IS News - IS Success

Thursday, January 26, 2017

IT Success - Indoor Track Facility

This weekend, Liberty’s new indoor track complex will open for its first official meet.

Back in the fall of 2015, the University announced plans for a new building to replace & expand on the facilities that had been housed in Green Hall. For the next seventeen months, various members of our Infrastructure/Media Operations division partnered with internal & external groups to understand the scope of the project:

  • For the office spaces, computers, monitors, network drops, & wireless access points were needed.
  • For the track proper, the needs included monitors, sound reinforcement, & digital scoreboards.
  • For concessions & other spectator areas, digital signage & point-of-sale terminals were required.

Once designs were confirmed for the new facility, Site Lead Ryan Smith & team began the task of meeting these needs. Thousands of feet worth of network cabling were laid while the Complex was built up to support hardware installations. Additionally, Business Relationship Managers (BRM’s) worked parallel to Smith, ensuring open communication was maintained with Athletics as new requirements were discovered. As building continued through 2016, IT was able to work around multiple challenges, including construction delays & Leadership changes within IT, to meet deadlines.

Over the winter break, additional IT teams from Network Operations came in, putting in late hours, to ensure last minute details were addressed. In the past few weekends, Athletics have used smaller meets to test out the new facilities. There will be a grand opening ceremony for the Complex this Saturday, January 28th, at 10:30 AM.

Posted at 1:04 PM | Permalink

Wednesday, December 7, 2016

IT Success - Adobe Design Wars

Last Thursday, the Adobe-sponsored “Design Wars” took place at the School of Communication &  Creative Arts (SCCA) in Green Hall. Nearly thirty undergraduate and graduate students from several different fields of study participated in the five-hour event. Once submitted, the best work was decided upon by Monique Maloney (Assistant Professor, co-faculty advisor for AIGA), Todd Smith (Chair of Studio & Digital Arts, professor), Chris Hara (Deputy CIO of Information Services), and Josh Frejosky (Director of IT Communication). Congratulations to Blake Embry (first place), Annie Shelmerdine (second place), and Grayson Guffey (third place) for taking top honors.

 

Design Wars” is a concept that allows students to create advertisements for a hypothetical client. 2016 marks the first year where IT Communications (IT COMS) helped host and gain sponsorship of Adobe for the competition. Students recieved their assignment and informed that only Adobe products may be used to create their work. This year, the students submitted posters and invitations that IT COMS could use for next semester’s second annual Adobe Academic Achievement Awards.

 

Photos taken by Noelia Alvarado & Chris Shaw.

This event was a huge success. Special thanks goes out to the School of Communication & Creative Arts, AIGA, IT Communications - Marketing, and Adobe for making this event a huge success.

Posted at 2:49 PM | Permalink

Tuesday, November 1, 2016

IT Success - IS Road Show

On Thursday, Oct. 27th, IS Communications (IS COMS) put on the University’s first IS Road Show. The concept was established as a means to facilitate interaction with new technologies. In partnership 

with the School of Education (SOE), the IS Road Show was comprised of four stations set up in the SOE clinical rooms. Faculty & staff members were invited to share files, create presentations, take quizzes, and edit documents using products such as Dropbox, Adobe Spark, Top Hat, and Microsoft Office 365. In four hours, over two-thirds of the SOE were able to experience the Road Show. Feedback regarding the show has been positive, with several SOE faculty stating they appreciated the hands-on nature of the event.

IS COMS is currently exploring different schools and departments across the University for future Road Show events. 

Postedby Christopher Shaw at 8:01 AM | Permalink

Monday, October 10, 2016

IT Success - MABUG

During the University’s fall break, the Registrar’s Office hosted this year’s Mid-Atlantic Banner User Group Conference (MABUG). Entitled “MABUG On The Mountain”, over 200 representatives from over three dozen schools and universities were treated to three days of entertainment, vendors, and small-group breakout sessions covering a myriad of Banner-related topics.

All in all, 22 of the 67 sessions were facilitated by members of LU Information Services (LU IS). Speaking from our University’s perspective, Analytics/Decision Support (ADS) and IT Operations representatives presented material and led group discussions on topics including:

  • Stream Replacement & Data Replication Software
  • Xtender database design
  • Overall SQL performance
  • APEX Development & Everyday Use

2016 marks the second time that Liberty has played host to the conference (2009). By inviting so many institutions to the campus, LU has the opportunity to build relationships with those responsible for education and infrastructure from institutions as far away as New Jersey and South Carolina.

