It’s National IT Professionals Day – get to know the people who keep ND Law School online

by Amanda Gray

It Appreciation Clockwise from top left: Matt Knecht, Eric McCartney, Dan Manier, Christopher Radabaugh, Scott Hengert, and Clint Brown make up the Law School’s dedicated information technology staff.

National IT Professionals Day falls on the third Tuesday of every September – that’s Tuesday, Sept. 19, this year. The dedicated Information Technology staff at the Law School keeps computers whirring, projectors lit, and video connections crisp at our main campus, while also connecting classrooms, students, faculty, and staff to people all over the world.

Get to know a little bit more about our IT staff through brief profiles below.

Dan Manier, director of law school technology, began work with Notre Dame Law School in May 1998, but started working at Notre Dame in information technology in August 1989.

“We get to learn about all the great things that our law students, faculty, and staff do, and occasionally we find a way to help them do it better,” Manier said about his position.

Manier studied at Notre Dame for his undergraduate degree, during which his 1984 Bookstore Basketball team made it into Sports Illustrated. Stop by his office if you’d like to hear the story.

For much of the past 30 years, Manier has played and coached soccer locally. However, he’s recently returned to his “first love”: baseball, and joined the South Shore Liners, which is part of the Sappy Moffitt Baseball League.

“There are five teams in the league and it’s great fun. For me, there’s nothing like standing in the box with a wood bat waiting on a fastball,” Manier said. “Okay, knocking it into the gap feels pretty good, too!”

Eric McCartney has served as the Law School’s student computing manager since December 2008.

McCartney said he likes interacting with the law students and helping them make their technology last longer – a drive that he didn’t see often in undergraduates. He also likes having fun with student workers, who could use the laugh during the trials of law school.

“Several years ago, I challenged one of the students who worked for me to a bowling competition. Every week he would lose the challenge,” McCartney said. “The next week he would accept a new challenge. It all ended when his ‘punishment’ for losing was to carry a bowling pin around with a picture of him on it for the entire day. He decided he didn’t want any more challenges from that point on. The pin is still in my office.”

Outside of the Law School, McCartney dabbles in photography – much to his son’s chagrin.
“I have over 15,000 photos of him, and he’s not even 5 yet,” McCartney said.

Clint Brown has served as IT engineering specialist for the Law School for five years, though initially he began in IT services for the Main Building.

“My first week that I worked at ND in the Dome, I set off the silent alarm in the executive vice president’s office while testing network jacks,” he recalls. “I was greeted at the door by two NDSP officers who wanted identification. No one in the president’s office knew who I was yet. I had to get my manager to vouch for me!”

Outside of the Law School, you might find Brown in Crowley Hall taking guitar lessons.

“I ended up in a class with all undergrads. I am old enough to be their dad,” he joked. “Interestingly, no one really cares. They treat me like a classmate.”

Scott Hengert has served as an audio/visual engineer for nine years at the Law School, where he says it feels “more like a creative outlet than a job.”

He still recalls a sense of unease with campus shortly after he began working here, but one snowy evening changed all of that.

“I had my first late night just a few weeks after starting at the Law School. It was November during midterms, and it had just started to snow,” he said. “I set out for my walk across campus in the dark – a little hesitant, to be honest – but as soon as I exited the north doors of Eck Hall, I saw perfect snowflakes, heard carolers on the quad, and was stopped by an international student asking me to take their picture in their first snowfall. I walked across campus with no hesitation after that evening.”

Outside of the Law School, Hengert says he’d like to have his pilot’s license someday.

Matt Knecht has served as audio/video assistant since August 2011. He enjoys working with the rest of the IT and greater Law School staff the most.

“It would be just another job if it weren’t for the people I am fortunate to work with,” Knecht said.

Knecht remembers his first day, when someone came into the back room of the IT department asking for tape – any tape. He explains that it’s only funny in context, as he was sitting with office supplies, archival mending and labeling materials, gaffer tape, duct tape, packing tape, shipping tape, and even analog audio and video recording “tape” within arms reach.

Outside of the Law School, Knecht is an avid veteran player of table-top, board, card, and vintage video games since 1998. He loves to read and recommends “Catch 22,” “1984,” and all 5 volumes of “The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy” trilogy. (Yes, it’s a trilogy.)

Christopher Radabaugh has served as audio/visual assistant at the Law School for five years this October.

“My favorite part of my duties is helping out the students with setting up, recording, and distributing their deposition and trial ad skills recordings,” he said.

You might spot Radabaugh at other spots around campus.

“I also work at the DeBartolo Performing Arts Center on the weekends during the school year and with NDSP during the summer months,” he said. “On occasion, it will surprise a faculty or staff member to see me while working at one of the other departments. It definitely makes for a great conversation starter – ‘Oh, you work here, too?’ ‘Wow, you are everywhere on campus!’”

For Radabaugh and his wife’s fifth anniversary, they took a trip to Los Angeles for a taping of “The Price is Right” to see Bob Barker before he retired later that year.

“We were able to get in the audience – not as a contestant, though – and got to see the man, the myth, the legend himself,” Radabaugh said. “Also, an audience member that was sitting right in front of me got on the show and won the whole thing!”

Originally published by Amanda Gray at law.nd.edu on September 18, 2017.