University of California, Riverside

Computer Support Group

About CSS

Our History

Apple ComputerThe Computer Support Services group (CSS), began in the early days of the personal computer, around 1986. CSS was formed to help staff set up their new computers, and eventually, connect them to the campus network. The group started with two full-time staff members supporting only the staff on campus.  Eventually the group expanded to five staff members to meet the growing needs of the staff on campus and the ever-changing computer industry.  A "help desk" phone line was established to handle the increasing calls for help, then in the late 1990's a work order ticketing system was installed to log and track calls from campus users. 

Now the group supports both staff and faculty on both Windows and Apple systems, as well as assisting with Windows and Apple servers and handheld devices such as SmartPhones and Tablets. The focus of CSG is to provide the most timely, best possible service to faculty and staff, with the ultimate goal of enhancing UCR's teaching and research missions. By assisting faculty and staff in the use and maintenance of their computer hardware and software, we can invigorate the University's instructional dynamic.

Our Manager

Phyllis BrucePhyllis Franco

Phyllis started with the group in 1994 as a Windows analyst and became manager of the group in 1999.  Before joining CSS, she worked with IBM, Wang Laboratories, and Valley Health Systems in the IT field.  She has over 30 years experience in the computing field and has a BA in Business and MBA in Marketing.

In addition to her CSS managerial duties, Phyllis also manages the Student Computing Services group who are responsible for the technology support for the students and the student computer labs located throughout campus.  In 2014, three Faculty support technicians were added to her team, two are under the CHASS umbrella and one under CNAS.  These three positions support only faculty in these colleges but report to Phyllis.  Other duties are managing the accounts on the campus's O365 system, an Author and Publisher for the R'Space/R'Web systems, working with the HUB and the laptop and cable checkout programs there, managing an iPad checkout program for instruction and assisting departments with Multi-factor Authentication. Phyllis is an avid bicyclist and enjoys traveling all over the world, she also serves on the Board of the UCR Botanical Gardens.

Our Technicians

Ed BirnbaumEd Birnbaum

Ed has been a PC technician for over twenty-five years, and has worked with CSS since 1998. Ed started in the day of 8" floppy disks, tape reels, and mainframe hard drives  that had to be brought in on a hand truck because they were so heavy, and when MS-DOS 2.x was the newest thing in the IBM/PC world. Ed finds that although many things have changed, some haven't. PC's and software applications still need to be serviced and repaired.

Ed primarily supports Windows workstations, Windows servers (at the moment he administers 15 Windows servers simultaneously),  and generally any non-Mac computer.  Ed also works with any printer or just about any peripheral. Ed can answer an easy Mac question "on a good day." He has setup user, group, and departmental backup systems and servers for numerous clients on campus. Ed believes that "just about any computer problem can be fixed given sufficient time."

Claudio EscobedoClaudio Escobedo

Claudio Escobedo joined CSS in September, 2007, having previously worked in the IT departments at the Bally Total Fitness Corporate Office and at Cal Poly Pomona. Claudio graduated with a degree in Business from CSU Long Beach with an emphasis on Management Information Systems.

Claudio has supported Windows computers since Windows 2000, and has also supported Mac OS X for more than six years, so he can handle both PC and Mac questions as well as Windows smartphones. Claudio enjoys meeting new people and is always willing to help.

Bart KatsJacobus "Bart" Kats

Bart has been working with CSS since Fall of 1994, before which he worked at University Extension and the Statewide Air Pollution Research Center on campus. Bart has also worked for the US Forest Service Fire Research Lab and the Ames-Dryden NASA facility at Edwards Air Force Base. Bart graduated with a B.S. in Electrical Engineering from Cal Poly Pomona. Bart has some proficiency in Dutch, Japanese, and Portuguese, and has interests ranging from cars to gardening to gadgets.

Bart works almost exclusively on Macintosh computers and servers, and has done so since 1989; he has supported System 6 through the latest versions of OS X. In the early '90s Bart was responsible for multiple PC labs and Novell servers, but has always preferred the Mac. In addition to Mac OS configuration and troubleshooting, Bart has significant experience with Filemaker database systems.

Phillip RoachPhillip Roach

Phillip has been working with CSS as the CNAS Faculty support technician for the last two years. However, Phill has been working in IT for more than 15 years.  Phillip has a wide array of skill sets, he works on Mac, Windows and Linux operating systems and is also well versed in networking and application and database development

Phillip has a BSc (Hons) in Computing, he came to the U.S. from South Wales in the UK were he worked for many years in London as both a technician and a project manager, and also worked for Cardiff University.  He is a keen supporter of both rugby and soccer.


More Information 

General Campus Information

University of California, Riverside
900 University Ave.
Riverside, CA 92521
Tel: (951) 827-1012

Department Information

Computing & Communications
Computing & Communications Bldg.

Tel: (951) 827-3555
Fax: (951) 827-4541