Commencement 2015

For the first time in many years, Colorado College had to move Commencement to the World Arena because of the soggy weather.  Our ITS: Frontline Services and Innovative Technology folks (Dave McCann, Don Herbst, Mike Smargie, Evan Cole, Dan Wiencek, Zachary Snyder, Randy Babb, and Sean Roberts) jumped right in and made the move appear seamless and well-planned.  Great job and thank you to all who made Commencement 2015 a great success!  Here’s a view of commencement that few see (thank you Randy for sending the picture to Dave Armstrong who shared it with me!):

Commencement view from the sound board.

Commencement view from the sound board.

Now it is on to our summer project list to prepare for the 2015-2016 school year!

ITS:Always fun, never boring
Respectfully submitted,
Linda Petro

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Interview with: Katharina Groves, Server Applications Specialist

My latest interviewee was Katharina Groves:

Katharina and her husband, Craig

Katharina and her husband, Craig

 

1) What brought you to CC?

I moved back to Colorado Springs a few months before the CC website started it’s makeover.  Because I grew up in the Colorado College community and because I had web experience, it was an offer I couldn’t refuse.

2) How long have you worked here?

4 years.

3) Give a brief description of what it is you do here.

I help with applications that are utilized by multiple people from various offices, departments, or campus-wide (as opposed to desktop applications used by one person at a time).  These applications are usually hosted on a server here on campus or off campus in a datacenter owned by the companies that develop them.

4) What’s your ITS: word (or words) and why?

My ITS: word is “accessible”.  The information technology industry can seem pretty nebulous to many people and they hesitate to work with IT professionals or take advantage of technology.  I believe ITS: should be an “accessible” team that people are comfortable approaching for assistance.  Part of that is being visible and making it easier to understand what it is we do and how we can help.  My goal is to help people understand technology and use it to their benefit, so transparency and approachability are important to me.

5) Who’s your hero and why?

My dad has always been my hero; I’ve learned so much from him.  One concept he always demonstrates to me is the importance of integrity.  Activities and relationships, when undertaken with integrity, will benefit from dedication, selflessness, and honesty.  Living with integrity is working hard every day, being true to yourself and your beliefs, and going to bed with a clear conscience.  No one does it perfectly, but it’s something to strive for.

6) What sound or noise do you love?

I love wind in the trees.  Unfortunately, I live on the east edge of Colorado Springs, also known as Kansas, so we don’t have many trees.

7) What sound or noise do you hate?

I hate what I consider to be obnoxious white noise, like the sounds refrigerators make or a computer that sounds like it’s taxiing for take off.

8) Name one or two of your hobbies.

I love reading, building things with Nanoblocks, and spending time with my family.

9) When others describe you, what do they say?

I’m not very good at deciphering what others are thinking or feeling if they don’t just flat out tell me, so I’m not entirely sure.  Which leads me to the answer of the next question…

10)   If you could have a super-power, what would it be?

I’d have the ability to read minds, but only when I choose to.  Sometimes I can’t think of anything that would be more useful and other times I’m pretty sure I don’t want to know what people are thinking.

11) How would you use that super-power in ITS:?

There are times when I am trying to help someone and I honestly misunderstand what they want.  Good communication is difficult enough in any situation, but communicating about technology from two different points of view can be even more difficult.

Thanks, Katharina, for being a willing participate in the interview and a terrific colleague!

ITS:Always fun, never boring
Respectfully submitted,
Linda Petro

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A long time ago, in a galaxy far, far away…

…well…actually…just yesterday across campus, ITS: got together to celebrate a very important holiday…May the 4th, otherwise known as Star Wars Day (May the 4th be with you!)!  We had Star Wars-themed food, a raffle for the Millennium Falcon (congratulations, Randy!), and our very own Jedi Knight (great costume, Jim Schulz!).

Wookie Pops (who doesn't need a Wookie Pop?!)

Wookie Pops (who doesn’t need a Wookie Pop?!)

Princess Leia Rolls (while the spelling wasn't quite right, the spirit sure was!)

Princess Leia Rolls (while the spelling wasn’t quite right, the spirit sure was!)

 

Obi Wan Kabobies - health food with a little wisdom attached!

Obi Wan Kabobies – health food with a little wisdom attached!

 

Vaderaide and Yoda Soda...for the bad and good in all of us!

Vaderaide and Yoda Soda…for the bad and good in all of us!

 

ITS:'s very own Jedi Knight, Jim Schulz!  He takes participation in an event to a whole new level!  Thanks, Jim, for your enthusiasm!

ITS:’s very own Jedi Knight, Jim Schulz! He takes participation in an event to a whole new level! Thanks, Jim, for your enthusiasm!

