Networking Multiplied at IT Summit 2023!

Aug. 8, 2023

Cross-department connections created at IT Resources Expo

IT Summit 2023

IT services and support are distributed widely across campus. New staff can find it difficult to find where they should go for their solutions or for assistance. Fortunately, there is an annual event to bring all campus IT together. This year’s IT Summit focused on increasing engagement with colleagues we know and those we haven’t had opportunities to meet.

IT Summit 2023 specifically aimed to enhance the “Collaborate” portion of its “Innovate | Collaborate | Educate” mission by offering its first ever University IT Resources Expo, showcasing the different services available from UITS and from departments offering technologies to the University. Thanks go to 26 different University services who made sure to staff tables with their experts who engaged with attendees, creating new understanding and relationships.

The August 1 Summit did not skimp on the “Innovate” and “Educate” missions, either! The day started with a panel of experts in Artificial Intelligence—the innovative topic of our time. Darcy Van Patten moderated discussion with Mihai Surdeanu, Greg Heileman, Linda Hollis, and Kyle McIllece on the capabilities of AI and its impact on institutions. The panelist's insights prompted new perspectives and ways of harnessing human-AI interactions for positive impact.

The expertise of 24 speakers over six tracks of breakout sessions educated attendees on new services, upcoming changes, and best practices. One of the themes of the day was partnership, including between service providers and IT staff, IT staff and users, departments and students and researchers, and more.

Chief Information Officer Barry Brummund gave a hopeful afternoon keynote on the upgrades coming to Arizona’s broadband infrastructure. Barry’s IT Summit keynote from 2020 gave an excellent introduction to the importance of education and online access, and our state’s challenges with the digital divide. This year’s address is an inspiring update on the upcoming federal investments to increase access in Arizona’s many underserved areas. Comments on the improvements are being gathered by the Arizona Commerce Commission with this Community Member Survey.

Attendees came back together for more networking in the afternoon. They had already been networking in advance of and during the Summit with the Whova app, which also provided the program, session Q&A, floor maps, check-in function, polls, and a photo contest.

The Whova photo contest and app engagement prizes were awarded at the end of the day, along with name drawings from the sponsors who generously donated prizes over and above their sponsorships. The sponsors’ participation makes the IT Summit possible every year without using any University funds. It also gives attendees the opportunity to visit with their vendor reps and explore new service possibilities. 

In all, over 450 attendees, 11 sponsors, 30 presenters of 12 sessions and 2 keynotes, 19 volunteers, and the staffers of 26 Expo booths came together for a hugely successful IT Summit 2023!

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