May 15, 2013Time: 10:00am - 3:30pm
Location: Huntsman Hall

Annual Penn IT Staff Convention

On May 15, 2013, ISC will host the eighth annual Penn IT Staff Convention, a half-day event for all Penn IT staff. Last year, over 300 IT Staff participated in sixteen moderated discussions, vendor presentations, and panels about various topics gathered from staff across campus. This year's event will have a similar format. There will be three 60 minute sessions, and within each session there will be five concurrent topics for attendees to choose from. In addition, several technical vendors will have information tables set up during the Vendor Fair and Lunch to provide IT staff a chance to ask questions and gather information about their products.

Thank you to Wharton Computing for co-sponsoring this year's conference and providing us with Huntsman Hall for the convention. This is our second year at Huntsman for the IT Staff Convention, and we're excited that Wharton has agreed to host us again this year! The event will be held in Dhirubhai Ambani Auditorium (G06) and in classrooms on the second floor from 10:30 AM to 3:15 PM. Lunch will be served at noon concurrent with the Vendor Fair, both in the MBA Lounge on the second floor, to give staff an added opportunity to network.

Note takers will capture the highlights of each session, and the notes will be made available shortly after the conference. In addition, select sessions will be recorded and made available after the conference.

Be sure to follow @UPennITSC and tweet with #upennitsc13 at the Convention! And, enter your Twitter account and LinkedIn URL on the registration page to be added to the Convention Directory.

Session formats:

  • DISCUSSION: This format relies heavily on audience participation to raise questions and to share answers through best practices and school/center examples. Although there will be knowledgeable moderators to keep the conversation on topic, he or she will not be presenting in-depth information.
  • PANEL: This type of session will consist of a group of Penn colleagues with a moderator to facilitate questions and to keep the conversation going. Many of the questions for the panelists will come from audience participation.
  • PRESENTATION: This type of session mainly will be an informative presentation, usually with time for Q & A after the presentation.


  • Registration | 10:00 AM to 10:30 AM | Huntsman Hall Walnut St. Entrance
  • Opening Remarks | 10:30 AM to 10:50 AM | Tom Murphy, Vice President of ISC and University CIO | Huntsman Hall Dhirubhai Ambani Auditorium (G06)

Session 1: 11:00AM to 12:00PM

Open Learning at Penn | Huntsman 245: Presentation
Deirdre Woods, Penn Open Learning Initiative, and Al Filreis, Kelly Professor and Faculty Director of The Kelly Writers House

Massive Open On-line Courses (MOOCs) are a rapidly growing presence in higher education, but how do they affect us and where are they going? Al Filreis and Deirdre Woods will talk about the first year of the University's Open Learning Initiative, what's coming next, and how University IT personnel can be part of this incredibly important project. Professor Filreis is Kelly Professor, Faculty Director of The Kelly Writers House and taught "ModPo", a coursera course, to 36,000 students in Fall 2012. Deirdre Woods is the Interim Executive Director of Penn's Open Learning Initiative.

Bring Your Own Danger: Privacy and Data Security in the BYOD World | Huntsman 255: Panel
Ted Moskalenko, ISC TSS, Bob Desilets, PSOM, West Phinney, College Hall Support

Bring Your Own Device is now the rule rather than the exception in IT, especially here at Penn. However, as people increasingly use their mobile devices to mix business and personal use, the risks of data theft and invasion of privacy are multiplying rapidly. This session will focus on the dangers we face in supporting mixed data, losing devices and data, current solutions, and how the market is evolving to solve these tough issues.

Sitting on a Cloud: Storage Beyond the Datacenter | Huntsman 240: Discussion
Matt Frew, Wharton, and Tiffany Hanulec, ISC SEO

As the cloud world matures, more and more storage options are arising with parameters to cover nearly every data need, from S3 to Glacier to PennCloud, and from private and secure to cheap and slow to access. Join the discussion on the current state of cloud storage options, vendors and their offerings, what factors matter in cloud storage, and how you can choose the right one for your needs—or why sometimes local storage just makes more sense.

Mission Continuity: Keeping IT Working in the Face of the Unexpected | Huntsman 250: Panel/Discussion
Dana Napier, PSOM, Anita Gelburd, ISC, Russell Ney, WRDS, Joe Shannon, Finance

Disasters rarely behave according to script. Power failures, loss of public services, transportation disruptions, and other events can wreak havoc on our ability to deliver critical IT services. This discussion will focus on how organizations and IT workers across campus are preparing to continue to deliver service in the event of building loss, technological disruptions, disasters, and any event that affects our ability to provide IT service to fulfill Penn's mission, and how you can plan for these things too.

Multimedia and Advanced Video Services on Campus and Beyond | Huntsman 260: Presentation
John Fafalios and Michael Knight, MAGPI

How can multimedia and advanced video services enhance teaching and learning in the classroom and enable global collaboration and research? Come learn from the MAGPI Multimedia staff how different departments on campus as well as external clients like the Smithsonian American Art Museum are using robust multimedia services offered by MAGPI to enhance teaching and global collaboration and research. See a demonstration of LOLA (LOw LAtency Audio Video) and learn about cloud based MCU solutions and exciting developments in free HD soft-clients currently being evaluated at MAGPI.

Lunch & Vendor Fair: 12:00PM to 1:00PM| Huntsman Hall MBA Lounge (2nd Floor)

Lunch will be provided for all pre-registered attendees.

Vendors include:

  • Amazon Web Services
  • Apple
  • Dell
  • Fortinet
  • Lenovo
  • Microsoft
  • Ricoh
  • and more!

