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Chauncey’s Champion Someone making a difference.

Two Coastal stars shine bright on the East Campus

by Brian Druckenmiller Bookmark and Share
Aron Goff and Annette Roberts are dual I Spy candidates this month. Goff works in ITS, and Roberts works in procurement.
Aron Goff and Annette Roberts are dual I Spy candidates this month. Goff works in ITS, and Roberts works in procurement.

This month’s I SPY celebrates two Coastal Carolina University staff members who work across the street on the East Campus. Aron Goff and Annette Roberts are vital to Coastal Carolina’s daily operations on both sides of U.S. 501.

Upon entering Aron Goff’s office, one can’t help but note surroundings suitable for rest and relaxation such as a soft comfy couch, a variety of plants and a beautiful fish tank. However, mounted on the wall above his fish tank are an impressive number of ITS certifications in a variety of fields. Considering the level of expertise Goff has obtained during his 40-year IT career, it’s no wonder that his services are in constant demand.

“I never have an empty plate,” said Goff. “Some days I am in my office for only five or ten minutes. I never know what the day has in store for me, and that’s why my job is so much fun.”

Goff has been at Coastal Carolina University for 10 years as an information resource consultant. Currently, he is the go-to guy for hardware, software and other equipment issues for the Burroughs and Chapin Center for Marine and Wetland Studies, the Department of Marine Science and the Office of Procurement. He is also a Mac expert on campus, one test away from becoming an Apple Certified Macintosh Technician.

“The University benefits daily from his talents and passion,” said Gene Carlisle, client services manager at the ITS Help Desk. “I have never seen a problem that he was working on that he did not stick with until it was resolved.”

Goff’s thirst for challenges stems from his previous professional experience. He started in the U.S. Navy where he worked in computer gunfire control. He eventually moved to the engineering side of IT, working in semiconductor reliability physics and failure analysis for AT&T. The job description is deceptively simple: figure out why something has failed. For example, as Goff explained, he might be given a single integrated circuit and, after examination and testing, figure out the reason for the circuit’s malfunction.

Of course, there is more to Goff’s life than taking apart computers (although he does help friends and family with their computer issues in his free time). Goff has a variety of hobbies including painting, writing, cooking and woodworking. One of his favorite pastimes is observing the night sky. He has a passion for astronomy, and his state-of-the-art telescope gives him one of the best views on the Grand Strand. His favorite sighting, thus far, was a 3 a.m. peek at Saturn.

“You see all the satellite pictures, but they do not compare with seeing the universe for yourself,” said Goff.

Goff has much to occupy his time outside of computers, but when he comes to work, Coastal Carolina staff is grateful he can set aside the telescope to take a closer look at their terminals.

“We love him,” said Annette Roberts, procurement specialist. “He is a man of lots of knowledge, and is very patient, even when I have silly questions. [CCU] is very lucky to have him.”

To Goff, however, there is no such thing as a silly IT question.

Annette Roberts is a star in her own right. As a procurement specialist, Roberts aids in purchasing a variety of items for all departments, including such things as vending machines and door locks as well as big-ticket items such as the digital ticker in the Wall College and 65 bicycles for the sustainability initiative in 2010. Current projects include card-swipe capabilities for more vending machines as well as additional signage around campus.

“We’ve got a lot going on right now,” said Roberts. “I am always busy, jumping around from one project to another. Our team works really well together and always gets the job done.”

On top of those duties, she answers many questions from students, such as shuttle times/routes, directions, etc. She also answers to the shuttle comment box, addressing some of the issues they may bring up, while also attending to late shuttles as well as the service’s Facebook page.

“Annette always brings enthusiasm to the table and a desire to do whatever is needed within and outside of the office,” said Dean Hudson, director of procurement and business services. 

Roberts also tries her hand at small computer issues. Like Goff, she is computer savvy and helps when she can, leaving the more complicated issues for Goff.

“[Annette] is a very kind person, and very good at her job,” said Goff. “She is very helpful, too.”

Roberts moved down to Horry County from Barton, Vt., almost four years ago to be with her daughter, Amanda, and her grandchildren Christina, 9, and Kharlee, 1. Her husband, Gilles, still lives in Vermont as does their son Josh, his girlfriend Angelica and his son Tucker, 8 months. Gilles hopes to be an Horry County resident within a year.

The long-distance marriage is the result of Roberts' devotion to her grandchildren. She moved south to help Amanda with Christina, who was born with hydrocephalus. She assists with rides to Charleston, where Christina undergoes treatment, and taking care of her when necessary. When Christina was born, the family was informed that she would not be able to walk, talk and socialize like a normal child. However, Christina has proved the doctors wrong.

“She’s very special to me,” said Roberts. “God has blessed us with a beautiful, intelligent and joyful child to raise.”

Outside of her career and family duties, Roberts is taking classes at CCU, working her way toward a bachelor’s degree in business administration. She also is active in her church community, volunteering to help with youth groups on service projects and with youth mass at St. James Catholic Church. 

As a woman of faith, Roberts knows that she was meant not only to reside in Horry County, but become part of the Coastal Carolina family.

“I’m staying here,” said Roberts. “I’m a lifer. [CCU] appreciates their employees—you don’t get that everywhere. I know I am where I am supposed to be.”

Related Photos

Aron Goff and Annette Roberts are dual I Spy candidates this month. Goff works in ITS, and Roberts works in procurement. Two Coastal stars shine bright on the East Campus Annette Roberts brings enthusiasm to her job. Aron Goff has been an information resource consultant at CCU for 10 years. Christina and Kharlee are Annette Roberts' grandchildren.
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