SIGUCCS 2018 Volunteer Introductions – Eric Handler

What is your volunteer position for 2018 and how would you explain it to someone new to SIGUCCS?

Eric HandlerThis year I’m coordinating volunteers. I’m going to be making sure that the front desk has friendly faces answering questions and helping point people in the right direction. Additionally, I’ll be scheduling all of the session chairs, a volunteer position that helps introduce our colleagues before they present and assists in making sure every session goes well.

How many SIGUCCS conferences have you attended?


How did you get involved as a volunteer in SIGUCCS?

I like board games a lot and found myself spending time in the hospitality suite at my first SIGUCCS. I kept recommending games that we should have in the library and then the next thing I knew, someone suggested I should run the suite the next year.

What’s an accomplishment that you are especially proud of?

I’ve done 2 charity bike rides of over 70 miles to raise money for charity

Something that you could always stop and talk to me about

Board Games. I have more information than I care to admit in my brain about board games. Did you play a board game once, describe it to me and I can probably tell you who designed it and the name if you forgot.

What do you do for fun?

Pokemon Go, Board Games, Tennis, Bar Quiz/Trivia

SIGUCCS 2018 Orlando … who is your favorite Disney character?


Nominate a SIGUCCS Volunteer for the Hall of Fame

The ACM SIGUCCS Hall of Fame was established to recognize individuals whose specific contributions have had a positive impact on the organization and therefore on the professional careers of the members and their institutions.

star StatuetteExamples of contributions that may be considered appropriate include serving as a Board Member or an officer, playing a major role in a conference, or participating on a SIGUCCS committee. What is considered important is not the breadth or length of the contribution, but the effectiveness or positive impact of it.

Recipients are listed on the online Hall of Fame. They also receive a physical token of the award and partial support to attend the annual conference to receive their award.

2018 conference logoThe Penny Crane Award for Distinguished Service and the SIGUCCS Hall of Fame awards are great opportunities to recognize volunteers and leaders in our organization and beyond. Nominations must be received by July 1.

We look forward to celebrating all of our award winners at SIGUCCS 2018 in Orlando!

SIGUCCS 2018 Volunteer Introductions – Kendra Strode

What is your volunteer position for 2018 and how would you explain it to someone new to SIGUCCS?

Kendra Strode

I am the Poster Track Chair. I didn’t know what this meant until I started doing it, and love it so far. For conference participants who have Poster Presentations in 2018, I am helping coordinate and complete readings of their required papers, getting them ready for publication, and then will help assist with the long-distance coordination and assembly of actual posters for the conference.

How many SIGUCCS conferences have you attended?


How did you get involved as a volunteer in SIGUCCS?

I helped chair sessions in 2016, looking for a way to engage myself in sessions I might not otherwise attend. During 2017 a last-minute volunteer coordinator was needed. One of my colleagues knew I’d done similar work in my swing-dance pursuits, and volunteered me!

What’s an accomplishment that you are especially proud of?

We just implemented mandatory two-factor authentication on campus and had an aggressive deadline and goal – have 80% of our student population voluntarily enrolled by the date we said we’d require 2FA. With just over a month for publicity, events, and outreach (spanning our spring break) we hit our goal just in time!

Something that you could always stop and talk to me about

Lindy Hop (swing dancing) – it’s a hobby and passion that has taken me across the country and around the world!

What do you do for fun?

Board Gaming, Traveling, Swing dancing, Curling, Knitting & Crocheting, Random DIY Home Improvement, Occasional woodworking, Handbell choir ringing – and whatever new adventures lie ahead!

SIGUCCS 2018 Orlando … who is your favorite Disney character?


SIGUCCS Penny Crane Award Nominations due July 1

It’s nomination season for SIGUCCS – hopefully you are already thinking about who you will nominate for the Penny Crane Award for Distinguished Service and the SIGUCCS Hall of Fame. These awards are great opportunities to recognize volunteers and leaders in our organization and beyond. (Nominations must be received by July 1.)

Here are the qualifications for a Penny Crane Award nominee:

  • Been a member of SIGUCCS over a relatively long term (but would not necessarily have to be a current member).
  • Been nominated via a 500-word statement from a current member of SIGUCCS (no self-nominations).
  • A record of long-term service to higher education and the computing profession, as indicated by a statement covering that service (normally a complete resume).
  • A record of extensive service to SIGUCCS, over a significant period of time (normally ten or more years), which could be checked against the records of SIGUCCS and ACM.
  • Received additional endorsements from at least four current or former members of SIGUCCS who are familiar with the contributions of the candidate.
  • Services which might qualify an individual include: SIGUCCS officer or board member, Conference or Program Chair, Conference Presenter, Chairing a SIGUCCS Committee, Serving in the Peer Review process, conducting workshops, representing SIGUCCS on an ACM Committee, representing SIGUCCS/ACM to another information technology organization

For more details about the award and nomination materials, visit

About Penny Crane

Penny CranePenny Crane was was an enthusiastic, dedicated volunteer for ACM and SIGUCCS including SIGUCCS board chair from 1986 to 1990. The Penny Crane Award for Distinguished Service was established by the SIGUCCS board to honor her long-time service and contributions.

