPersonal correspondence: Leland 30+ years later:
Grandma's pictures - Newberry Crater National Monument July 2006
Pictures of Sierra and Emory with a cameo appearance by Chris