Postedby Christopher Shaw at 5:09 PM | Permalink

Friday, September 30, 2016

IT Success - IT Marketplace: Campus Technology Store Launch

On Wednesday, September 28th, IT Communications (IT COMS) ushered in a new chapter in the story of the IT Marketplace. Existing as an online entity for the past several semesters, the IT Marketplace, an Apple ® Authorized Campus Store, now resides within the Computer Lab on the second floor of DeMoss Hall. Since the soft launch of the store a couple of weeks prior, dozens of students have already taken advantage of the physical inventory and point-of-sale efficiency.

Several teams coordinated efforts to make the store a reality on campus. Across the University, Accounting, Finance, and Procurement worked through details surrounding purchasing, POS, and inventory. Within Information Services, Compliance (part of Enterprise Architecture) partnered with IT COMS on legal matters surrounding point-of-sale & brand representation.

To celebrate the Grand Opening event, IT COMS took over the DeMoss Grand Lobby, offering free candied apples and assorted “swag”. In five hours, over 700 students, faculty, and staff visited the store, stirring up excitement within the Liberty community!

To learn more about the IT Marketplace, please visit our store location at DeMoss 2184 or check out our website at www.Liberty.edu/ITMarketplace.

Postedby Christopher Shaw at 12:16 PM | Permalink

Friday, September 30, 2016

IT Success - Technology Councils Take Shape

In an ongoing effort to understand how the University interacts with technology, IS Communications (IS COMS) has established technology councils. Last fall, the Student Technology Council (STC) began meeting with IS Leadership & representatives from different vendors (Adobe, Cisco, McGraw-Hill) to offer feedback on the products and services that are in use every day at Liberty. Over the summer months, COMS launched the Faculty Technology Council (FTC), allowing instructors of all levels to provide their thoughts on how technology may improve student engagement.

In the September meeting of the FTC, faculty members from several schools and departments provided observations from the first month of the fall semester. Practical examples were given around the use of Top Hat within classroom settings. Several members had good things to say around the new wireless access points (WAPs) throughout DeMoss. Our new CIO, John Gauger & our new Deputy CIO, Chris Hara, were in attendance. They spoke to updates around Dropbox data security & the integration advancements Top Hat is currently working towards.

For the first STC session of the school year, the group continued to explore the range of telepresence. The residential group was split across two rooms in the Jerry Falwell Library, while the IS COMS director, Josh Frejosky, & online students connected remotely using Jabber by Cisco. The meeting showcased the ease of accessibility for meetings with people separated by distances near or far. After introductions, the IS COMS team began a discussion around internet connectivity, Top Hat use in classes, & Help Desk interaction. Frejosky introduced the concept of “remote desktops” & gathered feedback around how this emerging technology may be utilized across the University. 

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Postedby Christopher Shaw at 9:27 AM | Permalink

Wednesday, September 7, 2016

IT Success - HelpDesk Blitz

As the 2016 school year got underway, multiple teams from IT set up shop in the Jerry Falwell Library for the annual IT Blitz. Between August 24th and September 2nd, students, faculty, and staff were able to have their questions about connectivity, printers, software, hardware, or their LU account answered by members of Campus Support (CS) or Communications (COMS).

During the event, CS successfully handled over 2,200 requests from walk-in traffic as well as requests submitted through the Help Desk Portal. The top requests students brought to the Blitz included network setup/connectivity, software installations (including Office 365 and the Adobe Creative Cloud), and support for printers or mobile devices.

 

Students, faculty, or staff with questions about hardware, software, or applications should contact the IT Help Desk. Many questions have already been answered by CS via Help Desk DIY. There, hundreds of articles written by subject matter experts direct the reader through basic troubleshooting steps.

 

Postedby Christopher Shaw at 3:50 PM | Permalink

Thursday, September 1, 2016

IT Success - Dropbox

In late July, Information Services (IS) launched a new cloud-based storage solution for University Faculty and staff. Dropbox for Education is a platform for file storage and collaboration that improves idea sharing. It also simplifies data accessibility whether working on campus or remotely. Once created, a Dropbox account provides several efficiency and storage advantages:

  • Unlimited storage of work & personal files
  • File version rollback for any file saved in Dropbox
  • Deletion recovery
  • Remote access to all files without the use of VPN
  • Ability to collaborate with internal and external by sharing files

Initially released to the population in waves, Dropbox is currently available to approximately eight thousand faculty and staff members. So far, adoption has been promising (all data presented as of August 22, 2016):

  • Over thirteen hundred people have created a Dropbox for education account
  • Dropbox for education folders have been accessed on over one thousand different devices
  • Over four terabytes of data have been moved to Dropbox folders

Faculty or staff members who have yet to receive an invitation to Dropbox are encouraged to contact isfeedback@liberty.edu and submit a request. Additionally, those interested in training around the different advantages a Dropbox for education account offers may visit the Technology Education Center’s (TEC) webpage to register for an upcoming class.

