Man working on a computer

Jamie Warren joins Blue Ridge’s IT staff

Blue Ridge Community College adds a new staff member with Jamie Warren joining the Transylvania County Campus team as IT (Information Technology) Specialist in March 2021. Warren assists students, faculty, and staff with technology.

Community members may picture Warren on a music stage holding a trombone; the new IT specialist is also a professional musician and music instructor.

Warren is a local, born and raised in Brevard. He graduated from Rosman High, then attended Brevard College, where Warren earned a Bachelor of Arts degree with an emphasis in Jazz Studies and Trombone.

Warren lived in Knoxville, TN, earning a Master’s Degree in Music from The University of Tennessee and a K-12 teaching license for Instrumental Music. Warren embraced many musical opportunities while living in Knoxville.

“The music scene in East Tennessee was vibrant and competitive, and I wanted to dive in and be a part of it from day one. I was exposed to a lot of different bands and types of music that really opened up the world to me, both culturally and professionally. I was playing Klezmer, Polka, Jazz, Classical, Reggae, Rock, Gospel gigs almost daily, was recorded as a sideman on 10 different albums, and have had the honor of sharing the stage with some truly phenomenal players,” recalls Warren.

Since 2009, Warren has been back in Brevard, putting down roots, and raising his own family. Warren is married to Joy Poe and has two kids: Bonnie, almost 5, and Louis, almost 7.

Louis gets his name from one of Warren’s inspirations: Louis Armstrong. “Without Louis Armstrong and his contributions to the art form, jazz would not be the music that we know today,” states Warren, who is particularly fond of the “new wave” of music straight out of New Orleans, with Trombone Shorty as one of his favorite musicians.

Warren has an interest in technology and computer systems administration, and with a lot of self study, has leveraged this interest into a career in Higher Education. Warren brings 10 years of IT experience from Haywood County Schools and Brevard College, where he also taught Music as an instructor, experience which allows him to see both perspectives of the teaching and learning experience in a quickly evolving technological landscape.

Warren explains the connections between making music and keeping IT systems operating, “Learning how to navigate and troubleshoot computer systems and maintain hardware takes practice and consistency to be proficient, just like learning to play an instrument. You have to remember to keep the fundamentals in order and that every problem can, and should be, approached methodically.”

Music and technology both use hardware and software. “Whereas a piano and a network switch can be considered ‘hardware,’ they are of no practical use without a language to make them ‘speak.’ This is where computer code or sheet music become the ‘software’ to make everything work.” states Warren.

Warren has spent time as musicians say, “in the woodshed,” practicing pieces of music over and over. This same diligent self-study helps Warren stay up to date on technology and security.

The human component of technology is not going anywhere, says Warren, who quotes Joe MacMillan from the AMC drama Halt and Catch Fire, “Computers aren’t the thing. They’re the thing that gets us to the thing.”

Blue Ridge students are immersed in technology upon entering college and need support. “College students have moved well beyond word processing and USB drives. Students are expected to quickly learn and function in a work environment that is driven by cloud computing, automation, proprietary software, increasing cybersecurity risks, telecommunications, among many other components of technology,” states Warren.

Warren strongly values higher education: “Having worked in both private and public education sectors as faculty and support staff, helping students learn new skills and gain interest in their chosen field is my motivation and it is why I do what I do.”

Warren believes, “High School is just a primer. True happiness is gained through lifelong learning. That is my philosophy.”

Glenda McCarson, Associate Vice President at Blue Ridge states: “We are thrilled to have Jamie join our team. He brings a local perspective and a love of Transylvania County to the College. Jamie will provide excellent support services to our faculty, staff, and students. We look forward to Fall semester and seeing students pursue their educational goals.”

Blue Ridge Community College is registering students for Summer and Fall courses. Visit www.blueridge.edu or call 883-2520 for more information.