Staff Spotlight: Orienta Huger (by Margaret Austin Smith)

ohugerWhen two Carolina fans get together, talk of football rarely results in positive imagery. Unless, that is, they come from the place the present author learned as a child to think of as “the Other Carolina.” And indeed that’s where Orienta Huger hails from. She’s a South Carolina Gamecock: she knows and appreciates good football. But Orienta is clearly much more generous about her Carolinas than I. She loves basketball, too. And she knows which Carolina the sun shines on there.

Orienta grew up in Cross, South Carolina, a town in Berkeley County – approximately seven hours down I-95 on a “good” traffic day followed by a few extra miles east. Orienta’s appreciation of football excellence stems in part from plenty of exposure to SEC play. In fact, if she had to name one drawback to living in the DC area, it would not be the traffic on 95 or 495 or anywhere else around the Beltway: it would be the lack of SEC coverage on TV. One of the best things, however, about being up here is that if ever she has a little free time, there is a chance that there might be an exciting team in town. (Alas the Wizards and the Redskins don’t often meet this excitement criterion, but their visitors sometimes do – especially if those visitors happen to be the Heat or the Jaguars. Alas again, the poor old Carolina Panthers don’t tend to count as exciting either, and might well have built up better football karma if they’d located themselves on the other side of the Carolina border.)

Orienta arrived in College Park in May 2011 after five years in Nashville, Tennessee doing IT work quite similar to the work she does here for a smaller university. While the issues she deals with in the Sociology department are not so different from the issues she encountered in prior work, she does note that she sees fewer problems here with viruses here than she did there. The users here, she says, are good about staying away from virus-carrying sites.

Orienta enjoys her work, particularly because she gets to help people solve the computer concerns that they have so that they can better enjoy their work. Thus she’s a generous a colleague as she is a Carolina fan. And that means the rest of us are pretty darn lucky.

Margaret is a 4th year PhD student.

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