Postedby Christopher Shaw at 10:05 AM | Permalink

Monday, May 9, 2016

IT Success - Adobe Academic Achievement...

On April 27th, Liberty University hosted the first annual Adobe Academic Achievement Awards reception in Williams Stadium.

The reception was created as a joint effort between Adobe and Liberty University Information Technology to recognize students for their exemplary achievement in utilizing the Adobe Creative Cloud products. All of this year’s award winners were from The School of Communication & Creative Arts studying a degree track under Digital Media & Communication Arts or Studio & Digital Arts. Professors within each department nominated students who showed exceptional creativity and skill in Adobe applications such as InDesign, Photoshop, Illustrator, Premiere Pro, After Effects, and more.

Visit our full album in Lightroom

The awards ceremony featured speakers such as John Gauger, the Deputy Chief Information Officer for Liberty University Information Technology (LUIT), and keynote speaker Paul Faust, the Adobe Vice President of Education for East Accounts, who motivated students to keep up the good work with, “The future of this world demands the full potential of the students in this room”.

This event was a huge success with nearly 200 guests in attendance, 45 award categories, and 37 award recipients. A huge thanks goes to the IT Communications team for their implementation of all communication and event planning, and Adobe for sponsoring the event.

For more information on the Adobe Creative Cloud products provided through Liberty, please visit www.liberty.edu/adobe.

Postedby Christopher Shaw at 8:36 AM | Permalink

Monday, April 25, 2016

IT Success - IT Connections Summit

Information Technology hosted Liberty University’s first annual IT Connections Summit on Thursday, April 7, 2016 at Williams Stadium. The summit’s intent was connecting students, faculty, and staff to top companies in the technology and education industry.

“It’s a great opportunity to meet other employers. When I was a student, we did not’t have this opportunity, so I am proud to be a part of [the] IT Summit.” –Giuseppe Cucci, Employer Relationship Coordinator for Liberty University's Career Center.

     

Peter Therrien, a Liberty University student, said, “I think it’s great for people not just looking for jobs, but just learning about the companies…[and the] new technologies coming to Liberty through these relationships.”

During the event, our Liberty community learned about services, career opportunities, company values, and company culture. Representatives also talked about what they look for in potential employees as well as what skills are highly marketable to their respective companies.

The top highlight of summit centered on a moderated discussion panel with representatives from Microsoft, Cisco, and Apple. During the discussion, representatives were asked student-submitted questions.

The event proved a huge success with nearly two hundred participants learning about the represented companies. Based on its success, IT looks to continue this event in coming years.

Postedby Christopher Shaw at 9:38 AM | Permalink

Tuesday, March 29, 2016

IT Success - Sodexo Introduces New Feedback Options

Leaving feedback about dining experiences at Liberty University’s Reber-Thomas Dining Hall has never been easier with the addition of several new feedback features released in Mid-January, 2016.

In a joint effort between Liberty University Information Services (LUIS) and Sodexo, the dining hall is equipped with displays (see pictures below) that showcase feedback given about food selections, food quality, and overall dining atmosphere. This feedback is generated through customers texting their feedback to a system called myDtxt.

myDtxt is a feedback tool that enables Sodexo to receive, monitor, and assess feedback given from their customers. However, this tool also enables Sodexo to respond to customer feedback and communicate menu updates, options, and discounts to their customer base. This installment is the first to enable two way communication between the customers and Sodexo. While this feature was recently added to the Reber-Thomas Dining Hall, Sodexo has used this resource with other dining venues for some time and has proven to be an effective metric.

Since its launch in January, Sodexo receives an average of two dozen feedback responses every day. Students, faculty, or staff, are able to submit their feedback on any of the entrees, sides, or desserts by texting their two cents to 82257.

For this service to run effectively, Sodexo partnered within LUIS to IT Operations, The Network Services Team (a team within the IT Operation’s department), and a contact at IT Communications to facilitate installment of displays and set them up on the network. The Network Services Team manages, provisions, and maintains the computing systems of Liberty University and associated business groups with the goal of 100% uptime and 24/7/365 availability.

To find out more information about submitting feedback or learn how to receive dining promotions from Sodexo, please text 82257 with feedback, or visit www.myDtxt.com to register.

Postedby Christopher Shaw at 10:49 AM | Permalink

Wednesday, March 16, 2016

IT Success - ADDY Awards

From the office of the CIO to the IT HelpDesk member who troubleshoots login issues, one of the main goals for Information Technology is “innovative experiences”.

