At NC State, there is a thing called The Free Expression Tunnel, where people can paint whatever they want, whenever they want, as long as it doesn't defame anyone or isn't hate speech. This morning, I met several of my colleagues to paint advertising for our student e-mail switch to Google.
It was still dark when we started, and here are a couple of shots of our work:
The wall to the right is just before the entrance to the tunnel, and it's prime real estate. However, what's there, an ad for MacBeth being put on as a student production, was painted either late last night or even earlier this morning than 6AM. Because it was so new, and we didn't have ladders to use the space completely, we decided to leave it alone and start inside the tunnel. You can see the lady in the blue shorts and white shirt with the roller is about to start "white-washing" over what's currently there, once she gets a pad on that roller.
That's my boss's boss, Stan, starting to outline the word Google on the ceiling—he's quite tall—around which someone will paint white later.
So, once the white is painted on the outside of the outlined Google letters, it'll look like a graffiti version of the word, which is how the Google in the next picture was created, too.
Well, they match the Google logo, but they're not the exact Pantone colors Google uses. Hey, work with us here. We're a public institution and we have to buy cheap paint. :-)
Tall Stan, again. The white hadn't really dried when he started on the red letters, and by the time he finished, it looked like it had been done in blood.
Photo courtesy of Chris Donald; Office of Information Technology;
Outreach, Communication, and Consulting
I ran home to shower and change and arrived at the Talley Student Center in time for our organization's Awards for Excellence, of which I was a nominee for one, as mentioned a little bit ago in my blog.
Each of the 10 people nominated were called forward while a 100-word synopsis of their nomination was read, which was followed by the presentation of a certificate and a handshake with our organization's leader, Dr. Marc Hoit, Vice Chancellor of Information Technology.
After that, two winners from those ten were chosen, the first going to my colleague Nick, who I personally would have picked as the winner. Thinking the other award would surely go to a nominee in one of the other units of our organization, I was absolutely shocked when my name was announced as the other winner.
In addition to this plaque, I received a check for $250 and an extra vacation day this year. Woohoo.
The 100-word synopsis that was read during the ceremony was condensed from the full nomination form submitted. I've highlighted the comments that I found especially affirming:
OIT/University Award for Excellence Nomination
John Martin, Technical Communicator
It is a pleasure to nominate John Martin for an NC State University Award for Excellence from the Office of Information Technology for his outstanding contributions in Human Relations and Public Service. John’s achievements in Human Relations have helped OIT develop a culture of collaboration in both our physical and virtual work places, and they have enhanced the morale and inclusiveness of the NC State community as a whole. John's Public Service has touched the lives of people at NC State, in the triple cities, in Katrina-ravaged Louisiana and half-way round the world.
John joined the Information and News Services team in OIT's Outreach, Communications and Consulting unit in September 2008 after a 28-year career at IBM. In his short time with OIT, John has proven himself to be a talented technical communicator, an efficient and productive staff member, and a valued colleague. John has worked with staff from all OIT units, on many cross-functional teams and on OIT projects ranging from the behind-the-scenes migration of content to the Drupal Web content management system to the very public implementation of Google Apps for NC State. As Stan North Martin, director of OCC has said, "John's creativity shines through in all he does, going well above and beyond in his work responsibilities."
But it is John's infectious joy for life and talent for creating collaborative communities that are the hallmarks of his achievements in Human Relations:
"John's unfailingly positive attitude and willingness to pitch in on so many different fronts has been a huge boost in our organization, both in terms of getting things done and in lifting sometimes sagging spirits," Stan North Martin has observed. People from outside OCC routinely comment on how much they enjoy working with John – not only because he gets things done, but because he does things in such a friendly and encouraging way. OCC Assistant Director Sarah Noell has summarized it well: "John Martin is an awesome colleague."
John has enhanced OIT's reputation in the campus community and beyond by taking his human relations skills into virtual worlds. A daily blogger for more than five years, John launched OIT’s @ncsu_oit Twitter service in 2008. He has since posted more than 900 tweets to communicate news, services and other useful IT-related information to OIT colleagues and customers. John was one of the first to promote the use of Twitter on campus, and in the process he has assisted many others in effectively using Twitter and other new social media to share work-related information and build community.
John's achievements in Public Service while working for OIT further show his talent for improving human relations and his commitment to fostering equality, inclusiveness and the celebration of diversity:
This March, John served as a Faculty/Staff Advisor on NC State's Gulf Coast Alternative Spring Break trip, where they worked for a week doing post-Katrina Habitat for Humanity work in Thibodaux, LA. Last June, he volunteered for the Habitat for Humanity day organized by the NCSU Web Developers group, and he participated in the Stop Hunger Now event at Carmichael Gym. In April, he participated in NC State's Night Owl Service helping serve food to students after hours during exam week. Lastwinter, John recommended and then spearheaded the highly successful Love Wins Ministries 2009 OIT Holiday Giving Project. Hundreds of personal care items were donated by OIT staff and distributed to homeless people living in Raleigh.
John serves as a member of NC State's Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgender (GLBT) Speakers Bureau, which provides education in the form of brief lectures, handouts and GLBT individuals who can talk about why it's important for them to be "out" in the classroom or in the workplace. John participated in a GLBT panel presentation in the College of Natural Resources in April 2009.
John volunteers for Equality North Carolina. His latest contribution was participating in the sorting of response cards to mail to legislators regarding North Carolina’s anti-bullying legislation. John also volunteers for Triangle Community Works, which strives to make the greater Triangle area a safe, healthy and life-affirming environment for Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, and Related Communities and their allies; John served for five years as their Board of Directors Secretary, during which time he was also Interim Program Director for several months, and a volunteer on the GLBT Helpline for several years. John also serves on the Board of Directors of the Manbites Dog Theater in Durham.
In October 2008, John went to the People’s Republic of China serving as a People-to-People Citizen Ambassador as part of a Technical Communication Professional Delegation. The delegation traveled to Beijing, Guilin and Shanghai.
Where ever he goes, on campus or around the world, John brings out the best in others. He fosters community, collaboration, the spirit of inclusion, and just plain fun. He serves as a fine example for us all, and he is well deserving of an OIT and NC State Award for Excellence.
I had a full, full day, as after being up at 5:00 and then working a full day, I went directly to class, and then to Salon X, which was only attended by Sarah and Brad in addition to myself. We put the agenda aside, and just talked amongst ourselves.