• UAB IT Communications wins awards

    UAB IT’s communications team has received two more awards from the SIGUCCS organization, bringing their total to nine over four years.

    The SIGUCCS, Special Interest Group for University Computing Centers, was founded in 1963 and over time morphed into a multi-conference event aimed to support information technology professionals in higher education.

    The communication awards recognize outstanding publications developed at college and university levels. They recognize excellence in the creation of programs and publications, which in turn provides SIGUCCS conference participants with an opportunity to review publications that may help them develop or enhance work of their own.

    This year, the team won two awards:

    Kerry Bean, director of communications for UAB IT, and her team work closely with other departments to communicate the services provided by the department and find fun ways to showcase important issues within the technology field. Overall, the department has earned nine awards.

    “Our team works hard to find creative ways to share information about technology,” Bean said. “We’re happy to spread awareness of phishing with a boat float in the homecoming parade or film a video to give you tips on using Microsoft Teams.

    “But most important, we’re here to tell the story of how IT helps our campus, because our campus community helps change the world.”

    In 2018, the teams won two awards:

    • Short Promotional Video, Dissecting a Phish
    • Student-created materials, IT Annual Report Website.

    In 2019, IT won three awards:

    • How-to-Guide, Don’t Get Hooked on Phishing,
    • Quick reference guide, VoIP brochure
    • General Service Guide, the VoIP Project

    Even in the pandemic year of 2020, the team managed to grab two more awards:

    Each year, an institution may enter up to three entries per category. Winning a category means that the next year, your department judges the new entries.

    Receiving an award is a huge deal. This conference is held internationally, meaning that UAB IT’s work is being shown worldwide and has won in almost every category since 2018.

  • Teams comment moderation made easier

    Microsoft Teams channel owners at UAB will be able to modify and delete comments in their channels beginning Friday, March 25.

    The change, made by UAB IT, allows users to have a cleaner feed, with less clutter, and makes sure important messages are seen.

    Microsoft also allows moderators to be added to channels to help manage chats. Moderators are per-channel and can easily be turned on and off by the channel owner.

    Check out the updates with the Microsoft roadmaps here.

  • Carver nominated for national CIO of the Year

    Vice President and Chief Information Officer Curtis A. Carver Jr., Ph.D., has been nominated for National CIO of the Year in the Inspire CIO Orbie Awards.

    Carver, who was honored with the 2021 Leadership Award from AlabamaCIO, is one of six nominated technology executives in the nonprofit/public sector category.

    Carver’s nomination shines a light on the collaborative work of UAB units and UAB IT throughout and after the COVID-19 pandemic.

    Building on a robust technology infrastructure strengthened during Carver’s tenure as CIO, UAB was able to transition quickly to a remote academic and work environment in March 2020.

    In addition, UAB IT worked with partners across campus on technology to help fight COVID-19 — including the GuideSafe™ COVID exposure notification app; the informatics system for COVID re-entry testing for college students statewide; and the Healthcheck symptom survey.

    UAB IT also helped the university pivot to hybrid classes with installation of lecture capture technology in more than 150 classrooms.

    Post-pandemic, UAB IT has been working on digital transformation projects, such as launching a student and employee mental health app, overhauling systems including Oracle and BlazerNET, and redesigning the UAB app.

  • Band of Excellence: Four Metrics. Four Ways to excel.

    Band of Excellence Logo

    As UAB IT approaches 2022, employees are focused on four metrics — a "band of excellence" designed to help serve the UAB campus and empower faculty, staff and students to achieve excellence.

    The four metrics — 100 wins, which help make us agents of innovation; customer satisfaction; service availability; and service level agreements — will be the focus of IT employee goals.

    Students, faculty and staff can track UAB IT’s 100 wins for previous years; beginning in 2022, UAB IT will be updating those wins monthly.

    UAB IT measures customer satisfaction through the surveys linked in every IT ticket.

    "We encourage customers to fill out that survey when they can, because it helps us assess our level of service and make improvements when necessary," said Jason Johnson, executive director of client success.

    Service availability is a gauge of the amount of time core services are available. Students, faculty and staff can always check on service availability at status.uab.edu, where notices of upcoming maintenance or service issues are posted.

    Service level agreements measure how well UAB IT adheres to the level of service expected for the support and delivery of core services.

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  • UAB IT helps connect the world

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  • Legacy timekeeping system saves payroll

    When the UAB vendor used to track time for biweekly employees experienced an unexpected outage in late December 2021, UAB’s Payroll and IT teams worked together to make sure employees were paid on time. The teams revived a legacy timekeeping[…]

  • Dashboards help improve student success

    UAB IT and the Division of eLearning and Professional Studies recently collaborated on a variety of projects to improve online student success through the development of customized dashboards.  The dashboards were created in Tableau using the digital visualization tool. The[…]

  • New dedicated Threat & Vulnerability Team

    UAB IT has developed a dedicated threat and vulnerability team to better protect campus data. Vulnerabilities — such as security misconfigurations or exploitable, unpatched software — could leave campus computers open to cyberattacks, and remain an ongoing threat. The vulnerability[…]

  • Enhanced duplicate identity record detection

    Now that BlazerIDs are autogenerated for newcomers to campus, UAB IT has enhanced duplicate identity record detection, saving multiple hours across varying departments.   Starting in 2020, the campus moved to auto-assignment for usernames, but a side-effect was duplicated identities popping[…]

  • Learn how to fight against malware

    The internet is full of new content for people to download, enjoy, and share with friends but sometimes those links lead to malware being added to your computers.   Malware, short for malicious software, is a file or code that can[…]

  • Draw outside the box with Illustrator

    The next big illustration could come out of Illustrator.   35 years ago, Adobe Inc released Illustrator for Apple Macintosh systems to run.  It is one of the innovations to revolutionize graphic design. Now in 2022, it is one of the[…]

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