IT is consistently working to improve the way students, faculty, and staff interact with their work every day. While some of these technologies are specific to certain users, many of these innovations enable the University to be creative and productive.

Few relationships across campus have proven to be as impactful as the introduction of Adobe Creative Cloud in 2015. This relationship’s importance was evident when students from the Department of Studio & Digital Arts (SADA) took home over seventy awards, including “Best In Show” at the Western Virginia Student Advertising Awards. According to Todd Smith, Chair for the Department of Studio and Digital Arts,

"Their success with both Adobe products and visual problem solving is evident in the number of ADDY awards we won at the American Advertising Competition, which recognizes the highest level of creative excellence in design. This accomplishment speaks directly to the quality of student work and Adobe products they utilize."

As both undergraduate and graduate students continue to work with current and cutting edge technologies like the Creative Cloud suite, our school’s brand will be seen as synonymous with forward thinking. 

Postedby Christopher Shaw at 10:34 AM | Permalink

Wednesday, March 9, 2016

IT Success - TEC Emphasis Week

Liberty University’s Technology Education Center (TEC) facilitated the second TEC Emphasis Week on Feb. 29 through March 3 in the Jerry Falwell Library. 

TEC Emphasis Week showcased a variety of different products and services, while also expressing Information Services Strategic Vision for the University, given by John Gauger, Deputy Chief Information Officer.

Over the course of four days, twenty-two sessions were offered on a variety of topics, including Adobe Creative Cloud products, Office365, and security. With nearly two hundred students, faculty and staff members in attendance, and a higher average number of attendees per session, the spring event proved a success and has built upon the rapport of last Fall’s TEC Emphasis Week.

The goal for each TEC Emphasis Week is to showcase different products and services offered to students, faculty, and staff by Information Technology. With more information and education, TEC continually works to equip and empower the Liberty community. 

To find out more about the Technology Education Center or training, please visit www.liberty.edu/TEC.

Postedby Christopher Shaw at 8:31 AM | Permalink

Friday, February 19, 2016

IT Success - Liberty Today App Update

Thanks to feedback provided by our Student Technology Council (STC), the Liberty Today mobile app has been updated with new features designed to improve campus life for our student body. Our developers created widgets to show which computers are available in the DeMoss computer labs and campus laundromat machines that are availible. 

Liberty Today App    
      


 
As the students call out opportunities and areas of improvement, the IT teams seek out solutions through current and future technologies. Faculty, Staff, and students who have ideas on how to make our university a better place are encouraged to share their thoughts via feedback@liberty.edu.

If you would like to find out more about the Liberty Today app, visit www.liberty.edu/libertytoday.
 

Postedby Christopher Shaw at 9:26 AM | Permalink

Wednesday, January 20, 2016

IT Success- Trump Visits Liberty

As the campus prepared for Donald Trump’s return visit, many divisions within IT worked to ensure a positive experience for students, faculty, staff, and visitors. Additional spaces in DeMoss were prepared for remote streaming of the event.

During convocation, recently placed wireless access points hit record connectivity highs, receiving nearly 6,300 users . 8,500 other users who were not at the Vines Center saw the same internet speeds during the event.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Liberty University's Convocation on January 18, 2016. (Photo by Kevin Manguiob)

The live convocation stream was accessed by nearly 700 campus computers. Off campus, over 5,000 people were streaming the convocation feed via www.liberty.edu. Various local news outlets streamed independent footage. The Washington Post, who restreamed our coverage of the event, saw approximately 7,400 additional viewers.

All in all, the IT team set the groundwork for a successful visit for yet another presidential candidate.

For more information about Trump's visit, check out our Liberty News article.

 

Postedby Christopher Shaw at 8:49 AM | Permalink

Wednesday, January 6, 2016

IT Success - Coke's on Campus!

As the New Year begins, Liberty is introducing a new drink to the campus. Elected by popular vote via text during convocation last semester, Coca-Cola is now the University’s preferred soft drink company.

With the new semester and a new favorite soda brand comes new vending machines placed all across the campus. These machines are connected to our wireless network to allow for credit card use. Each machine will also utilize built in software to report inventory counts and machine alerts back to the vendor, ensuring ice cold Coca-Cola is always available.

In addition to the new vending machines, Coca-Cola will be introducing its “Freestyle” variety option at all fountain stations, these will include the Tilley student center, The Reber-Thomas dining hall, the Jerry Falwell Library, and Doc's Diner. Students, faculty, staff and visitors will be able to tap into their creative side to make a custom beverage by utilizing the freestyle mobile app.

