- The Office of On Your Time (OYT) Initiatives, which supports a variety of courses and programs that help students get ahead, catch up or stay on track for degree completion, honored Susan Quinn, assistant director of eLearning Services, as the first recipient of the Standing Ovation Award. The award recognizes campus partners who exhibit exemplary service and dedication to working with OYT students. Her nominator said, "Susan Quinn went above and beyond to help as the on-call staff for DoIT/Blackboard issues during Winter Session, most of which took place during the university's break. Several OYT staff commented on her willingness to help and her quick response time."
- Jeff Hostilo, executive director of teaching and learning technologies, participated in a Leading End User Roundtable Panel at the InfoComm 2022 conference. He represented higher education and how USC continues to meet desired academic outcomes through adapting to changes in the professional AV technology industry. The session description read, "The AV industry is rapidly evolving, with new trends and best practices in AV control, cloud management, hybrid collaboration, real-time analytics, XR technologies, digital signage, and more.” The session featured, “an amazing group of best-in-class technology partners, consultants, integrators, end users, and influencers."
- Lora White, information resource consultant, completed 4 Fortinet Professional courses for National Security Professionals. The Network Security Professional designation recognizes a person’s ability to install and manage the day-to-day configuration, monitoring, and operation of a FortiGate device to support specific corporate network security policies.
- May Lindler, manager of enterprise data networks, graduated Magna Cum Laude in May 2022 with a Bachelor of Science in Information Technology.
- Laurel Eddins, strategic services director, was elected chair-elect of the IT Community at the university. This leadership role brings together IT professionals from across the system for collaboration and accomplishment of shared goals.
- Research Scientist Jun Zhou received two grants. The first, valued at more than $349,000, was funded by National Endowment for the Humanities for "Virtual bench: a hybrid research and computation platform for digital surrogates of motion picture films.” The second was from the Aedes Science Gateway and used an Extreme Science and Engineering Discovery Environment. He also co-authored two research papers: “Snowvision: Segmenting, Identifying, and Discovering Stamped Curve Patterns from Fragments of Pottery,” which was accepted into the International Journal of Computer Vision and “SCANNER: A Web Platform for Annotation, Visualization and Sharing of Single Cell RNA-seq Data,” which was published in Database, The Journal of Biological Databases and Curation.
- The following division employees received State Service Recognition Awards: Clark Wallace, 30 years of service; Jason Bost, Laurel Eddins, Ann Helms, Bryan Trefsgar, and Marcos Vieyra, 20 years of service; Gerardo Arevalo, Jonathan Day, Mike Jones, Karl Reinecke, and Jun Zhou, 10 years of service.
- Research Facilitator David Reddy facilitated successful ongoing novel genetics research collaboration between USC and Harvard. He also attended Oklahoma University Virtual Residency for Research Cyberinfrastructure Professionals, the Practice and Experience in Advanced Research Computing 2021 conference, and the NVIDIA Graphics Technology Conference 2021 virtually.
In an effort to improve employee wellness and morale, as well as save university resources, the division began offering telecommuting options to eligible employees. In accordance with university policy HR 1.22, an assessment of all state job classifications and positions within the division were evaluated for suitability to telecommute. Data from the COVID-19 pandemic, when the majority of employees worked remotely, was used to illustrate that division employees could keep operations running and respond to incidents quickly while working off campus. In addition, the division determined that a significant portion of the approximate 28,000 square feet used by division employees as offices and workspaces could be provided back to the university, providing an estimated $135,000 annually in cost savings due to leases.
In addition to offering telecommuting to eligible employees, the division began two initiatives to promote comradery and improve morale with IT employees. The first, IT Employee Resource Groups, are voluntarily-formed groups, led by and open to IT employees at all levels and campuses of the university system. They foster an informed, diverse, equitable, and inclusive workplace in which IT personnel support the mission of the university. Most often, ERGs are formed around a characteristic, affinity, trait, experience, or common interest that distinguishes group members among our broader IT workforce.
The second initiative is the IT Community Channel that replicates the opportunities for friendly interactions that are naturally available in a shared office space, but which are sorely lacking in virtual or partially remote work environments. Employees who share an interest or passion about certain subjects meet virtually to share and learn from each other. A sample of topics covered during the fiscal year include: "Finding Growth Opportunities in Hardship," "Trust at Work," and "Problem Solving that Really Solves Problems."
IMPROVED PROCESS FOR IT PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT
To simplify the process for requesting professional development and certifications, the division developed a travel module into ServiceNow. The module can be used to request professional development travel, certificates, licenses, and other professional development opportunities. It offers a one-stop place for travelers to complete the entire process, from request to reimbursement, and replaces the use of SharePoint. The tool also allows supervisors a convenient way to review and approve professional development requests from employees.