Profiles in IT: Bill Fluharty—Multimedia mogul

Bill Fluharty
Bill Fluharty at Boot Camp. (Photo by the U.S. Marine Corps.)

Tell us about your role. 

I am a desktop support senior specialist. My main area of focus I would say is the multimedia equipment that is in all of our classrooms as well as our event spaces. However, being that we are a small university and resources are limited; everyone “wears multiple hats.” I also work on Apple and Windows computers as well as printing for the campus. I am also responsible for setting up zoom capable spaces in all of our conference rooms across campus. I also take care of a lot of events that happen at the University of Michigan-Dearborn. Most notably, the Board of Regents meetings each year, and have had several VIPs come to visit the University such as congressmen, mayors, CEOs, etc.

What is something that you’re proud of in your work? 

Every day I come to work and feel a sense of pride just by walking around and seeing everyone on campus doing what they need to do. I know if they cannot do something, I will be able to help them. I can help not only with technology issues, but also with showing people where to go, pointing out classrooms and bathrooms, answering questions they have, helping them adjust as a new student.

What motivates you? 

The thing that motivates me most is when I am helping someone with a particularly frustrating issue, and I am able to fix it for them. Not only do I see the smile on their face, but it also shows them I am someone who can help at any time. The satisfaction that comes from people trusting me will always get me through the day.

What advice would you give to someone getting started in your field? 

I think the most important piece of advice I can give to someone who is just starting out is to not be afraid to mess up. Don’t be afraid to put yourself in a position that you are not comfortable with. It is those exact situations that will test your mettle and you will learn the most from, even if you are not successful. 

Tell us a little bit about your time in the military. How do you think your role impacted your job at the University of Michigan?

I joined the Marine Corps in November 2000. I went to bootcamp for four months of training in Parris Island, South Carolina. I then moved on to all of my other military training schools as I was heading to the Fleet Marine Force. 

While I was on leave, after all my training was complete, I was here in Michigan with my girlfriend (now my beautiful wife of 18 years). September 11th happened and I was stuck in Michigan for an additional 2 weeks. Once I was given the go ahead to fly again, I flew to San Diego and just a few short months later I was off to war. My job in the Marine Corps was coded as 6531 which is Aviation Ordnance. I was stationed in San Diego while I was in the states. I spent the majority of my enlistment in the Middle East. I was in Pakistan, Afghanistan, and Iraq for Operations Enduring Freedom and Operation Iraqi Freedom.

During my time in the Marine Corps, I also worked on computers while doing my main job. I was also able to crosstrain with Explosive Ordnance Disposal.

When I joined the military I really liked three things; soccer, computers and setting things on fire. I knew I wasn’t going to be able to do two of those things at the university, so I went with computers. I have always enjoyed the challenge it presents each day, as it is never the same.    

What do you do for fun? 

I do a couple of things for fun. Growing up I was an avid soccer player. I played for the only club team in my area, then in high school, and somehow I managed to get recruited to play at a big university. That, however, did not work out. So now, I am a USSF as well as a MHSAA Certified Soccer referee and I referee all kinds of games throughout the year. While this is something that I enjoy a lot, I also have three beautiful girls who all enjoy playing soccer, and watching them play is the best thing I could ever ask for. My daughters all play for the Michigan Hawks and we spend most of our time outside of work traveling the country watching them all play the game they love. 

Author: D. Stephanie Dascola, Medical School Office of Research

Stephanie is a communications manager at the Medical School Office of Research. Contact her at