Who are the Purpleshirts?

Staff members of the IT Lab (also known as Purpleshirts) are MSIS candidates in the School of Information at the University of Texas at Austin. They also make up the TA Pool, which currently supports our undergraduate and graduate classes. Staff/Pool members report to the IT Lab coordinator,  Quinn Stewart. The bios and classes taken by the current Purpleshirts are listed below - if you have questions about the courses or course materials, try asking a Purpleshirt who has taken the class before. The table at the bottom of this page can help with this.

IT Lab Coordinator

Quinn Stewart

Quinn Stewart

Instructional Technology Coordinator

Quinn Stewart studied Government and Psychology at the University of Texas toward the end of the previous century, and completed his MLIS here as well. While a TA in the IT Lab, he co-developed the web-based version of "Information in Cyberspace", now the longest running web-based course at UT. His interests include instructional design and online pedagogy, digitization for access and preservation, rich media and video search, telecommunication and IT policy, and the use of technology to enhance learning.

Specializations: Quinn can help you with Canvas, digitization, video and audio editing and web distribution, Capstone projects, mass digitization, obsolete formats, and anything to do with auto mechanics, plumbing, space utilization and planning, electrical, HVAC, carpentry, metal fabrication and welding, silviculture, demolition, and gardening.

Completed courses:

  • INF392L: Introduction to Audio Preservation (Cunningham)
  • Courses from the 1990's

IT Lab Staff/TA Pool- Spring 2018

Alan Garcia

Alan Garcia

December 2019


Alan studied Anthropology and Latin American Studies at the University of Texas at Austin. His interests include using archives for social justice, bi-lingual library instruction, museum studies, and the button accordian.

Completed courses:

  • INF 392K: Digital Archiving and Preservation
  • INF 380C: Information in Social and Cultural Context
  • INF 380E: Perspectives in Information

Andrea Gutiérrez

Andrea Gutierrez Profile Picture

May 2019

Andrea Gutiérrez (May 2019) studied English Literature, Creative and Nonfiction Writing at Mount Holyoke College. Her interests include instructional design, educational content creation, usability, library instruction, diversity and inclusion, and accessibility. Andrea can help you with editing and workshopping papers, video editing (Camtasia), finding sources for research, distance learning, filming and photography.

Completed courses:

  • INF380C: Information in Social and Cultural Context (Acker)
  • INF380E: Perspectives on Information (Wickett)
  • INF382D: Introduction to Information Resources and Services (Roy)

Daniel Kramer

Daniel Kramer Profile Picture

May 2019

Hello, I'm Kramer. Well technically, Daniel Kramer, but most people just call me "Kramer." You can call me either. I was born and raised in Southern California and hold a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Graphic Design from California State University, Long Beach. I've also earned my Single-Subject Teaching Credential in Art. My focus in the iSchool is UX Design but I have experience in Brand Identity, Print Design, Advertising, and Photography. I enjoy traveling (fortunate to have traveled to 12 countries and 20 states), surfing, camping, concert-going, and cheering for my favorite SoCal teams.

Completed courses:

  • INF380C: Information in Social and Cultural Context (Fleischmann)
  • INF382C: Understanding & Serving Users (Dillon)
  • INF397C: Understanding Research (Karadkar)

Megan Pearson

Megan Pearson Profile Picture

May 2019

Megan Pearson (May 2019) studied Psychology and Political Science at Santa Clara University. Her areas of interest include user experience (UX), blockchain, data analysis, information security, and artificial intelligence. She currently TAs Professor Hayden's Intro to Blockchain section and would be happy to help answer any questions anyone (even not in the course) has about the topic.

Completed courses:

  • INF385T: Information Science in the Intelligence Community (Hayden)
  • INF385T: Data Wrangling: Exel, SQL, and Beyond (Howison)
  • INF385C: Human-Computer Interaction (Gwizdka)

Karen Scott

Audrey Sirgo

May 2019

Karen got her bachelor’s degree in Women, Gender, and Sexuality Studies at Portland State University in Oregon. Her interests include libraries and archives, community work, accessibility, and social justice.

Completed courses:

  • INF 380C: Social and Cultural Context,
  • INF 392G: Management of Preservation and Programs
  • INF 382D: Intro to Information Resources and Services


Audrey Sirgo

Audrey Sirgo

May 2019

Audrey Sirgo (May 2019) studied Elementary Education at The University of Texas' College of Education. She has returned to UT to pursue a School Librarian Certificate. Her interests include curriculum instruction and design, school libraries and children's services.

Completed courses:

  • INF397C: Understanding Research (Gwizdka)
  • INF388E: Historical Museums, Context and Practice (Galloway)
  • INF392E: Materials in Libraries, Archives and Musuems (Pavelka)


TA Pool Course Coverage Spring 2018

Listed below are courses taken by members of the current TA Pool, and hours when someone should be able to help with coursework. If you are making a special trip to campus, or need to confirm someone will be available to help with a specific need, we recommend you email us at ta_help@ischool.utexas.edu

Please note that the TA Pool consists of your fellow classmates, who have taken these classes before you. No individual is "the TA for the class", but as a group, we can usually help you with problems.

IT Lab Policies

Access and Acceptable Use

  • IT Lab Access is generally restricted to to members of the iSchool community, including any student enrolled in an iSchool course, absent other arrangment.
  • Persons using the iSchool IT Lab must abide by the University of Texas Acceptable Use Policy.
  • The lab may refuse service to persons who violate the Acceptable Use Policy or who are otherwise disruptive on the premises.

Lab Staff Assistance

The School of Information IT Lab is usually staffed by Teaching Assistants enrolled in the iSchool. Lab staff may

  • Assist with technological problems related to use of lab resources;
  • Offer limited assistance in the use of technology as it pertains to iSchool course assignments;
  • Offer instruction related to the use of technology.

Food and Drink

  • Food and drink are only allowed in certain designated areas in the IT Lab. 
  • Drinks are only allowed in spill-proof or capped containers.
  • NO FOOD OR DRINK IS ALLOWED in the Computer Classroom (UTA 1.210) or the Media Workroom (1.210B) with the exception of bottled water, due to the everyday use of rare materials.
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