Graduate Student Organizational Leadership Integrative Sciences & Arts
Rodger Shmitt started his technology career in the United States Army in 1984 as a Ground Control Approach Radar Repair Technician. Air traffic controllers used the radar system to safely help pilots land when visibility is low or non-existent. At this time, the U.S. military was going through budget cuts and Rodger’s role expanded to include the repair of all air traffic control systems. At the same time Rodger was learning his new role, he achieved the rank of Sergeant and led a team of technicians. The results of his effort resulted in zero down time of the systems he was responsible for, this earned him several accommodations and metals for his efforts.
After leaving the military in 1988, Rodger thought that he could combine his technical knowledge with his love for music and started working in the music industry as a roadie eventually working his way up to Production Manager for a concert venue that hosted shows for some of the biggest names in music. These artists included those from every genre in music and at the same time Rodger also hosted a local radio show. During this time computers were becoming common place so, Rodger got a computer, taught himself how to use it, repair it, and modify it.
After retiring from the music industry in 2000, Rodger landed a job with a large distribution company and helped the company modernize their operations. Rodger transitioned the company to personal computers, initiated the use of email services, reviewed and revised their new enterprise management system (EMS) software, helped perform networking upgrades, and network-based phone systems. In 2013 when the company was struggling to recover from the housing and financial crises, Rodger was laid off.
Because he had no formal higher education, he struggled to find work that would afford him the lifestyle he had grown accustomed to, and not one to let a setback keep him down, Rodger returned to school in 2014 just prior to his 50th birthday. He eventually ended up at Arizona State University where he received a bachelor’s degree in Liberal Studies in 2021 and is currently working on his master’s degree in Organizational Leadership, as well has working for the university in one of their Information Technology departments.
Bachelor of Arts in Liberal Studies from Arizona State University