All vending machines on campus, will not only take Flames cash, cash, debit/credit, but also Apple, Samsung and Android pay via smartphones. LU is one of the first customers we have equipped with these card readers that have the ability to do all of the functions through one hub.

What a marvelous way to combine technology with our favorite beverage!

Postedby Christopher Shaw at 4:39 PM | Permalink

Wednesday, December 23, 2015

IT Success- Fall 2015 Recap

One of the main jobs IT Communications team (IT COMS) has been tasked with is to showcase the work being done by the many facets of IT across the university. As these successes were taking place, IT COMS spoke with students, faculty, or staff (the end users), gathering details (and, in many cases, pictures) along the way. Since September, twenty-two different articles have been posted on the myLU page under the heading “Cracking The Code:  IT Success”.

Here’s a recap of the stories that were reported this past semester:

“Help Desk Blitz” (Customer Support)
“Yammer Explosion” (Network Services, Online Communities)
“Blackboard Performance and Uptime” (Engineers, Developers)
“Williams Stadium Upgrades” (ITIMS)
“Lahaye Ice Center Upgrades” (ITIMS, BRMs)
“IT Services Fair” (Communications)
“Network Upgrades” (Network Services, Engineers)
“Counseling And Family Studies Renovation” (Project Teams)
“What Terror Sounds Like” (Operations)
“You Spoke, We Listened” (Architecture Review Board, Enterprise Architecture)
“TEC Emphasis Week” (Communications, Network Services, Developers)
“E*Value Implementation” (Developers)
“Bringing More People Together” (Network Services, Enterprise Architecture)
“Improved Remote Access” (Operations)
“Student Technology Council” (Communications, Operations, Leadership)
“Adobe Creative Campus” (Operations, Customer Support)
“October’s Uptime Results” (Engineers)
“A Big Win” (Operations, Developers, Enterprise Architecture, Communications, ADS)
“The Future Is A Phone Call Away” (Network Services)
“Wi-Fi At The Vines Center!” (Operations)
“Online Communities Connect LU” (Operations, Enterprise Architecture, BRMs)
“New Blackboard Feature” (Developers)

 

IT COMS is excited to continue sharing examples of technology being implemented and improved in the Liberty community into the new year. Know of an instance where IT delivered a solution? We’d love to hear all about it. Simply email your stories to itfeedback@liberty.edu.

Postedby Christopher Shaw at 4:19 PM | Permalink

Friday, December 18, 2015

IT Success- New Blackboard Tool

As the fall semester comes to an end, IT continues to improve the way LUO faculty interact with their online coursework. One of these improvements is the new Assignment Scheduler Tool in Blackboard. With this new feature, due dates for each assignment will now appear when course content is loaded into LUO course shells.

The Assignment Scheduler Tool is also a huge win for our LUO students. Now, due dates for each assignment are automatically set based off the start date of that academic term. Hence, when viewing “My Grades” they will now see the actual due date (ex. Due January 25, 2015). Students can also view due dates via the left hand menu link “Calendar."

This update eliminates significant manual editing and allows LUO professors to invest more time into preparation for the semester and course planning.

If you would like to see more information, check out our Knowledge Base article in HelpDesk DIY here

*This information was updated on January 6, 2016.

Postedby Christopher Shaw at 4:59 PM | Permalink

Tuesday, December 15, 2015

IT Success- Online Communities Connects LU

Through an ongoing partnership within IT, Online Communities has seen dramatic growth in student interaction this semester. By providing additional interactive tools, they have seen immense growth in connectivity through the use of chat, Yammer, & streaming video.

During the fall semester, 23,290 unique users from one hundred countries watched a convocation or other Liberty event online at www.liberty.edu/watch. This is a 146% increase since fall 2014 (see graph below).

With the updates to the online video resources, students can stream in real time and search through previous convocations by speaker name or topic. In addition, students can search through nearly sixty community chats recorded by leaders from across the university that is specifically designed for the online community. Check out Online Communities  to  get connected and stay engaged with what’s happening across the University!

Postedby Christopher Shaw at 4:43 PM | Permalink

Thursday, December 10, 2015

IT Success- WiFi at the Vines Center!

This week, Network Services engineers finished installing over seventy wireless access points in the Vines Center. Students, faculty, staff, and university guests now have the same wireless connectivity as they would anywhere else on campus.

Students were encouraged to help IT test the access points by using #lastconvo2015 on social media during the last convocation of the year.  At its highest, over 7,000 people were connected to “Liberty-Secure”.

Thanks to everyone who participated & a special thanks to our Network Services team for continuing to connect us to the world!

Postedby Christopher Shaw at 10:03 AM | Permalink


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