WSU x 4

Lonny W. Waddle follows his heart, which is why he’s been a staff member at all four WSU campuses during his career at the university. Waddle works as a media technician lead at WSU Spokane Information Technology, but this is not where his story begins.

His wandering WSU career started in 1993, when he was a Pullman time-slip employee at Beasley Coliseum. His first classified staff job was in the WSU Pullman University Publishing department in September 1994; later, he worked in Accounts Payable until May 1996.

However, Waddle’s fiancée at the time — now his wife — was living in Walla Walla, so Waddle transferred to WSU Tri-Cities to be closer to her. He worked at Tri-Cities May 1996-March 1998 in the Food and Environmental Quality Lab (FEQL).

Then, Waddle’s heart led him in another direction — to film school in Portland, Ore. He transferred to the WSU Vancouver campus to work as an office assistant and later a program assistant in Student Services through June 2000. At that time, Waddle’s wife escaped west-side rain and began working at Columbia Lighting in Spokane. He transferred to the WSU Spokane campus, where he worked at Student Services before moving to the IT department.

Extra time as an extra
Today, Waddle helps with classroom, desktop and audiovisual setup and support, in addition to working with classroom technologies through the Washington Higher Education Telecommunications System, or WHETS. He also sets up technologies used during campus events and is the sole support for Apple computers at WSU Spokane.

“I am struggling against Dell automatons to get more Mac computers and our first Mac server on campus,” he said.

On his own time, Waddle dabbles in photography and has his own film production company, Sleeping Fleet Productions. He recently produced a short film that played during the First Night Spokane Film Festival. His goal is to produce his first feature film in the next few years.

Waddle works as an extra to get the feeling of what it’s like to produce high-budget films. He worked as Burt Reynolds’ photo double in the film “End Game,” which was to be out on video in March.

“I’m two inches taller than him (Reynolds) but, other than that, our measurements are the same,” Waddle said.

Waddle’s IT skills have helped him with film projects, he said. He and co-workers have embraced the slogan, “We do what we can with what we have,” because Spokane IT, like most departments, has a limited budget for new technologies.

“At work, we’re used to patching things together,” Waddle said, “which correlates well to low-budget filmmaking.

Home at last?
“The best thing about working at so many campuses is that I’ve taken away what I hope will be at least one or two lifelong friends from every campus,” Waddle said.

Waddle hopes, however, that he and his family can settle down in Spokane.

“If we’re lucky, we’re done looking (for a new home),” Waddle said. “We bought a house right down from a school and a park. I’m Spokane born, and my wife and I met here.” Besides, Waddle jokes, he’s all out of branches to work at.

But there are always the dozens of WSU Extension and other locations throughout the state — or maybe Hollywood — or wherever else Waddle’s heart takes him.

Lonny Waddle may or may not be the only employee who has worked at all four WSU campuses. After contacting WSU Human Resource Services and Institutional Research, WSU Today was told there is no easy way to identify that information about staff members.

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