SIGUCCS Conference attendees have heard the famous Penny Crane quote:

The rookies don’t have to go to all the sessions, and the old guys have to go to at least one.

That’s a pretty humorous sentiment, but more importantly one that shows deep value in the opportunity to meet and learn from other professionals in higher education at a SIGUCCS conference.

Penny’s SIGUCCS friends gathered their thoughts into a tribute document in 1999.

SIGUCCS 2018 Conference Attendance Grants

Would you like to attend the SIGUCCS Conference this year, but lack financial support from your institution?  You may be eligible to apply for partial suppport in the form of a Conference Attendance Grant.

SIGUCCS 2018 Conference LogoApplications are accepted through July 31, 2018. Details:

The purpose of the SIGUCCS Grant program is to provide partial support for individuals in institutions of higher education to participate in the annual SIGUCCS Conference. This support is funded by SIGUCCS and consists of a full registration to either the Management Symposium or the Service and Support Conference; hotel room accommodations; and registration for one half-day workshop or executive seminar. (“Business Behind the Magic” is not included as a pre-conference workshop option.)

The Awards Committee hopes to hear from you!

Incorporate the Magic of Disney into your next IT Project!

Disney Resort at NightAs we head into our 2018 conference, which happens to be located at Walt Disney World, we reflect on the magical experience of Disney and how Disney takes the ordinary and makes it extraordinary.

Chas Grundy recently posted an article on LinkedIn ( that talks about how he and his family went above and beyond the norm to turn a family vacation into a magical Disney experience. It was more than just a vacation to Disney, he found or made magic in the entire experience, from pre-planning to post vacation. From that vacation, Chas turned each element into a lesson that we can learn and use in other parts of our lives, including work.

If you have a moment, read his post and see how we can turn the ordinary into extraordinary in small, simple ways.

If you don’t have a moment, at least read his final takeaway:

The Big Takeaway

A vacation, like a project, product, event, or any other work experience, can be both stressful and exciting. It carries promise and anticipation, challenges and frustrations, and opportunities for us to learn and grow. Long after the frustrations have faded and the promise has delivered (or not), we will carry the memories of how it made us feel. Our customers and users will carry those memories as well – but we are in the position to shape the experience for them. Take a lesson or two from Disney and Universal and make it a little bit magical.

Now, take a moment and think about how a trip to SIGUCCS at Disney can inspire and drive you to make magical changes and moments at your institution – registration opens soon!

~Lisa Brown

April 2018 – Updates from the Chair

ACM SIGUCCS LogoThe end of April is approaching rapidly, which does not seem possible as the temperatures remain below freezing and snow is still in the air on my campus. Our students are less than two weeks away from final exams. Soon the campus will be mostly empty and we will be enjoying the long summer afforded to us by working at a higher education institution.

Did I mention we had snow on our cars again this morning?

The SIGUCCS Board has been busy the last few months. Here are some highlights of things we have accomplished so far in 2018:

  • We welcomed Allan Chen to the board as Secretary and Professional Development Coordinator. Allan hit the ground running, coordinating the 2018 webinar series and pre-conference seminars.
  • We have hosted three webinars on topics that range from managing student projects to endpoint security.
  • Laurie attended the SIG Governing Board meeting in Chicago in March. (It was quite cold there, too!) The focus of the March meeting was on building inclusive communities in our SIGs and conferences. It’s a great opportunity to chat with other SIG leaders and share our best practices.Laurie Fox at "the Bean" in Chicago
  • We accepted the Final Report from the 2017 Conference Committee and closed the financials with ACM. Another fantastic, successful conference – thank you to everyone who volunteered, presented, and attended!
  • We prepared and submitted our 2018-2019 budget to ACM.
  • ACM and Dan Herrick are working on site selection for the 2019 Annual Conference.
  • We refined our privacy policy for future conferences. At registration, attendees will be presented with clear options for sharing their contact information.

If you are interested in reading the Board’s meeting minutes, they are posted online:

SIGUCCS 2018 Conference LogoMany of you are working hard for SIGUCCS, too! Our 2018 Conference Committee is busy planning our voyage to the stars (October 7-10). The Mentoring Program kicked off earlier this year, and each month mentors and mentees are growing and learning together. The Awards Committee opened their call for nominations, as did the Communications Award team. There are so many ways to stay involved!



