Mike Stander received a 2018 College of Engineering Staff Excellence Award, recognizing 33 years of exceptional service to the Department of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science as a Hardware and Electronics Technician.
Mike has been the calm presence that gave hope to countless faculty and staff faced with a frozen computer screen or uncooperative printer. He was also the unseen hand behind countless well-functioning instruments and lab stations used in the EECS teaching labs.
As one example of his willingness to go above and beyond, Mike contributed in a unique way to a specific lab focused on the vibration of guitar strings in a course focused on electronic circuits. "Mike designed and assembled the instrument setups, brought his own strings, carefully labeled with musical and technical notations, tuned them all, and lovingly maintained and improved every setup," said Dr. Sasha Ganago, Instructional Laboratories Manager.
Mike has come to the rescue of MAC laptops that were dropped, abused by baggage handlers, and subjected to harmful substances including water, cappuchino, and split pea soup, said Don Winsor, Departmental Computer Organization Coordinator. "In some of these situations, Mike was able to save many weeks of potentially lost work for faculty and senior administrative staff members."
Khalil Najafi, Peter and Evelyn Fuss Chair of Electrical and Computer Engineering, knows the sinking feeling of losing countless hours of work as a computer seemed to blink its last blink. Then Mike enters the room, bringing not only the assurance of a renewed computer, but a calm that brings peace to the entire situation. “Mike Stander has been one of our most outstanding staff in EECS,” said Najafi.
Being a wizard with all manner of electronic devices is only part of what the entire staff of EECS will miss about Mike. The other, says his friend and supervisor Linda Randolph, is his “dependability, reliability and commitment to customer service.”
For 33 years Mike has graced the department with his steady presence, charming demeanor, and seemingly magical skill with electronics.
Shortly after receiving his award, Mike retired from the University. He was honored with a packed retirement party attended by current and former faculty, staff, and members of his family.
In addition to his wonderful demeanor, Mike is well-known for his landscape and nature photography, shown on his website. Samples of his work adorned the reception tables, along with miniature hand-made Canon cameras.