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Information Technology
315 Nichols Engineering
Virginia Military Institute
Lexington, VA 24450

Information Technology Staff

Thomas F. Hopkins, Director

COL_Tom_Hopkins338 Nichols Anne

 Col. Tom Hopkins joined VMI in June 2002 after more than eight years with Collegis, the leading provider of comprehensive business and technology services to higher education.

Tom is a senior information technology management and technical professional with more than 25 years experience in data processing and telephony. He has in-depth knowledge of hardware, operating systems, networks and both voice and data communications. Tom holds a BBA in Business Statistics and an MS in Computer Science from the University of North Texas.

In addition to managing other Collegis university data centers in Florida, Tennessee, and Virginia, he conducted special projects for the New York Institute of Technology, the City Colleges of Chicago, Arizona State University, and other well known institutions.

Prior to the higher education sector, Tom managed private sector data processing facilities in Texas and Europe. His major accomplishments include the development of system and data conversion plans, software implementations, user-training plans, help desk implementation, governance structure development, strategic planning, and successful contract negotiations.

David A. Bauer, Network Administrator

305 Nichols Annex

David joined VMI as Network Technician in 2011 after 3 years serving as Network/Server Administrator at Dabney Lancaster Community College. David is Network + certified with many years troubleshooting Network, Server and desktop issues.

In 2008 he graduated Dabney Lancaster with an A.S degree in Information Technology with Network specialization.

David was born in Jacksonville, FL and moved to Virginia in 2005. 

David currently lives with his son Dace in Buena Vista.

Alan B. Campbell, Systems Analyst

332 Nichols Annex

Al Campbell joined VMI in July 1985 after working 4 years in private industry with Philips Consumer Electronics Corporation, the manufacturer of Magnavox, Sylvania and Philco home entertainment products located in Greeneville, TN and with Del Monte Corporation working in their Frozen and Specialty Foods division in Charlottesville, VA.

Al has worked as an information technology professional for 28 years with experience in the design and analysis of business/administrative systems. Since 1999 his primary function has been that of Student System support person for the DATATEL COLLEAGUE software product and Post View web application.

In February 2009, Al earned certification as the Institutes IT Project Manager through the Virginia Information Technology Agency (VITA).

Prior to his career as an information technology professional Al served 7 years as a member of the United States Air Force and Air National Guard. 

Al lives in Augusta County with his wife Rosie.

Darrell C. Campbell, Unix/Database Administrator

350 Nichols Annex

Darrell Campbell joined VMI in November 1997 after five years in private industry with Des Champs Labs, the leading provider of custom heat recovery HVAC units.

Darrell is a technical professional with more than 12 years experience in design and 16 years computer applications. He is knowledgeable of hardware, operating systems and networks. Darrell holds an AAS in Electronics and an AAS in Mechanical Design.

Prior to the higher education sector, Darrell was a Sales and Design Engineer in the private sector. His major accomplishments include learning and installing the Colleague software, participation in planning and implementation of rebuilding VMI’s administrative network, coordinating ISO implementation.

Darrell lives in Montvale with his wife Elaine and two (twin) sons.

Chad A. Dunbar, Micro Lab Coordinator

310 Nichols Annex

Chad Dunbar began working at VMI in July 2010 as an IT technician. A graduate of ECPI Technical College, he began his career in 1999 with Professional Network Services as a network cable installer. After leaving PNS, he spent two and a half years with Engineering Design Systems, traveling around the state performing desktop support services for clients. Prior to his hiring at VMI, Chad worked at the Orvis distribution center in Roanoke for five years as a helpdesk and desktop support technician.

Chad resides in Buena Vista with his wife and son.

Laurin S. Hanger, Desktop Support Manager

311 Nichols Annex

Laurin joined VMI in 1998 as the Help Desk Coordinator providing the VMI community with computer hardware and software support as well as training workshops for faculty and staff. In 2008, she assumed the responsibility as the administrator of the LMS (Learning Management System). In 2012, Laurin became Desktop Support Manager and provides backup support to the LMS administrator.

Prior to her employment at VMI, Laurin worked with the Augusta County Sheriff’s Office and the Virginia Department of Transportation. She is also a former adjunct faculty member for Dabney S. Lancaster Community College where she taught Information Technology Courses.

Laurin holds a B.S. in Automated Technology Management from James Madison University.

She resides in Augusta County with her husband and son.

Stephen A. Hayden, PC Technician

310 Nichols Annex

Stephen came to VMI as a PC Technician in 2012 after 5 years serving as a manager and head instructor for Lifetime Martial Arts in Tucson, Arizona. Stephen is CompTIA A+ certified.

He graduated from Pima Community College in 2011 with A.A. Degree in Business Administration.

Stephen was born in Holbrook, Arizona and moved to Virginia in 2012.

He currently lives in Lexington with his wife.

