A2U support analyst keeps more than systems safe: Honoring an IT hero

Patriotism. Sacrifice. Service. Leadership. These are just some of the powerful words that come to mind when we think of the men and women who serve our nation in the armed forces. A2U is fortunate enough to have a veteran who doubles as a support analyst on our team and embodies all of these words.

Stephanie Hazelwood, support analyst at A2U

In light of Veterans Day being around the corner, we want to tell you a little more about our IT hero, Stephanie Hazelwood.

Patriotism and Sacrifice

Before her employment with A2U, Stephanie served as a U.S. Army intelligence analyst for eight years, including two, yearlong tours in Iraq. She initially joined the military to help make college more affordable, and then she reenlisted for another four years.

Stephanie recalls, “It had become my family. I had learned so much about life, myself and the world. I didn’t want that to stop.”

Her military experience helped sharpen her logistical approach to situations, and working in a team-based environment and leading soldiers taught her patience and tact in communicating her logic. These are all skills that Stephanie says she applies on the job at A2U when troubleshooting for customers.

Strength and Determination

Foreign soil is not the only place Stephanie has faced adversity. She was diagnosed with a blood disorder in 2008. Though asymptomatic in the beginning, her first pregnancy added stress on her liver, pushing it past the point of recovery.

Her daughter’s life motivated her to live as normally as possible in spite of the pain. She spent two and a half years on the transplant list and finally received a full liver transplant in January 2013.

“I will forever be grateful to the family who cared enough to give me that gift,” says Stephanie.

Thankfully, she is healthy now and says she has learned that happiness is a choice and while you might not be able to control the world around you – you can choose how you react to it.

Service and Leadership

Stephanie is the true definition of a servant-leader: From serving our country to servicing our clients and tending to her family, she is someone who gives so much of herself to helping others.

She says, “My time overseas opened my eyes to the fact that people are this world’s most valuable asset and should be revered above all else.”

Stephanie left the Army after her second, four-year obligation to add to her family, which she has done with two beautiful children.

Looking back at the professional growth rate Stephanie achieved in the military, moving from an E-1 private to an E-6 staff sergeant in just over six years – she says she wants to match that level of success and growth at A2U. According to customers, she’s on the right track.

Andrew Kisak, a clinical solutions architect at Pittsburgh Mercy, is a client of A2U’s who can’t say enough positive things about working directly with Stephanie.

“Her passion for bettering our organization is strong and apparent every day. She works tirelessly to ensure that our help desk processes are as streamlined and efficient as possible. She is the best employee we’ve never had.”

Clients and co-workers alike have pointed to Stephanie’s difficult-to-discourage disposition and ability to find novel solutions to problems.

This Veterans Day, we thank and salute you, Stephanie Hazelwood, for all that you are, all that you’ve done and all that you continue to do to make A2U and this world a better place.