For those who prefer a more subtle approach to celebration, Rossie models the latest in Storm Trooper apparel.

For those who prefer a more subtle approach to celebration, Rossie models the latest in Storm Trooper apparel.

It was a fun, “far out” celebration giving all who attended just a little break from reality.  Thanks to everyone who attended…you all made the event a great success!

May the 4th be with you…always!!

ITS:Always fun, never boring
Respectfully submitted,
Linda Petro

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April 22, 2015, ITS:Division Meeting

The ITS:Division met on Wednesday, April 22, and discussed the following (please let me know if you have any corrections):

Patrick Bultema, Executive Director of the Innovation Institute, along with Jill Lange (the institute’s program manager), provided an overview of the institute’s mission and vision, as well as shared information about the programs that are a part of it (The Big Idea, Public Interest Fellowship Program, Ashoka, IDEA Space, Keller Family Venture Grant Program, and State of the Rockies).

Individual kudos were shared.

Linda introduced Angie Duff, the division’s new information security officer.  Linda also stated that the database and system administrator search committee would be bringing in another candidate for an on-campus interview.  Matt noted that Beth Scaffidi, the new GIS administrator, would start on May 1, and Danna Duncan, the new instructional technologist, would start on June 1.

Brian shared the following with regard to the evaluation process:

1) It is extremely tough to be ranked in the top category (met goals and expectations in all areas of performance and made significant additional contributions to the college).
2) The second highest rank (met goals and expectations in all areas of performance) is also tough.
3) The expectation is that for the entire campus only 10 to 15 percent of employees will fall into the top two categories.
4) It is important that as we fill in our evaluations and have discussions with our supervisors, we need to really reflect on what these categories mean.
5) The college has not yet determined what percent salary increases go with each ranking.
6) Feedback is provided because we care.

Brian updated the division about the ITS: budget, stating that we will receive an additional $917,000 in ongoing operating budget money beginning in 2015-2016 (this additional money does not impact what we will receive for the network upgrade).  He added that ITS: and the college’s strategic goals received 78 percent of the additional budget allocation for 2015-2016.  Brian remarked that all eyes will be on us because of this increase in funds.  He continues to work on budget issues, including the life cycle replacement funds, moving forward.  He also reminded the group that we will always do the right thing to support the educational mission.

David Ziemba provided a brief update on the network upgrade and announced that he and others are currently working on getting Clear Pass installed.  Please talk to Dan Raney if you have any weird devices that will access the network.

ITS:Always fun, never boring
Respectfully submitted,
Linda Petro

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The ITS: iPad cart in action!

Roving reporter Jennifer Golightly had the following to share about the recent use of one of the ITS: iPad carts in the classroom (used last week):

After the Apple Play Date for faculty hosted by ITS:, Rebecca Tucker in Art History contacted Jennifer Golightly to ask about using iPads, Apple TV, and Airplay in her Block 8 Art History course.  While Jennifer worked to set up the iPads with the apps that Rebecca wanted, Randy Babb and Sean Roberts installed an Apple TV device in Rebecca’s classroom for the block, and David Ziemba installed a network access point in the classroom to ensure a strong network signal for the devices.  The class used the iPads to find various supplemental texts during the course of the lecture, but the students seemed most excited about their ability to use the iPads and the Airplay feature to search for images of Baroque sculptures from various angles and project them on the wall for discussion.

Here are some photos of the iPads in action as Rebecca Tucker teaches her course:

The iPads in action in Rebecca Tucker's class.

Adjusted pic Rebecca Tucker's class 2 - 4-15

Adjusted pic Rebecca Tucker's class 3 - 4-15

It sounds like the iPad cart, along with the Apple TV and Airplay, were a great success!  In case you didn’t know, ITS: (specifically the Innovative Technology Team) has two of these iPad carts for use in the classroom or elsewhere on campus.  If you hear of someone who is interested in checking one out, please have that person contact Matt Gottfried (or anyone in Innovative Technology) to find out how to do so.  Once our new Instructional Technologist, Danna Duncan, starts, she will be the contact person for them.

Great job to everyone who was involved with this success!  Also, thank you, Jennifer, for the story and pictures!

ITS:Always fun, never boring
Respectfully submitted,
Linda Petro

 

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More from the Ellucian Conference

Jim Schulz shared a few more pictures from the Ellucian conference:

Baby T WAS awake for the conference!  It is nice to see that he didn't let his fun interfere with attending the conference.

Baby T WAS awake for the conference! It is nice to see that he didn’t let his fun interfere with his attendance at the conference.

