March Staff Feature: Omar Phillips

It is a key priority of your RIT Staff Council to communicate clearly with and on behalf of our constituents, RIT staff and highlight the important work of our staff and how they contribute to the RIT community. To achieve both of these goals, Staff Council is delighted to bring you this series that will highlight a member of the RIT community in a short, but informative interview. We continue our series by introducing you to Omar Phillips, ITS Service Desk Manager.

If you would like to nominate a staff member that you think we should interview, please let us know by filling out this short nomination form or email us at

(SC): Tell us a little about your RIT career. How long have you worked here and in what roles?

(OP): I’ve worked at RIT for about 16 years, all with the ITS Support team. I started at RIT as a Service Desk Analyst. For a few years, I worked in a Communications Specialist role, where I was responsible for the department newsletter and campus communications coming from ITS. I then moved into a management role for the Service Desk. Since 2016, in addition to the Service Desk, I gained management responsibility for Desktop Support, Resnet, and Communications Support (telecommunications) as well.

(SC): What do you enjoy most about your role as ITS Service Desk Manager? What do you enjoy most about working at RIT?

(OP): What I like most about my role is the variety. I get to shift gears from developing support plans for major campus initiatives, to mentoring a student worker, to learning about emerging technologies (sometimes within the same afternoon).  

As for what I enjoy about working at RIT: When I go to a hockey game here, I’m amazed at how many coworkers I see here. Same for Imagine RIT, or the Convocation address, etc. It’s not just about what we do during our “9-to-5,” employees here seem to embrace the RIT community in a way that I’ve not seen in other work environments. 

(SC): What do you want members of the RIT community to know about the role of ITS at RIT?

(OP): I’ll paraphrase my coworker, Greg Gardner, who manages the ITS Network Communications Team: ITS has highly motivated and very competent individuals (many of them RIT Alumni) who work hard every day to give you the best experience possible.  

(SC): Tell us a little about who you are outside of your RIT Experience.

(OP): I live in Henrietta with my wife and two kids. Outside of my day job, I enjoy woodworking during the warmer months, and I do freelance hockey photography work for media outlets or schools during the not-so-warm months.

(SC): What is your favorite RIT event and why?

(OP): The annual Brick City Homecoming hockey game is definitely my favorite! It’s a great environment, with 10,000 loud fans - most wearing orange.  

(SC): What is your most memorable RIT experience?

(OP): Getting to shake former President Clinton’s hand in the GCCIS lobby back in 2005 was easily my most memorable experience here! It’s the only time in my life I’ve been face-to-face with a past President.

Runners-up: President Clinton’s commencement speech in 2007, and my road trip to Detroit for the 2010 Frozen Four.

Thanks for letting us get to know you, Omar! We appreciate your contributions to RIT, including your past service on Staff Council!