About the SIGUCCS Communications Awards

comm awards winnerThe SIGUCCS Communication Awards represent a unique opportunity for IT professionals to be recognized by their peers for excellence in something IT has a reputation for doing rather poorly. Jokes about nerdy, awkward IT folks abound, and not entirely without cause – some of us probably got into this profession just to avoid people! Turning technobabble into something useful and helpful for our customers is an area where many IT organizations – both inside and outside higher education – fall short. Skilled communication can make or break our relationship with our campus community, and for this reason SIGUCCS wants to recognize those IT professionals who are consistently striving to teach, train, and communicate in engaging and thoughtful ways.

The awards span a wide range of topics, some of which you might not think of as “communication” at first, like training materials and documentation. Some segments incorporate a little bit of marketing, like social media and websites, and some even recognize our student workers for their contributions. Across the categories, we want to see your efforts to connect with your customers, through traditional or cutting-edge means. SIGUCCS knows you’re not a professional PR guru, so don’t sell yourself short thinking that your project is boring or not snazzy enough. Did it work? Did you get the results you hoped for? We want to hear about it!

star StatuetteEven if your project doesn’t win in its category, you’ll still get helpful feedback from the judges – a panel of previous winners from the category. Judges’ feedback is a wonderful way to expand your mindset beyond what your institution likes and expects from your work, and can give you fresh ideas for another project.

Visit the SIGUCCS Communication Awards webpage today for a full list of categories, criteria, and instructions for entering your project.

~ Becky Cowin



Meet the 2017 – 2020 Board – Allan Chen

This article is part of a series introducing the 2017-2020 SIGUCCS Executive Committee. Each Board member submitted answers to questions created by the SIGUCCS Marketing Committee.

Allan ChenHow did you get involved in SIGUCCS?
My first conference was in 2005, in Monterey. I was at Stanford at the time so it was a “short” trip down the coast for me. We stayed in a separate hotel and had to walk over a mile each way. I got so much out of the conference, I didn’t mind the extra time on my feet each night, at all.

Why did you want to be a Board Member?
I feel I can contribute at a different level and have a part in guiding the organization forward by being on the Board.

Who in SIGUCCS inspires you?
There is no one answer to this. I have been motivated and inspired by so many in SIGUCCS over the years that I can’t point to anyone one person. And at each new conference I meet more inspirational folks.

What do you wish you knew before you decided to be on the board?
I think the breadth of what the Board does is quite expansive. Guiding an organization such as SIGUCCS is a large task, one that must be definition involve the community itself. I don’t think I was caught unawares, but I do wish I had had a better understanding of how broad the mission of the Board is. It’s both impressive and intimidating.

You could always stop and talk to me about…
Photography, especially traditional film work. I still shoot whenever I can, in medium and large format, though I usually bring digital on trips.

What do you do for fun?
Photography, a bit of hiking, and then it’s spending time with the kids (ages 3 and 6).

What are you looking forward to at the SIGUCCS 2018 Conference?
Reconnecting with friends and colleagues, and making new connections.

SIGUCCS Conference Presentation Formats

What’s up with all the different presentation formats at SIGUCCS? What’s the difference between a presentation and a poster? And what is a lightning talk?

SIGUCCS has an opportunity for a variety of session types and we are looking for people to present in all of them!

podiumAre you doing something interesting at work? Something that might be of interest to others in higher ed IT? Have you found a unique way to manage help desk tickets? Do you have a great method for getting faculty to come to training? Have you created a web site or documentation that has made your service so much easier to support? All of these are great ideas to share at SIGUCCS.

So, what’s the best way to share?

One option is a standard presentation. This involves writing a short (4-8 page) paper that outlines your presentation prior to the conference. The cool part is that this paper gets published in the ACM digital library. This is an official publication source. At the conference, you have an hour long time slot in which to give your presentation and answer questions of your attendees. For information about the paper process, read The SIGUCCS Presentation Paper.

audience member hand raisedIf you know people at other institutions are doing something similar, suggest a panel presentation. This is one where each school would present on their own methods and discuss similarities and differences in approaches. The audience benefits from multiple perspectives. Not sure how to find co-presenters? Use the SIGUCCS-L email list! If you are not a member, join today ( A paper is optional for this type of presentation.

If you have a great process to share and it can be an interactive session, submit a proposal for a facilitated discussion. This type of session allows you to get attendees to work together, brainstorm, etc. You become the moderator/facilitator of the session. And everyone comes away learning something. A paper is also optional for this type of presentation.

Don’t want to present to a group? Submit a proposal for a poster. The poster session provides you an opportunity to discuss your topic/project one-on-one with other attendees. For more information about the poster session and how beneficial this can be to you and your career, see Present a poster at the SIGUCCS Annual Conference.

presentation attendeesAnd what the heck is a lightning talk? Read more at Lightning Talks at the SIGUCCS Annual Conference

The 2018 SIGUCCS Annual Conference is accepting presentation proposals through February 16, 2018. Submit your proposal today!

~Lisa Brown