After 10 years of serving our country in the United States Air Force (USAF), Joe Grupp now has his feet planted firmly on the ground at UB.
Joe's love for computers began in middle school, so having a career in technology was always the plan. Before coming to UB, Joe served a decade in the USAF, first as Crew Chief on the C-5 Aircraft. He was deployed to Saudi Arabia and Qatar and responsible for repairing aircraft that flew all over the world. From 2005-2009, Joe also served as Information Security Manager for United States Strategic Command in Nebraska, where he performed security assessments and guided creation of a standard client load, which is software and settings loaded on new computers to bring them beyond factory standard. During this time, Joe received the 2005 USSTRATCOM Communication Information Award and 2008 USSTRATCOM Mid-tier Enlisted of the Year Award, as well as a nomination for the 2007 General Horace M. Wade Innovation Award.
Joe finished his military service as Lead Programmer for the 14th Weather Squadron in Asheville, NC from 2009 to 2011, where he was instrumental in the design, development and implementation of a new system that allowed Air Force weather data to be delivered, validated and archived.
A Tonawanda native, Joe returned home to Western New York after the Air Force and worked briefly for Frontier Science. When the job at UB popped up, though, Joe didn’t hesitate.
“It’s great having the opportunity to walk around campus watching students use the software that you work on,” Joe said. "The projects here are always unique and interesting."
Joe has been at UB since October 2011, working in security administration and student records for the HUB Student Center. In security administration, Joe works with the Office of Financial Aid and the Office of the Registrar to ensure the people on staff use the right settings to keep UB's information secure. He also works closely with the registrar office to identify any problems that students have in order to improve the system and introduce new functionality.
Joe describes his team as a small and close-knit group—typically only working with a maximum of five people at any time—that shares the work well. The open and friendly environment has enabled him to grow both professionally and personally.
When asked what the future holds, Joe looks forward to advancing within CIT in a position which he has found very fulfilling.
"The people I work with are extremely receptive," Joe added. "When I bring up a new idea or a different way to do something, I get immediate support. That trust really fosters creativity and innovation."
Outside of work, Joe enjoys sports, hiking and spending time with his family: a wife, Jamie, and children Devin and Adalyn.