A panorama shot of the dining hall at the Ellucian conference.  8,000 people were served for each meal, with service happening very quickly.  Amazing!

A panorama shot of the dining hall at the Ellucian conference. 8,000 people were served for each meal, with service happening very quickly. Amazing! (Pam Butler from HR and Liz Scherkenbach can be seen in the lower left corner.)

 

The Ellucian Live crew from left to right: Jim Schulz, Matt Cherry (HR), Carolyn Dickerson (Advancement), Lori Cowan (Finance), Liz Scherkenbach, Pam Butler (HR), Enid Ruiz-Mattei (Finance), Molly Bodnar (Advancement; in front of Enid), and Vish Paradkar.  Great group of people!

The Ellucian Live crew from left to right: Jim Schulz, Matt Cherry (HR), Carolyn Dickerson (Advancement), Lori Cowan (Finance), Liz Scherkenbach, Pam Butler (HR), Enid Ruiz-Mattei (Finance), Molly Bodnar (Advancement; in front of Enid), and Vish Paradkar. What a great group of people!

Thanks for the photos, Jim!

ITS:Always fun, never boring
Respectfully submitted,
Linda Petro

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Baby T takes over New Orleans

Vish, Liz, and Jim S. traveled to New Orleans last week to participate in the Ellucian conference, and Jim S. got some great pictures of Baby T enjoying himself on the trip (does Mama T know about this?!):

Overlooking Bourbon Street.

Overlooking Bourbon Street.

Eye of the tiger indeed...Baby T has his eye on the alligator.  Thankfully the alligator can't make a meal of Baby T!

Eye of the tiger indeed!  Thankfully the alligator can’t make a meal of Baby T!

 

"I wonder of Mama T would like this dress?"

“I miss Mama T!”

"Wow...I can see ALL of your cavities from here!"

“Wow…I can see ALL of your cavities from here!”

Looks like Baby T really got around on this trip…I wonder if he slept through all of the Banner information sessions so he could stay up late having fun?!

Thanks Jim S. for the pictures!

ITS:Always fun, never boring
Respectfully submitted,
Linda Petro

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Taking New Orleans by storm (with a little help from the minions)

Roving reporter Vish Paradkar had this to say about the Ellucian conference in New Orleans::

“It’s hot, it’s humid, it’s raining, but I love this city!  I’m really enjoying (and benefiting) from this Ellucian conference.”

It’s obvious he and Liz are enjoying themselves; perhaps they will bring home minions to help with all of the Banner work that needs to be done!

Liz and Vish taking time to enjoy New Orleans after the conference sessions were over.

Liz and Vish taking time to enjoy New Orleans after the conference sessions were over.

Thank you, Vish, for the report and for the photo!

ITS:Always fun, never boring
Respectfully submitted,
Linda Petro

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What’s the Big Idea?

The Big Idea student innovation and entrepreneurship pitch competition was held yesterday in the Celeste Theater of the Cornerstone Arts Center.  While I didn’t get to see the entire competition, the two student group presentations I did see were quite impressive.  All of the pitches featured a strong component of technology whether it revolved around app development, a mobile phone charger, or social media (and much, much more!).  Check out the winners of this year’s competition here.  You can find out more about the competition itself here.

So why does this matter to us in ITS:?  Because this is where you get to see the students at work and the ideas the students are coming up with for the future.  It also underlines how important our learning network is to supporting their idea generation and follow-through (and of course…much, much more!).  If you didn’t go see this year’s competition, I highly recommend you go next year.  You’ll be inspired by the great thinking and entrepreneurial spirit of our students.

Patrick Bultema, executive director of the Innovation Institute, explains what The Big Idea is to the crowd, as the panel of judges looks on.

Patrick Bultema, executive director of the Innovation Institute, explains what The Big Idea is to the crowd, as the panel of judges looks on.

I’m pleased to announce that Patrick Bultema will be speaking at our next division meeting (meeting request will be sent soon), so you’ll have an opportunity to ask him more about The Big Idea, as well as the other programs and events the Innovation Institute supports.

Thanks, Jim Schulz, for the photo!

ITS:Always fun, never boring
Respectfully submitted,
Linda Petro

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April Fool’s fun

Someone got a little creative with Jeff Black’s workstation for April Fool’s Day last week…

The workstation formerly known as Jeff's desk

The workstation formerly known as Jeff’s desk

I don’t believe Jeff appreciated the efforts of the artist too much.  :-)  I hope it wasn’t too hard to put back together properly, Jeff!

Thanks for the photo, Chad!

ITS:Always fun, never boring
Respectfully submitted,
Linda Petro

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