Session 2: 1:00PM to 2:00PM

Managed Print Solutions | Huntsman 255: Presentation
Brent Friedman, Purchasing Services, Maria Mejia, Dental, and Smith Ragsdale, Vet

Penn spends over $10 million annually to maintain a fleet of over 15,000 document output devices across campus. To more adroitly allocate scarce resources, Penn Purchasing Services has led a year-long, comprehensive evaluation of market-leading Managed Print Services suppliers in conjunction with schools and centers across campus, culminating in the Penn Managed Print Services Program, launching in June. During this session, Brent Friedman from Purchasing Services will provide an overview of the evaluation process undertaken by a cross-functional evaluation team, along with benefits available to local support providers and business managers that wish to opt-in to the MPS program. Maria Meija from Dental IT and Smith Ragsdale from Vet IT will each describe their individual IT and business cases for migrating to a managed print environment, and share their experiences in undergoing an MPS assessment process that optimized the printer fleet.

Courseware and Beyond | Huntsman 250: Panel
Jay Treat, SAS, Marjorie Hassen and Molly Bonnard Penn Libraries, Michael Herzog, GSE, Rob Ditto, Wharton

Courseware is a core technology at a university, and a space in which software is rapidly evolving. A group of experts from around the University will discuss Canvas and other services that can be integrated into courseware such as TurnItIn, Google for Education, TurningPoint and more.

Next-Generation WiFi | Huntsman 240: Presentation/Discussion
Colleen Szymanik and Charles Rumford, ISC N&T

What's next for AirPennNet? What is 802.11ac? From basic RF theory to good WiFi user experiences, this session will walk you through some of the coming changes and challenges in the WiFi world and in wireless at Penn. The discussion will cover incoming trends including roaming, 5 GHz coverage, supporting home networks in campus environment, multi-media devices, and much more.

Security Smackdown: End-User Awareness Programs vs. Technology Solutions | Huntsman 245: Presentation
Christine Brisson and Justin Klein-Keane, SAS

How effective is end-user security awareness education? Would it be better to allocate our scarce resources to improving our technology? In a point-counterpoint format, we will consider various types of end-user awareness tools (blogs, videos, etc.) and the sorts of problems they aim to solve. We'll debate whether we are effectively reaching our end users and if technological alternatives are within our reach that can accomplish similar ends.

The Open Data Initiative | Huntsman 260: Presentation/Discussion
Rob Nelson, Provost's Office, and Jim Choate, ISC ASTT

PennApps Labs is a student group dedicated aiming to make a substantial and lasting impact on the state of Penn's student-run tech. To facilitate their development efforts, the Labs team reached out to the University to make some University data available for use. In this session, Rob Nelson from the Provost's Office and Jim Choate from ISC will describe how they worked with the Labs team and other stakeholders to determine what data could be shared, how to do it, and the challenges faced in this process. They'll also discuss the future of open data and facilitating collaboration from disparate constituencies of Penn.

Coffee Break: 2:00PM to 2:15PM | Huntsman Hall MBA Lounge (2nd Floor)

Coffee will be provided.

Session 3: 2:15PM to 3:15PM

Next-Generation Cybersecurity | Huntsman 240: Panel

"Caution! Rogue robots!" The dangers we face daily in IT are both insidious and inexorably evolving. The attack vectors, cracks, and malicious technology are improving exponentially, and we have no choice but to join the arms race. Join us for a discussion of the threats we'll be facing in one, five, and ten years, both known and speculative, and how we can start thinking about hardening our defenses against them.

Building an IT Career at Penn | Huntsman 250: Panel

John Singler, Nursing, Dan Alig, Wharton, Helen Anderson, SEAS, Rich Cardona, Annenberg, Cathy DiBonaventura, Design, John MacDermott, SAS, Adam Preset, ISC N&T

A group of senior IT leaders at Penn will discuss career development, their experiences as leaders, and what they see in the future of IT at Penn. Our goal is to encourage and pass on information to the next generation of IT professionals building their careers at the University.

Making Students and other Constituents Part of the IT Process | Huntsman 260: Presentation/Discussion
Chris Mustazza, SAS, and Sarah Spaulding, Wharton

Teaching and learning underpin everything we do at Penn, and that isn't limited to the classroom. Rather, we as IT staff can both teach and learn from our constituents, no matter who they are. Sarah Spaulding from Wharton will discuss her experiences in transforming student feedback into improved IT services and Chris Mustazza from SAS will talk about his SAS Student Advisory Board and student app development program. They will also co-lead a discussion on how we can work with our constituents to shape the IT services we provide at Penn.

Reaching Out: Leveraging Technology to Engage Users | Huntsman 255: Panel
Johanna Humphrey, PSOM, Matt Griffin, University Communications, Lisa Marie Patzer, DAR

In IT, our users matter, but we can easily fall into the trap of just broadcasting information. To do our jobs effectively, we must actively engage those users, and to do so we need to understand their needs, wants, and likes. The medium is the message, and as IT professionals we have myriad media, both social and otherwise, that enable us to create this engagement. Come discuss how groups on campus are using technology to enhance their relationship with their users and how you can do so too.

The Brave New World of Office 365 | Huntsman 245: Panel/Discussion

Office 365 is turning the entire model of Microsoft Office on its head, changing what has long been the ubiquitous software package at Penn into a new part-cloud-based, part-installed-software, part-hosted-services-solution chimaera and drastically and rapidly impacting how we as IT staff have to think about using and "owning" the Office suite and other software. Join the vanguard as early adopters from around campus discuss how they're approaching--or not--the Office 365 transition, concerns for integrating 365 in all of its varied forms into the Penn environment, and what this means for our relationship with software heading into the future.

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