2011 AIKCU Technology Awards – updated with winners

UPDATE: The 2011 winners of were announced last week at the IT Directors meeting and now appear below. Congratulations to the IT staffs from Berea College, University of the Cumberlands, and Campbellsville University, and to all of the nominees. There were some truly outstanding projects and the competition was very close all the way around. 

Each year, AIKCU showcases the outstanding efforts and innovations of our campuses’ Information Technology departments through the AIKCU Technology Awards. These IT folks are innovating to solve campus problems through technology, often with few resources. We salute their efforts and want to congratulate all the nominees. (Watch for winners to be announced soon.)

The award for Best New Campus Application is given to the school that has implemented a major new application or significantly enhanced an existing system that improves operational performance and/or service for all or part of its students, faculty, and staff.

The winners of Best New Campus Application are:

Berea College – New Student Online Orientation and Course Registration System (Berea New Student Online Orientation/Reg. – PDF)

Berea’s new course registration system involved the creation of a web-based, online orientation system that provides entering students with extensive information about the early enrollment process at Berea. It collects and communicates vital information from and to new students. The online orientation experience includes several educational components, transactional web-based processes, and language and mathematics placement testing. At the conclusion of the experience, new students are provided with an online tutorial designed to help them choose courses of interest that will also satisfy academic requirements at Berea. After course preferences are submitted, a sophisticated program written at the College which captures comprehensive curricular information from faculty leaders of academic departments is run to place all students in available, appropriate courses, ensuring that entering students have required courses in their schedules, an introductory course in their primary area of academic interests and elective courses of interest that also serve to meet program requirements.

University of the Cumberlands – EDUCAN (UC EDUCAN – PDF)

EDUCAN is the UC Education department’s artifact management system. This system is designed to integrate with the University’s centralized student information system (SIS) to keep data centralized while allowing the Education department to own their data in a system that appears to be isolated from the SIS. Using this system, the Education department can track and update students’ current and historical personal, program, certification, portfolio, and other information that they track for students. It can also print reports to show raw data as well as aggregates across all populations. The reports use rubrics to create a dashboard for administrators to visually see the current status of our Education department in relation to institutional assessment criteria.

Other nominees for Best New Campus Application included:

Transylvania University – Campus Digital Signage (Transy Digital Signage – PDF)

Transy’s IT staff selected an open source, free signage software package called Concerto to drive digital signage across campus. They installed TV monitors in high traffic locations across campus with a mini-computer attached to the back of each one. The computers retrieve the Concerto signage content wirelessly and display it on the monitor. Each monitor shows a rolling feed of campus news, local weather, time and date and a slideshow of photographs and announcements/flyers.

Union College – PWM Open Source Password Self Service for LDAP directories (Union PWM – PDF)

Students, as well as employees, now have an online web-based solution to enable change and reset of their network password, without the assistance of support desk personnel. This will impact webmail, ERP web portals, and learning management system access, thus potentially reducing support desk calls significantly.

University of Pikeville – Retention Alerts (UPIKE Retention Alerts – PDF)

Retention Alert is an add-on from Datatel for our Colleague system. It seamlessly integrates with Colleague and allows faculty, staff and other students to inform us when a student has problems that could cause them to leave the institution. It tracks and communicates with the appropriate personnel so they may take action(s) to prevent students from leaving.

University of the Cumberlands – Efficient Asset Management System (UC Efficient Asset Management System – PDF)

The computer imaging solution that we have customized for our specific purposes allows us to create a single custom operating system installation on one machine and then save that image to the server. We can then simply allow each machine to boot to the Network Interface Card (NIC) using the Pre-boot Execution Environment (PXE). Through this method, a connection is made to the imaging server and the custom OS is installed automatically. With the EAMS application, UC was able to reduce a process that previously required two to three hours of manual attention per machine to a nearly fully automated process that requires only a few minutes per machine.

University of the Cumberlands – Time and Attendance Automation (UC Time and Attendance – PDF)

The new automated system provides for electronic, biometric time clocks as well as Web-based soft clocks.The time and attendance system seamlessly integrates with the University’s ERP system so the time punches automatically flow into the ERP’s payroll module. Accruals are now automatically centrally managed through the time and attendance system. The HR department has reduced the number of employees devoted to hourly payroll from two fulltime positions to one half of one employee’s responsibilities.

Georgetown College – GC Mobile (Georgetown GCMobile – PDF)

Georgetown’s new mobile site provides mobile web services for student, faculty, and staff hand held devices such as Apple iPhone, iTouch, and Google Android at https://my.georgetowncollege.edu/go. These services provide mobile access to the Georgetown College community in real-time from anywhere, either through the campus wireless network or through 3G services.

The award for Best Student Online Application is given to the school who has demonstrated the spirit of digital use by providing the most efficient, effective, and creative online services to their students.

The 2011 winner of Best Student Online Application is:

Campbellsville University - CASHNet Portal Integration (Campbellsville CASHNet – PDF)

Campbellsville University’s Office of Business Services implemented the CASHNet online payment system for students to use to pay their bills, receive billing statements and notifications of statements electronically, provide parent access to billing statements and receive refunds via direct bank transfer.

