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Friday, September 15, 2017

Get To Know LATIS’s Fritz Vandover

Name: Fritz Vandover

Your hometown and the first place you lived after leaving your hometown? I grew up in Webster Groves, Missouri, which is an old suburb on the edge of the city of St. Louis. My parents still live in the house I grew up in, and my siblings and their families are all near them.

The first place I lived after high school was my dorm room at DePauw University in Longden 221.

What is your educational background? B.A. in American History from DePauw University , Masters in American History from Washington University, and a Ph.D. in Higher Education Policy and Administration from University of Minnesota-Twin Cities.

When did you start working at UMN?  July 2017.

What is your current job title and describe what you do? Educational Technologies Consultant. My role is to work with CLA faculty to utilize technology effectively in their teaching.

What brought you to your current job? At the big picture level, I was really drawn to CLA’s initiatives to help students in liberal arts disciplines see the value and many future paths available to them because of, rather than in spite of, their decision to choose a liberal arts course of study.

What is your favorite aspect of your job? The TEL team has a great energy that makes coming into work and tackling the Canvas transition fun. And I am enjoying getting to know faculty in CLA.

What is your favorite accomplishment at the U, so far? Thus far, watching faculty get excited about teaching with Canvas rather than dreading it.

What is your best/more amusing U-related memory? During graduate school, a fellow grad student from Georgia came into the TA office covered in snow and complaining about the cold weather as he walked across campus. We said, “Why don’t you use the tunnels?” His response was, “What??? No one told me there were tunnels!” We all had a good laugh.

What is your favorite place on campus? I love the architecture of Nicholson Hall and Pillsbury Hall, so I like hanging out in that area of the East Bank. 

What was your worst or most unusual job? My worst job was right out of college. I worked at Andersen Consulting in Chicago. I appreciate that it gave me a foundation in computer programming, but it made me realize that I am not suited for a corporate environment.

Pet peeves:
  • People who don’t load a dishwasher effectively.
  • Fry voice.

People may be surprised to know: Fritz is not my real name. My real name is William Frederick Vandover, I have been Fritz since the day I was born. I come from a long line of Fritz’s on my mom’s side (an uncle, great-uncle, great-grandfather). It’s kind of a thing in my family to use a nickname instead of a given first name; my mom’s real first name is Dana, but Cricket (her nickname as a kid) is the name she has gone by forever.

Before I die, I would like to: Take my kids and their kids on some killer trips.

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