SIGUCCS 2021 Conference Takeaway – Higher Education IT Staff are/are not ok

In October 2020, the Chronicle of Higher Education published an article called “The Staff are not OK” (see article) highlighting the health and well-being of the staff members whose work has helped move campuses through the pandemic. This session took a step beyond that and focused on issues that plagued staff pre-pandemic. Over 100 people logged in for this dual panel presentation about two different issues facing staff in higher education IT.

Unity and diversity partnership as heart hands in a group of diverse people connected together shaped as a support symbol expressing the feeling of teamwork and togetherness.
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SIGUCCS 2021 Conference Takeaway – Poster Session

This year it was a BYOD Poster Session – Bring Your Own Desserts. Going virtual did not stop us from mingling over posters and having mini-presentations, but we did miss the great assortment of desserts we usually have!

Small chocolate and vanilla layered cakes in rows on candy buffet. Sweet paradise.

Our virtual poster session allowed attendees to visit breakout rooms on their own and meet with the various presenters.

This year we have two exhibitors – Okta (View Website) and Software2 (View Website) available to chat with to learn more about their products.

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SIGUCCS 2021 Conference Takeaway – Pandemic Panel

The fourth week of SIGUCCS 2021 began with perspectives from several universities. Over 50 participants delighted in the stories shared.

Endlessly Exhausting Possibilities: Pandemic Planning in Support Services

Rebecca Klein, Jerome Hilscher, Greg Christie and Clayton Mitchell from Drake University

This team showcased the challenges of pandemic planning at Drake University by highlighting the following:

  • This was an ever-changing situation and the need for adaptability
  • The need to rebuild from the ground up multiple times
  • The need to Implement new resources for help desk support
  • The trials of managing remote student workers
  • The challenges of supporting faculty in a move to remote teaching – use of LMS, synchronous web delivery (Bb Collaborate) and video platform (Panopto)
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SIGUCCS 2021 Conference Takeaway – Infrastructure and Networking

Our third session of the 2021 annual conference highlighted the technical achievements of our colleagues. The presentations included:

  • Centralizing Server and Workstation Provisioning, Configuration, and Management by Kyle Vonblohn
  • Consolidation of Individual Email Services into a Cloud Service by Takao Shimayoshi, Yoshiaki Kasahara, and Naomi Fujimura
  • Automatic and Flexible Operation of Campus Equipment Using Bot Computing by Takashi Yamanoue
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SIGUCCS 2021 Conference Takeaway – Leadership

Almost 100 people tuned in for the March 23 session on Leadership which consisted of three sessions

  • Learning On and At the Edge: Enabling Remote Instructional Activities with Micro Controller and Microprocessor Devices with Owen McGrath
  • Leading Diverse Teams during Transitions to Remote Work with Laurie Fox & Shawn Plummer
  • Won’t You Be My Leader? With Tom Wilk
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SIGUCCS 2021 Conference Takeaway – Lessons Learned from Massive Pivots Due to Physical Campus Closures

Over 120 people signed in for our session Lessons Learned from Massive Pivots to Physical Campus Closures which consisted of three sessions.

  • Supporting the Rapid Adaptation to Remote Teaching Modality: Software and Hardware Edition with Dan Herrick
  • Low-Cost, Scalable Technology for Hybrid Learning with Allan Chen
  • I’ll See You Online with Miranda Carney-Morris
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SIGUCCS and the ACM Digital Library

As part of our sponsorship with ACM (Association for Computing Machinery), SIGUCCS is responsible for contributing to scholarship in the computing sector. We are just one of a number of special interest groups associated with ACM (

As we approach the start of the 2021 Annual Conference, presenters have prepared papers and abstracts to be included in the Digital Library under the anticipated title “Proceedings of the 2021 ACM SIGUCCS Annual Conference”. We will share this link with the community when it is published!

The ACM Digital Library (DL) ( is the world’s most comprehensive database of full-text articles and bibliographic literature covering computing and information technology.  The DL is designed to facilitate information dissemination and sharing, interoperability, user-centered design, and collaboration for computing professionals, practitioners, researchers, and educators. ACM also sponsors a number of publications ( and expects its membership to contribute. 

Your SIGUCCS membership entitles you to access all SIGUCCS-submitted content! An ACM membership allows you access to all content submitted by other SIGs as well. Join SIGUCCS today.

Picture This: SIGUCCS Photography

If you have attended a SIGUCCS Annual Conference in person, chances are you have been “shot” by one of our talented photographers. These collections are a great way to capture our events – and revisit them each week in Throwback Thursday in our Facebook Group.

Yosemite. Half Dome Reflection
by Allan Chen
Yosemite. Half Dome Reflection
by Allan Chen – February 2021

All of our photographers are volunteer, and many of them share their talents online on Facebook or Instagram. Here are some of my favorites. (If I missed your feed, let me know and I will update this article!

  • Parrish Nnambi (@sule2you) Parrish’s Instagram feed is a beautiful collection of wildlife and landscapes. I love the birds!
  • Allen Chen (@romosoho) Allan truly captures nature’s beauty, and has travelled to some fantastic locations. As a bonus, you may catch a glimpse of his beautiful family!
  • Kelly Wainwright (@kswainwright) lives in one of the most beautiful area of our country. She also frequently shares family pictures and cats.
  • Melissa Bauer (@mbauer1002) At SIGUCCS conferences, Melissa and I can frequently be found taking pictures of desserts. She is also a talented photographer of flowers.
  • Ella Tschopik (@ellatschopik) Ella finds beauty with her iPhone 12 Pro Max. Fortunately for us, she frequently turns the camera on herself and her daughters.
  • If you’re on Facebook, make sure you are friends with Terris Wolff. I always look forward to “No Tie Tuesday” (his retired version of the Bow Tie event) as he shares locations and history near his home in California.

I am grateful that so many of my SIGUCCS colleagues are also my social media friends, and I appreciate being able to glimpse their lives through photography! Thanks to all SIGUCCS photographers for sharing your talent at our conferences!

January 2021 – Updates from the Chair

As we move into the second half of our first year as a new board, we are excited to share the following updates.


Preconference seminars have been announced and a full schedule for our conference seminar series will be published soon. The program will consist of both presentations and social activities spread out over 6 weeks. I hope you will plan to join us for some or all of these great events. Check out the conference information here.


Scenes from one of Lisa’s many fall & winter walks in Rochester, NY

Since September we have initiated a hangout in Zoom every month. For one hour SIGUCCS friends gather, just to gather. We have had conversations about the current remote work situation, how classes are going, funny and scary support stories… whatever people want to discuss. We plan to continue this over the coming year in order to remain connected. We invite you to join us. The next hangout is themed “New Beginnings” and will be held on January 21 at 3pm Eastern – Mark your calendar now and register here to get the Zoom link.


On behalf of the Awards Committee, the Executive Committee is proud to announce the new inductees into the SIGUCCS Hall of Fame. Please join me in congratulating the following: Mathew Felthousen, Chester Andrews, Dan Herrick, Rebekah Lineberry, and Chris King. Read more about these extraordinary SIGUCCS members.

We would also like to congratulate all of the winners of the Communication Awards. It is always exciting to see how other universities are sharing information with their constituents. The winning entries are recognized on our website.  Additionally, there were 48 submissions from 18 different institutions this year and we would like to thank everyone that submitted! We hope that the feedback that you received was helpful for your future work.

~ Lisa Brown