Life doesn’t always take you in the direction that you expect. Just ask Jerry Buckleaw.
Jerry started out earning his degree in computer programming at Buffalo State College, but he was soon drawn to networking. He found its application of logic and conclusive answers satisfying.
“I liked the logic and clear black-and-white answers," Jerry said. "You end up building things and, if done properly, it works.”
Jerry was working for a local bank, monitoring their ATM network, when he heard of a job opening for a network engineer at UB. Twenty years later, he's UB’s Senior Network Engineer, responsible for the design of UB’s entire Wi-Fi network.
With the UB community relying on the Internet for so much, including keeping our personal information safe, network security is a top priority for Jerry. “We’re all about access and authentication: making sure people that don’t have access don’t get it and that that those who do are secured.” Jerry will have one eye fixed firmly on network security as he helps grow the next generation of Wi-Fi infrastructure for students, faculty and staff.
In his free time, Jerry enjoys a popular activity known as "geocaching." "It’s hide and seek, but high tech,” Jerry explained. “Someone goes out and hides a 'cache,' which is a little canister. They put the GPS coordinates online and your goal is to find it [with your GPS device]. When you find a canister, you sign the log inside it. I dropped one out west and now I’m watching it work its way back east.”
More than any individual accomplishment, Jerry appreciates the variety of roles he has held at UB, and the perspective it has given him on all of those positions. “I started as a network engineer, one of the lower level people, worked my way up to a lead engineer and eventually took on a managerial role. I oversaw all the departmental aspects, then I morphed again from the manager role to a senior architect role. Professionally, I’ve touched on a lot of aspects of the spectrum at UB.”
“On the personal side," Jerry continued, "I’ve worked with a lot of good people, and I've made plenty of friendships and bonds. We’ve all grown together. [NCS engineer] Joe Pautler actually worked under me as a student and I’ve had the chance to see him grow into the role he fills now as a network architect.”