Andrew Thornton, Information Technology, IT Specialist V for the College of Forestry, Wildlife and Environment, or CFWE, was awarded departmentally as the Auburn University Employee of the Year with the Spirit of Excellence award.
Nominated by his manager, James Fukai, Thornton is described as having a strong work ethic and positive attitude.
“Andrew is an integral part of the college’s staff team and has elevated our IT technical and IT cybersecurity status,” said Fukai.
Thornton is well-known for surpassing his job responsibilities. He stays up to date on the latest technological advancements and thoughtfully weighs the benefits of their implementation to the college’s IT unit.
During the pandemic, Thornton tested three different virtual computing lab environments and successfully implemented the most effective and cost-efficient solution. The Azure Virtual Computing Lab environment serves as a computing lab for the college’s students and teachers.
Additionally, Thornton, using his own resources, passed the Microsoft Azure Fundamentals exam, expanding his knowledgebase as an IT professional on campus.
Thornton shared his experiences and knowledge with other units on campus, including the Office of Information Technology, or OIT. Through Thornton’s collaborations with OIT, he was able to test, debug and help find the best practices for new technologies on an institutional level.
“Andrew treats no request any differently than with professionalism, calmness and persistence,” said Fukai. “As his supervisor, I cannot be more grateful for his dedication and extra efforts, he makes it look effortless.”
“Andrew’s dedication to the IT department, as well as his hard work have been an asset to the college,” said Janaki Alavalapati, the college’s dean. “He has a genuine passion to help others and he demonstrates that through his work in the unit.”
Thornton was recognized by the university at the Spirit of Excellence awards program in April.
(Written by Gracen Carter)