2011 TC Pressroom
Teachers College, Columbia University
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TC At Work: Robert Marcus

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TC At Work: Robert Marcus

TC's CIS Help Desk Manager Robert Marcus spends his spare time with his wife and their son, Benjamin David, who was born in March.

Who He Is
 
Robert Marcus is the Help Desk Manager in TC’s Computer and Information Services Department. When faculty or staff members have issues with their computers, Robert and his team work to fix the problem, either by answering technology-related questions or installing equipment, software or hardware.


Road to TC 
 
Born in Boro Park and raised in Sheepshead Bay, Brooklyn, Robert found his way to Teachers College nine years ago after a brief stint at an Internet startup that failed after two months. In 2000, prior to his involvement with the startup, Robert had begun taking classes at the Columbia University’s Computer and Technology Applications (CTA) program, focusing on the area of Network Administration and Design. While in the program, he began working in tech support at CU’s Athletic Department. Before completing his CTA certificate in 2002, Robert was referred to TC’s Help Desk by colleagues in the program. Robert, who has lived in Morningside Gardens since 2006, notes that, at one point, the entire Help Desk was staffed entirely by people who had been through the CTA program.


Best Part of the Job
 
Robert loves interacting both with Help Desk clients and his own supervisors and colleagues. “It’s really nice to know so many people walking down the hallways,” he says, adding, “Sometimes, I’ll wave hello to someone whose computer I fixed three weeks ago.” When it comes to job satisfaction, Robert also credits his bosses Ena Haines, Director of Information Technology, and Daniel Aracena, Director of Desktop/LAN Services, for being “supportive and creating a nice work environment.” In addition, Robert enjoys hearing about the varied research projects of TC professors. “The work that people do here is so fascinating,” he says.


In His Spare Time
 
These days, Robert’s spare time is spent with his wife and their son, Benjamin David, who was born in March. “I am a proud father,” he says, smiling as he displays pictures of Benjamin’s earliest moments in the hospital. When he is not with his family, Robert bowls with a league in Staten Island that meets once per month. Robert, who once considered becoming a professional bowler, considers the highlight of his career in the sport bowling two 300 games—which translates to twelve strikes per perfect game. 
 
Robert is also a film buff, preferring prison and gangster movies and occasionally comedy “because it’s good to laugh.” His favorite movie is Citizen Kane, for its striking cinematography, as well as the narrative, which spans the main character’s entire life, from childhood to adulthood, chronicling everything that passes in between.


Did You Know?
 
In 2003, Robert graced television screens across the country, when he appeared as a contestant on Wheel of Fortune. His journey to the popular game show began when his mother discovered that the show was going to be taping in New York, at Radio City Music Hall. As part of a contest, she filled out 50 postcards and was subsequently put in the running to be a contestant. When she discovered she had won, however, she realized that the auditions took place on the same day as a family reunion.
 
Per the contest rules, she was able to pass along her invitation to Robert, who decided to trek to the Waldorf Astoria early one Sunday morning, where he joined 500 other would-be game show participants. After a day of test-taking and puzzle-solving, Robert was invited to be on the show. In addition to meeting Pat Sajak and Vanna White, Robert went home with $20,000 in prize winnings. The day would have been perfect if Robert hadn’t lost the bonus puzzle, which was the word ’cab fare.’
 
“I missed it because I’m from Brooklyn,” he says. “We don’t have cabs. We have car services.”
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