John O'Malley

Hello! My name is John O’Malley. I have been a communication and/or information technology professional at Purdue University since 1990.

I am a communication specialist in the Purdue Polytechnic Institute (previously known as the College of Technology). I accepted this position in March 2014 to handle communication projects for the team working to create a new competency-based degree called Transdisciplinary Studies in Technology. In early 2015, my position was folded into the college’s Marketing Communications team, where I now work on communication projects which serve the whole college. I am our team’s video specialist, filming and editing promotional and news videos as well as managing the college’s YouTube channel. I write and edit articles, newsletters, reports, remarks, and other media for distribution online and in print. I also serve as a social media manager, creating original content several times weekly for the college’s Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and LinkedIn channels.

In previous positions in Purdue’s College of Engineering and College of Liberal Arts, I served as the lead technical communication specialist. I wrote and edited dozens of online “Knowledge Base” articles, creating and maintaining numerous web pages as well as complete websites. I also developed and conducted training sessions covering the use of software applications (including the Microsoft Office productivity suite, Adobe graphic design applications, and web design applications), operating systems (Windows and Macintosh), network services, data security, and instructional technologies.

My communication experience extends into broadcasting and production. For 10 years, I was a local radio broadcaster at four Crawfordsville-area stations, serving as on-air announcer, program host, engineer, and/or producer during live and pre-recorded music, sports, news, and other programming. I wrote, recorded, and digitally edited music programs, news and sports segments, scripts, and commercial announcements. I also produced, engineered, and/or hosted a variety of remote broadcasts, some with Internet-streamed national audiences, which originated from regional locations and from facilities in five states.

A viola and guitar player, I have been a liturgical musician at St.Thomas Aquinas Center in West Lafayette for more than 25 years. To extend my communication expertise into this role, I volunteered to serve as our choir’s recording engineer, videographer, and producer for our charity CD recordings, television specials, and concerts. I serve as co-leader for one of St. Tom’s weekend choirs, and I have performed with the Aquinas Quartet. I also founded RiteSong, a local wedding music ensemble.

During my undergraduate years in the late 1980s, I majored in communication while working as a student consultant in the Computing Center (PUCC, now known as ITaP), putting my expertise with Macintosh computers to good use, as Macs were very new at the time. On the way to completing my Bachelor of Arts in Communication degree, my managers at PUCC invited me to stay, offering a full-time position as a user services programmer to me in June 1990.

After a few more years in PUCC, I accepted a position as Site Coordinator for Technical Communication in the College of Liberal Arts. Later, I moved to the User & Desktop Services group in Engineering Computer Network (ECN) to become a Site Manager and Systems Engineer, leading teams which provide centralized desktop computing support to the College of Engineering, College of Technology, Discovery Park, and the Office of the Vice President for Research.

I spent the first 23 years of my career as an information technology staffer, supporting faculty and staff users of Windows and Macintosh computers. With my communication background, I was more qualified than most of my colleagues to handle the necessary tasks of writing user documentation and newsletters. I was also well qualified to distill highly technical subjects into teachable lesson plans understandable by faculty and staff in the era when many were migrating to mouse-based personal computers from command-line PCs or typewriters, so I taught dozens of workshops over the first 10 years of my career.

During those first two decades managing computers (and, in my position at ECN, people), I always sought projects which exercised and broadened my communication skills.

Working closely with faculty and staff in the fields of engineering, technology, and the humanities for more than 25 years has helped me build and strengthen a wide-ranging skill set in both communication and information technology. Even so, I learn something new every week! My path has been unique, and I’m proud to be on this journey at Purdue University.

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