|Jeff Alcantar APAC's Web Chair|
By Ivone De Jesus
JEFF ALCANTAR is the Assistant Director at the Office of Business and Financial Services (OBFS), Business Information Systems (BIS). He has proudly served the OBFS, University Administration, and University community in this capacity for 11 years (having been at the University for 17 years).
HOW HE got to UIC is where the story begins. Alcantar first started working for the University of Illinois in 1986 at WILL-TV, Urbana, IL, as a Broadcast Operator. It was his first experience with IBM computers and main frame. After six years, he decided to pursue a childhood dream by joining the Chicago Police Department (CPD) in 1992, where he served the citizens of Chicago working in various districts, such as Englewood (7th) and Grand-Central (25th).
DURING ALCANTAR’S last year with the police department, he was offered a position in the Chief of Patrol’s office, Computer Application Development Section, where he provided support for 25 city-wide districts’ software applications and Local Area Networks (LAN). Alcantar had many accomplishments working with his team, including installing more than 250 computers on the police department’s LANs, introducing the Intranet concept to the districts, automating the CPD’s more than 3,000 Department General and Special Orders and Department Notices and providing video training on demand to police officers during roll call utilizing the Intranet.
IN 2002, he received the CPD’s third highest award, the Superintendent's Award of Merit, presented by Superintendent Terry Hilliard and Mayor Richard M. Daley for his efforts. During his time as a police officer, Alcantar received many other recognitions and awards.
AFTER NEARLY TEN years of employment with the CPD, Alcantar decided to seek employment with UIC. In 2001, he joined OBFS, BIS. His job was to maintain the UIC OBFS Local Area Network. This accorded him the opportunity to meet many OBFS personnel and take care of their business needs. In 2006, he worked with a team to build a stable accessible OBFS web environment used by OBFS, University Administration, University personnel, and vendors. The OBFS website has more than 2,900 visits a day, up from 500 when started.
ALCANTAR ENJOYS interacting with OBFS staff and meeting their business needs, stating, “My job requires me to find business solutions using Information Technology. Currently, I have a dual role of leading a team of Software Developers and Business Analyst, as well as liaison with department directors and staff.”
ALCANTAR FREQUENTLY travels to UIUC and works with colleagues. UIUC happens to be his alma mater, and that gave him the opportunity to connect with his fraternity, Sigma Nu. Since he frequented UIUC for work, he took on the chapter advisor role in 2001. By day, Jeff worked with OBFS staff ensuring network connectivity and finding solutions to business needs. In the evenings, he worked with the fraternity’s local chapter. Out of 176 chapters and advisors, Alcantar was presented the 2005 Sigma Nu chapter Advisor of the Year Award. He served as chapter advisor for seven years.
ALCANTAR BECAME involved with APAC because he believes in what APAC stands for. “Since there isn’t a union for APs, APAC helps APs with tough issues, such as retirement,” he said. “ I want to pay back my part for what APAC has done to help me as an AP.”
HE HAS been involved with APAC for more than a year. Like many APs, he wanted to be more involved but work responsibilities (having to continually travel to UIUC) limited his participation. However, he managed to find ways to contribute and be involved. He participated in the Academic Professionals Mentoring Program (APMP) where his mentor, the UIC College of Medicine’s Jay Mueller, talked to him about participating with APAC. APAC Chair Michael Moss and Alcantar soon connected and he began assisting with the website and blog. “I found this task helps APAC…at my pace,” he noted. He hopes to grow his APAC role as other opportunities and time arise.
WHILE HE is fairly new to APAC, Alcantar said he is proud APAC connects with “University senior management from the President on down, State politicians, APs, the University community, and public.” Moving forward, he would like to see APAC achieve participation from more APs. And, he pointed out, “APAC doesn’t have to be only for APs.” There are issues that affect both APs and Civil Service employees like retirement – something that APAC is concerned with.WHEN ALCANTAR isn’t hard at work, he enjoys many hobbies including travel and vintage cars. His spare time consists of working out, going to church and spending time with friends.