This year's hybrid summit leaves tech professionals and staff energized and inspired
For the first time in three years, the IT Summit was held in-person at the Student Union Ballroom. Over 175 people attended in-person, with over 250 people joining the presentations via Zoom Webinars. This year also marked the 10th anniversary of the event which focuses on the power of collaboration among UA IT professionals, and showcases technologies that will transform the University's ability to innovate, collaborate, and educate for years to come.
The IT Summit program on July 26 began with the highlight of the event — a keynote presentation by George Rieke, PhD, Regents Professor of Astronomy at the Seward Observatory and Science Lead for the Mid-Infrared Instrument and Near Infrared Cameras of the James Webb Telescope. Dr. Rieke wowed the starstruck audience with his presentation on the development of the telescope and a walkthrough of the recent imagery revealing galaxies created near the inception of the universe.
The afternoon keynote speech was given by CIO Barry Brummund, who shared technology strategy insights along with insights on the role the University plays within research institutions throughout the country.
Presentations were given throughout the day by 50 IT Professionals who shared their expertise in 24 breakout sessions over 5 tracks, which included Security, Web and Application Development, Campus Technology, Project Management, and Instructional & Research Technologies.
The sessions included live and virtual presentations. Chris Reidy, a Research Facilitation Manager with Research & Discovery Tech was delighted with giving his presentation in-person. "After doing virtual presentations for the last two years, seeing the actual participants in person was heart-warming. I forgot how much easier it is to make in-person presentations when you can engage personally."
With regard to the hybrid nature of the presentations, Tim Nitz, Assistant Director of Campus IT Partnerships, was pleased with the outcome. "The hybrid part worked great! It seemed like both online and in person attendees were able to hear and see us well. I hope that we keep the summit hybrid for the long term, I think it really helped us remote presenters be able to participate."
Kevin Milton, Self Service and Training Leader with Self Service agreed, "The hybrid model of the summit was, overall, a great success. I attended in-person but was in multiple sessions where remote attendees were well-integrated into the discussions."
More presenters discussed their projects with 13 posters during the poster session. Teresa Banks, Manager of Information Security & Compliance Programs, was pleased with the turnout of the afternoon poster sessions. Her team used the session to share the success story of ISO's Risk Management Program (RMAP) via a Treasure Island theme, giving out chocolate coins, pirate mints, and ISO swag. "Being able to interact with our ISRMs (Information Security Risk Managers) and celebrating their success made for a fun poster session," she said. "The best part of every IT Summit is getting to interact with all of our colleagues, and two years of working remotely made this interaction even better."
While in-person attendees gathered for the poster session and prize drawing, over 25 online attendees met for virtual networking. "It was great to see friends and colleagues live and in person again," said Matt Shimel, Applications Systems Analyst and Principal Developer for UITS. "Thanks to the IT Summit we were able to show off our hard work our project and network with other IT professionals that were interested in what we had accomplished."
Two Diamond sponsors and four Copper sponsors were on hand to interact with campus IT personnel throughout the day. The sponsors' support ensured that all expenses for the summit were met without spending any University funds.
It took numerous volunteers to make the IT Summit happen. In particular, thanks to the College of Education Digital Initiatives, UITS Student & Academic Technologies, Arizona Health Sciences BioCommunications, and UITS Desktop Support, plus all the A/V techs and volunteers who made it possible to have the Summit online as well as in person.
In case you missed some of the presentations, all of the sessions and keynotes from the summit will be available to watch online beginning next week. You can find additional photos from the event on SmugMug.
Check back in 2023 at itsummit.arizona.edu for next year's date and presentations!