• November 26, 2020

GOOD NEWS: MC grad directs campus technology and network security - Odessa American: Good News

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GOOD NEWS: MC grad directs campus technology and network security

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Posted: Monday, November 9, 2020 3:00 am

MIDLAND Daniel Ortega is proud of his 26-year service in the United States military. He is also proud of his degree in Information Technology (IT) Network Systems Administration from Midland College. Both of these things have led him to his current career as director of Technical Services and Chief Security Information officer at Midland College (MC), a position that he has held since February.

Ortega retired from the U.S. Navy in 2014 as a Senior Chief Petty Officer. As such, he said that his primary responsibilities were equivalent to a human resources director, administering payroll and other administrative functions. Throughout his tenure in the Navy, Ortega served in other functions, and he was stationed in various U.S. states from coast to coast. One of those stations was in southern Illinois, where he also took classes from Southern Illinois University and graduated with a bachelor’s degree in Workforce Education & Development.

“I was always eager to try new opportunities when the Navy needed someone for a particular assignment,” Ortega said. “That’s probably why I was stationed in places that people usually don’t associate with the Navy, like southern Illinois and even Amarillo, Texas, where I served as a Navy recruiter. Of course, being in Amarillo felt like home to me. I grew up in West Texas and Eastern New Mexico. My father was a roustabout in the oil industry.”

Ortega graduated from Lovington High School in Lovington, N.M. in 1988 and immediately enlisted in the Navy. In 1989, he married Delma, whom he had known since he was 12. The couple are still married after 31 years and have four grown children, two sons and two daughters, and two granddaughters.

After retiring from the Navy in 2014, Delma and Daniel Ortega returned to the Permian Basin and settled in Midland. Delma started working for MC in the Veterans Assistance Office, and Daniel went to work for a pipeline company.

In 2016, while he was taking courses at Midland College, he was hired as a work study in the computer programming department. In fall of 2017 Ortega graduated from MC with an Associate of Applied Science degree in Network Systems Administration. In February of 2018 he made the transition from work study to full-time as Information Technology Coordinator. In 2019, Ortega earned a master’s degree from Sul Ross State University.

In early 2020, just like when he was in the Navy, Ortega seized the opportunity to try something new. When MC Vice President of Information Technology Shawn Shreves was looking for a director of the newly formed Technical Services department, Ortega asked for the opportunity to lead the department, and Shreves promoted him to the director position.

Since that time, Ortega has led his 10-person team to be one of the most respected and efficient departments on campus. Ortega oversees all college information technology hardware and software, maintains the budget for computer replacements, administers network security and ensures that the college has the tools necessary for safeguarding student and employee information. He supervises seven computer technicians, as well as the college’s network administrator and the network manager.

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