Melinda T. Jones, Program Support Technician

337 Nichols Annex

Melinda joined the VMI family in December 1979. She began at VMI as a COE student attending Parry McCluer High School in the morning and working in the VMI Air Force ROTC department in the afternoon. She worked for the Air Force ROTC department from December 1979 – June 1980 and then went to work full-time in the VMI File Room in January 1981. She worked in the VMI File Room until she married in May 1981 and moved out of state. She returned to the area and went to work in the Commandant’s Office in June 1984. She worked in the Commandant’s Office from June 1984 until January 1988 and then moved to the Computer Center, which is currently the Information Technology Department.

Melinda lives with her husband Mike in Buena Vista, VA.

Kris Martin, Assistant Web Administrator

335 Nichols Annex

Kris joined VMI IT in May of 2015, with 15+ years' experience in web development, including ten years as webmaster of Lynchburg College. Kris has degrees in mathematics and business, with extensive coursework in art and music. Her web-related interests include user experience design and cognitive ergonomics. She lives with her children in Amherst County near the Blue Ridge Parkway.


Jeffrey E. Matteson, Network Technician

309 Nichols Annex

Jeff Matteson joined VMI in August of 1998 after nine years with Rockbridge County Schools. The last 3 years as a Computer Technician.

Jeff has over 13 years troubleshooting, repairing, and installing computers. He has received his A+ certification.

Jeff’s major accomplishments include network wiring for the county schools, acquiring new pc computer standard for VMI, and hardware recommendations for Faculty and Staff. On the cadet side, he has established computer recommendations and the cadet computer pamphlet.

In July 2012 Jeff took over as Network Technician.

Jeff lives in Lexington with his wife Corey and their two sons.

Wesley L. Robinson, Network Manager

333 Nichols Annex

Wes came to VMI in 1981 as a support technician in the Physics department. In 1985 he moved to the Electrical Engineering Department as an electronics technician. With the coming of personal computers to VMI the emphasis on electronics and electrical engineering shifted toward computing. Eventually the position evolved to building and maintaining computing labs for the Engineering Division and specializing in installing and maintaining engineering specific software packages.

In August 2000 Wes joined the Information Technology department as Microcomputer Support Manager and became Network Manager in 2008.

Wes holds an a B.S. in Electrical Engineering Technology from Old Dominion University, and an A.A.S. Degree in Electronics Technology from Blue Ridge Community College. Certifications held include Microsoft Certified Professional (MCP) in Window NT Operating Systems, and passage of the fundamentals of engineering exam, which is the first part of the Professional Engineers certification (P.E.)

Wes lives in Rockbridge County with his wife Karen, and their two children Ethan and Tess.

David L. Somers, Web Administrator

335 Nichols Annex

David Somers joined VMI in April 1999 after working for 24 years at the Rabun Gap-Nacoochee School located in the mountains of northeast Georgia. This school was the birthplace of the familiar Foxfire magazine and book series.

While working at Rabun Gap, David primarily taught high school mathematics and computer science. Additionally, he coached soccer and tennis for a number of years. In 1995 David moved out of the classroom and began working fulltime in the information technology field at the school. During that time he supported and helped maintain a campus computer network that encompassed eleven buildings and over 250 computers.

David earned a BA degree in mathematics from Asbury College in 1975 and has worked with computers in one way or another since 1981 when he took a basic programming course.

Since joining VMI David has not only redesigned the VMI website but has developed a wide variety of dynamic database-driven applications including the VMI Events Calendar, the Archive Photos and Rosters, and the SourceFinder.

David lives in Fairfield with his wife Douglass, an emergency veterinarian. They met shortly after David moved to the Lexington area while singing together in the Rockbridge Area Vocal Ensemble (RAVE). Today, David and his wife sing with the Trinity Singers at Trinity Episcopal Church in Staunton. As members of the Trinity Singers they were privileged to tour England during the summer of 2002 and sang in several cathedrals including Winchester and Salisbury.

Phil G. Spalding, Systems Analyst

331 Nichols Annex

Phil joined VMI in May 1983. Prior to 1983 Phil worked two years as a development programmer with Crompton, a textile company in Waynesboro Virginia.

Phil’s primary responsibility is developing and maintaining financial computer applications in the Datatel Colleague system. Phil assists the IT department in training users on computer applications as well as development of Web Page and PC applications. Phil holds a BS in Management Information Systems from James Madison University.

Phil enjoys flying, woodworking, sports, hunting and fishing. He lives in Stuarts Draft with his wife Sharon.

D. Brent Tenney. Windows Server Administrator

Nichols Annex

Brent joined VMI in January 2009 after four years with the Virginia Information Technologies Agency and six years with the US Department of Justice. He serves as the Enterprise Server Administrator supporting messaging and directory services to the Institute.

Prior to starting his information technology career, Brent was an Environmental Enforcement Specialist with the Virginia Department of Environmental Quality. He holds a B.A. in Chemistry from Glenville State College in his native state of West Virginia.