Other nominees in the Best Student Online Application category included:

Transylvania University – MOX Mobile Application (Transy MOX Mobile – PDF)

Transy’s IT staff deployed a mobile application for iPhone/iPod, Android and BlackBerry phones and mobile devices. The mobile app, called MOX, links with the university’s enterprise data system in order to provide campus phone numbers, maps to building locations and information. It displays feeds of news articles from the campus website, athletics and alumni websites and Transy’s Twitter account, as well as a campus calendar of events.

University of the Cumberlands - Roommate Student Housing System (UC Roommate Project – PDF)

The Roommate student housing system is an online system that was written by members of the University’s Information Technology staff. With Roommate, students submit their room request form via the MyUC portal and can track the progress of the process through the portal. After the submission deadline, Student Services can add additional criteria into the matching process and click a single button to match the students with the most compatible roommate and the best dorm and room combination for the student. The results are automatically written back to the students’ records in the student information system and the MyUC portal is updated. In MyUC a student can see the contact information of his/her roommate including phone number, email address, and Facebook page.

University of the Cumberlands – UC Website (UC Web Redesign  - PDF)

In January of 2011, University of the Cumberlands launched a new web design after six months of research, redesign, and user input. UC’s new web design boasts graphical improvements and several new features to improve the browsing experience for users. Dynamic content, a larger resolution, and a host of web applications were just a few of the improvements included.

The Most Successful Infrastructure Project award recognizes a campus that has implemented major changes to its technology infrastructure resulting in improved services and/or cost savings. This may include changes to the physical hardware used to interconnect users and computers, server projects, network expansions or changes, desktop hardware changes, etc.

The 2011 Most Successful Infrastructure Project award goes to: 

University of the Cumberlands – UCWireless (UC UCWireless – PDF)

The UCWireless Infrastructure provides complete wireless connectivity for our entire university campus. It is a collective of over 300 indoor and outdoor access points located on the University of the Cumberlands campus. While a secured section of the system provides a seamless wireless experience for UC students, faculty, staff, and administration, guest access is also provided through the same controller.

Other nominees in the Most Successful Infrastructure Project category included:

Transylvania University – PaperCut Print Control (Transy Print Control – PDF)

Transy’s IT staff installed a print control solution called PaperCut in order to manage printing in computer labs and other open areas with printing capabilities. PaperCut provides web based tools that allow a print job to be sent to any printer on the network, shows a user their print count and other statistics, allows you to cancel a print job that you no longer want and supports quotas to be set for the amount of paper that a student can use each semester.

Campbellsville University – Virtualization Initiative (Campbellsville Virtualization Initiative – PDF)

While minimizing outages and user impact, Campbellsville University’s Information Technology department has performed a number of maintenance operations that have resulted in full clustering and failover implementation for our Datacenter operations. This was accomplished without requiring any rebuilding of any virtual machines, and with virtually no unscheduled outages due to the changes. While the clustering of new systems is relatively simple, performing this on in-production systems created unique challenges for our IT staff.

Brescia University - Securing Campus Network Access for an Improved User Experience (Brescia Securing Network 1 – PDF)

The project developed a path for deploying differentiated network access security for student housing, campus and guest networks to meet bandwidth concerns, protect the network from unwanted applications such as malware or peer-to-peer applications, and improve the user logon and connectivity experience.

Brescia University - Securing Campus Network Access for an Improved User Experience (2) (Brescia Securing Network  2 – PDF)

Implementation of a low cost wired and wireless authentication mechanism and network access control system.

Centre College – Watchtower Implementation (Centre Watchtower – PDF)

Implementation of Watchtower, a security status/event correlation framework that provides the current security status of a device on campus based on a modular scoring system,(an ongoing process) has significantly changed how Centre College ITS approaches campus network security. It has greatly helped to lessen the time required to manually correlate data from several systems to identify an issue and provide ITS a more unified view of the security profile of campus.

University of the Cumberlands - Network Infrastructure Expansion Project (UC Network Infrastructure Expansion – PDF)

The goal of the Network Infrastructure Expansion Project at University of the Cumberlands was to create a completely separate network for the residence halls from the administrative network. The rationale for this project is that students’ needs and wants from the campus network are often in conflict with those from faculty and staff. Since both constituent groups are of equal importance, the project was created to relieve stress from the administrative network and provide better service for students in the residence halls.

The Most Innovative Use of Technology for Instructional Purposes award is given to the school that has demonstrated a creative, unique and resourceful use of technology for instructional purposes.

The winner in the Most Innovative Use of Technology for Instructional Purposes category is:

Berea College – BC OnDemand (Berea BC OnDemand – PDF)

The BC-OnDemand system integrates a video portal into our campus infrastructure. The portal contains both live streaming of television channels and live events on campus as well as on demand content produced by our students and faculty. These resources are made available to encourage and present increasing numbers of multimedia projects that are in use throughout several classes.

Also nominated was:

University of the Cumberlands – iLearn Bypass Exams (UC iLearn Bypass Exams – PDF)

Courses have been created in iLearn, the University’s Learning Management System, for departmental bypass exams taken by incoming freshman students. These exams are taken in computer labs around campus and proctored by instructors.