By Debbie Justice, Director of IT Planning, Office of the CIO
This year, a former faculty member returned to WCU on sabbatical, new folks joined the division and a number of current staff moved to new positions.
Elon professor spends sabbatical with IT
Dr. Lynn R. Heinrichs (right), associate professor of computing sciences and business at Elon University, spent her fall 2009 sabbatical collaborating with WCU’s information technology staff on ways to leverage the functionality of Microsoft Office SharePoint Server (MOSS). SharePoint was recently identified as one of the six hottest IT skills by ComputerWorld (December 29, 2009) and is quickly gaining popularity as a portal technology and development platform.
Lynn worked with the Registrar’s Office to explore the use of SharePoint for streamlining how declaration or change of program forms are processed. The declaration or change of program form is initiated by an adviser, approved by the relevant department head, and forwarded to the Registrar’s Office for execution. Currently, the process is completed manually using paper forms. Lynn developed a proof-of-concept for the SharePoint environment using Microsoft InfoPath to collect form data and SharePoint Designer to control workflow. The proposed solution can be used by either PC or Mac users.
Lynn is a former WCU College of Business associate dean and faculty member in the area of computer information systems (1989-2003). She teaches a course on collaborative technologies and studies diffusion of innovations at Elon. The work she completed at WCU will benefit both her teaching and scholarship. Most of all, she enjoyed reconnecting with her friends and colleagues at WCU.
In September 2009, Micah Tomblin (right) and Laura DiNunzio joined the Instructional Technologies Team in our instructional and student computing department.
Micah and Laura are filling in for Traci Settlemyre who is on loan to the PAW Print implementation team.
Learning Management Team welcomes new staff
New staff members have joined the Coulter Faculty Center’s Learning Management Team (LMT). In November, Donna Koger (right) and Jason Ottie (far right) were hired as instructional technology consultants.
Donna brings to us some excellent experience from her time at the University of New Orleans while Jason comes to us with experience from the University of North Florida.
In December, the LMT was joined by the new Learning Management System (LMS) Manager Susan Knight (near right). Susan comes to us from South Carolina where she was a professor at Horry-Georgetown Technical College. She will make good use of her experience with teaching, online learning and instructional technologies as she guides the LMT through WCU’s migration to the new Blackboard 9 LMS.
Zaneta Summers (far right) joined us in January as the Class TIPS manager in our instructional and student computing department. Previously, Zaneta was director of institutional research and planning at Mitchell Community College and worked closely with their SACS review and QEP development. This, along with her background in instructional technology and Web-based distance learning, will help Zaneta deliver support to WCU students in the development and use of their QEP eBriefcase and any other technologies they need to use.
OLD FACES IN NEW PLACES
Jason LaVigne (right) accepted the position of Microsoft SQL Server DBA (Database Administrator), a new position in the systems and operations department. He will be responsible for the maintenance and support of our SQL Server environment and will work closely with other IT staff and non-IT department liaisons with applications that use SQL Server. Before his move to his new job, Jason was the manager of our Student Computing Team for several years. Some of the server-based enterprise applications that he managed in that role, including Microsoft SCCM (System Center Configuration Manager) and Symantec Endpoint Security, have moved along with him.
In February, Anne Vail, our director of IT client services department, left WCU and the IT leadership decided to reorganize the department into two new departments: campus computing, led by Akum Jamir, and instructional and student computing, led by William Frady.
In their new roles, Akum (near right) and William (far right) will oversee a combination of services they handled in the past plus others. Akum’s campus computing group will include desktop services, hardware services, and the Help Desk. William’s instructional and student computing group will include instructional technologies (formerly technology management), asset management, Class TIPS and student computing.
Richie Ritter has moved from the campus computing department to the systems and operations department. He is our Cherwell administrator (Cherwell is the program used to manage our service requests), but also manages other server-based enterprise services, including print server administration. These services have moved with him to his new department where he’ll also help support other systems services including Microsoft SCCM and Apple Remote Desktop.
IT STAFF ACTIVITIES
Anna McFadden (near right), Robert Crow (middle right) and John LeBaron (far right) of the Coulter Faculty Center published an article in the March 2010 edition of the Journal of Online Learning and Teaching. Entitled “Switching Gears: Moving from e-Learning to m-Learning,” the article explores what institutions are doing to transition to delivery of e-courses to students’ mobile devices. The experiences of three instructors were examined and revealed not only the need for changes in technical and pedagogical support, but also the underlying cultural change that must take place to move towards a more interactive and student-centered approach. The article was co-authored by Christine F. Osborne of WCU’s Department of History and Ieda M. Santos of the Emirates College for Advanced Education in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates.
Scott Koger (right), security analyst in IT’s networking and communications department, made the cover of the January 2010 Information System Security Association (ISSA) Journal with the publication of his article “Information Security Breach Disclosure – Determining When, How Much, and to Whom.”
Scott presented his research at a joint meeting of the ISSA and Information System Audit and Control Association (ISACA) Chapter meeting in San Antonio, Texas on February 16.
On March 5, 2010 Scott presented another paper entitled “Personal Mobile Computing Devices – The New Perimeter” at the Association of Business Information Systems Southwest Chapter meeting as part of the Federation of Business Disciplines conference in Dallas, Texas.
William Frady (right), manager of instructional and student computing, was chosen to participate in the Technical Advisory Committee for Extron Electronics. He attended a meeting of the committee on March 15-17 held at Extron Electronics corporate offices in Anaheim, CA. This meeting provided a roundtable forum with Extron’s Product Development Engineers across various product lines and presentation technologies specific to the higher education market.
William and other representatives for universities across the country shared their experiences and feedback on the use of Extron products and what is required to support students and faculty. Extron will use this information to shape the direction of their future products and key features of those products. William and the other advisory committee members gained key insights into the future of classroom technology from a video, audio and control perspective. Extron switching equipment is used extensively in WCU computer-equipped classrooms across campus and the campus emergency alert system.
Chris Baxley (right), WCU’s Learning Management System (LMS) administrator, will give two presentations at the Blackboard World Developers Conference in Orlando, Florida in July.
Baxley’s first presentation, “Beyond Bells and Whistles: Migration Considerations,” will focus on identifying business needs and creating business processes to automate those needs inside and outside the Blackboard environment. Baxley’s co-presenter is Emily Richardson of the University of North Carolina Wilmington.
Stephen Vickers of the University of Edinburgh will join Baxley for the second presentation “Managing the transition from WebCT to Learn 9.” Baxley and Vickers will discuss the Blackboard plug-in that they are co-developing, which displays WebCT (WebCat) courses alongside Blackboard courses inside the Blackboard environment.
IT staff serve on Staff Senate
Following the recent Staff Senate elections, several IT staff members are representing their technical and professional staff constituencies. Congratulations to the following staff members:
- William Frady, Instructional and Student Computing (2010-2012 term)
- Jason Lavigne, Systems and Operations (2009-2011 term)
- Laura Simons, Applications and Data Management (2009-2011 term)
- Scott Swartzentruber, Networking and Communications (2009-2011 term)
- Jeff Tatham, Applications and Data Management (2009-2011 term)
Division lends helping hands to families in need
The IT division responded to campus and community requests to help local families during the 2009 holiday season. Working with the Jackson County Department of Social Services, IT staff collected gifts that went to 12 disadvantaged children from five Jackson County families. A total of 143 gifts were donated or purchased, wrapped, and delivered in time for Christmas. The division also collected food items that were donated to local community service organizations that help feed families in need. Everyone doing a little together added up to more than could be measured.