György “Hínár” Schrader Polczer has been contributing to research at Carolina for 22 years.
György “Hínár” Schrader Polczer has worked for UNC-Chapel Hill for 22 years as a technology support analyst for the Department of Biology within the UNC College of Arts and Sciences.
What brought you to Carolina?
I’m originally from Hungary and began my career in information technology in Budapest. After moving to the United States and working in other industries, I was looking to return to the field. In 1998, I was living in Michigan and saw an opening at Carolina’s biology department that fit my experience and interest.
I worked at UNC-Chapel Hill as a computer systems administrator for almost a year before moving back to Hungary to spend time with my family. In that position, I provided technical assistance and support for computers, servers, and other research equipment across the department. I returned to North Carolina 18 months later and eventually found my way back to Carolina in 2002 for the same position I held before — this time as a permanent employee.
How has your role here changed over the years?
Although I’ve stayed in the same position during my time in the biology department, my role has gone through multiple iterations. My primary task of taking care of various technical needs for biology faculty and staff has persisted, but I’ve taken on some additional duties.
One of my more prominent responsibilities has been assisting with specialty lab and research equipment that has been in use for decades — like me, I suppose! Some of this technology has been maintained in a functioning state since the turn of the century, while others reflect the newest and most advanced technologies.
Since information technology (IT) affects all facets of university research, security has become more and more important. As the department’s security liaison, I’ve been able to work with many brilliant UNC-Chapel Hill IT professionals to keep research secure and productive. As an extension of this role, I serve as a member of the newly created vulnerability panel committee, reviewing security-related requests from system administrators across the university as part of the System Administration Initiative — a program of the University that provides training to people responsible for IT and vulnerability management services.
What’s kept you at Carolina?
The ever-changing dynamics of the academic atmosphere and technologies has kept me engaged here. But the biggest draw of Carolina has been the people I’ve gotten to work with. I admire many members of this community, especially biology department employees and students. They’ve made the last 20-some years fly by! I could not have stayed in the same position for this long without my amazing work family. Being able to assist and support such extraordinary minds and their cutting-edge research makes me proud of my job every day.
What contribution are you most proud of?
I have always emphasized the word “support” in my role, regardless of which technology area it is needed in. Being able to relate to and be present for my colleagues is just as important to me as solving technical challenges.
An extension of this care presented itself when I started teaching martial arts to students and employees of the broader UNC-Chapel Hill community in the form of the Carolina Monkey Kung Fu Sports Club, which met twice weekly for over 10 years. Unfortunately, all group exercise classes were shut down due to the pandemic, and the group hasn’t met since. In addition to kung fu classes, I organized and taught multiple courses for the Daoist Seminar Series, covering subjects like Daoist philosophy, wellness, Chinese medicine, Qi Gong martial arts, and self-defense.
I loved getting to know more Tar Heels through this group. It meant a lot to mentor and care for these individuals and give back to my Carolina community. I’m also proud that some of my students are now friends and still stay in touch a decade after graduating.
What is a uniquely Carolina experience you’ve had?
I’ve had a very diverse Tar Heel experience! In addition to providing IT services and teaching martial arts and Daoist seminars, I earned both my undergraduate and master’s degrees from the UNC School of Information & Library Science. Having been a student, an employee, a teacher, and a mentor, Carolina has touched my life in many ways.
Rooted is a UNC Research feature that recognizes long-standing members of the UNC-Chapel Hill community who have aided in the advancement of research by staying at Carolina. They are crucial to the UNC Research enterprise, experts in their fields, and loyal Tar Heels. Know someone we should feature? Nominate a researcher.