Meet Tyson Tate: Student Assistant Extraordinaire

From Kennedy Library's 2008 Annual Publication (23MB PDF).

According to supervisor Marya Figueroa, Tyson Tate exemplifies everything you want from an employee: initiative, reliability, a strong work ethic, and a great disposition. That's why Marya, who spearheads Web Development and Strategy for Library Information Technology, nominated Tyson for the University's Outstanding Student Employee of the Year Award two years in a row.

Tyson works in the Library's IT department as a student assistant web designer and developer, with duties ranging from simplifying multiple online workflows to serving on the Web redesign team. Since starting his job in the Library as a junior, Tyson has worked for the Library for three years. In addition to key programming work, he has been involved with the redesign of PolyCat, DataGenie, Kennedy Library Web sites, course reserves workflow, and the new Library blogs.

What does Tyson like about working in the Library? "There are so many things," he said. "I've had some great opportunities to increase my skills and work on real-world projects. When I start a job search, I'll have already had some great work experience." He adds that flexible work hours and great coworkers are additional benefits. "Everyone in this office is an absolute pleasure to work with."

Growing up in El Dorado, California, Tyson knew he wanted to attend Cal Poly from the time he was in the fourth grade. Since he always had an interest in computers, Cal Poly was a natural choice, having been rated as one of the "best in the west" for computer science. Because of a keen interest in web design, after two and half years as a computer science major Tyson switched to art and design with a concentration in graphic design. This proved to be a wise decision: in 2008 Tyson won a Web design contest held by Web Associates, a leading California web development company located in San Luis Obispo. His knowledge of both design and technology is a unique combination of skills.

In addition to fulltime study and working in the Library, Tyson belongs to Kappa Kappa Psi, which is a co-educational honorary fraternity, the Triathlon team, and the Cal Poly marching band. "I spend a great majority of my time training and racing in triathlons," says Tyson. "I'm currently training for the Arizona Ironman."

With graduation on the horizon for June, 2009, Tyson is happy to let everyone know that he'll soon be in the job market. Employers: take notice!