LEAP! a record-setting success

The first-ever LITS Employee Appreciation Party (LEAP!) was attended this week by 375 LITS employees, eclipsing the recently-set employee attendance record of 360 during the 2018 LITS Town Hall. The event included a plated luncheon, LEAP!-emblazoned cupcakes, free LITS t-shirts, door prizes, employee awards and honors, a standing ovation, and two captivating speakers.

Rich Mendola opened the festivities by telling the assembled throng of staffers that, “Today is an opportunity to celebrate and to say ‘Thank You’ to all of you for your hard work, dedication, and the remarkable achievements you have enabled.” Rich discussed how Commencement reminds us that our jobs are about providing constant services and resources to each graduating class. He continued by giving a rousing introduction to the keynote speaker, Gary Hauk.

Gary Hauk delivers a historical perspective of LITS.

Gary Hauk, the Emory University Historian, impressed onlookers with his fascinating tale of the ancestral origins of LITS. His speech, entitled The Convergence of the Twain: A Brief History of Libraries and Information Technology at Emory, was the result of researching the archives of six decades of IT and Libraries at Emory. He said, “I’ve been struck by the nearly parallel development of two phenomena of remarkable beauty, two systems of authority and power, whose paths were destined to cross. And in the crossing, they changed forever our lives as members of an academic community.”

Gary surmised that the two entities began to merge in 1988, the year that the university hired its first Provost, Billy Frye, as well as hiring Joan Gotwals to be vice provost and director of the libraries and Jim Johnson to be the vice provost for information technology. Gary went on to discuss things such as MARC records, the DOBIS/LIBIS system, the emergence of the Emory XT Computer, the restoration of Candler, the consolidation of redundant IT systems, creation of ECDS, the refurbishing of Rose Library, and the creation of the Library Service Center, among others. He closed by saying, “It will be fascinating to see how the mutual transformation of libraries and information technology will continue to shape what the Emory mission statement calls our work of creating, preserving, teaching, and applying knowledge in service of humanity.”

Joe Massey (L) and Rich Mendola (R).

The event continued with the honoring of this years’ Service Award Recipients. They are:

  • 5-Year: Saundra Barrett, Enid Britton, Michael Buchmann, Geoffrey Cestaro, Courtney Chartier, Alex Cooper, Yolanda Cooper, Jessie Copeland, Monica Crubezy, Troy Crumbley, Tony Dawson, Kathy Dixson, Chris Doty, Michael Geraghty, Noy Hawkins, Anthony Hess, Mark Hogstrom, Alex Klyshevich, Jamalh Lagrone, Keith Long, Janet Marks, Kim Norman, Rob Renner, Megan Slemons, James Tanis, Lisa Travis, Vince Vaughn, Gretchen Warner, and Damon Williams.
  • 10-Year: Danny Bridges, Dana Bryant, Jymbellyn Carthon, Andrew Chin, Jennifer Elder, Lisa Hamlett, Penny King, Alex Kyrychenko, Chase Lovellette, LaKysha Mack, Philip MacLeod, Tara McCurley, Maureen McGavin, Justin Menacker, Brian Methot, Tomas Ortiz, Kenyon Register, Jamie Weems, Steve Wheat, and Michael Williamson.
  • 15-Year: Erika Buchholz, John Ellis, Richard Gilliam, Camille Hyatt, Tanisha McNichol, Sherri Meador, Ron Miller, Rob O’Reilly, Chris Palazzolo, Jessica Perlove, Chad Robichaux, Elizabeth Roke, James Sawyer, Zavian Weems, Jonathan White, Alvin Wilder, and Leslie Wingate.
  • 20-Year: Alex Berry, Barbara Brandt, Patrick Buckley, Sean Deaver, Melvin Dozier, Joanna Green, Marc Hardison, Russ Havard, Marty Ike, Carl Jeter, Steve Johnson, Shannon O’Daniel, Daniel Palmer, John Pine, Tracy Preyer, Oliver Smith, Ann Berry Ward, Erich Wendt, and Ted Willi.
  • 25-Year: Kyle Brooks, Michelle Crawford, and Norman Hulme.
  • 30-Year: Jerrold Brantley, Derek Butler, Debbie Gray, Kathy Hayes, Kerry Jemison, Steve Lee, Dave Maddlone, Missie Martin, Eric Peng, Pamela Pope, Bob Spencer, and Laura Trittin.
  • 35-Year: Mike Edler
  • 40-Year: Perry Eidson
  • 50-Year: Joe Massey

Joe Massey receives a standing ovation for his 50-years of Emory service.

Joe Massey was honored for being the first 50-year employee of either IT or the Library in the recorded history of Emory. He received a special honor from LITS HR and was given a standing ovation.

The recipients of this year’s Significant Contribution Award were then announced with a summary of the reasons each were chosen. A listing of the details behind each award winner will be featured in a subsequent article. The winner’s were:

  • Caleb Boyd: CIMP project
  • Enid Britton: Automation of new hire on-boarding process
  • Joel Burke: AWS at Emory and CIMP projects
  • Kari Harwitz: eIACUC project
  • Amy Walker: PMO continuous service improvement & training
  • Will Wright: Salesforce implementation for Emory All of Us Research Program
  • Saundra Barrett: User-centric web applications
  • Lisa Cogdill: Algorithm for antibiotic compliance
  • Khushbu Amin: Goizueta ADRC project and EHAS study
  • Keith Foster: Wireless Refresh and Expansion
  • Circe Tsui: AWS at Emory – cloud-based research & teaching
  • Tiffany Miles: ArchivesSpace project
  • Jenn Sutcliffe: Wikipedia-focused innovation grant
  • Melanie Kowalski: Copyright Support Community of Practice
  • Tara McCurley: One-button HD video production studio
  • Larry Frazer: Convocation Hall renovation
  • Damon Williams: Network Edge Refresh project
  • Jimmy Kincaid: AWS at Emory automation

Enid Britton accepts her Significant Contribution Award from PATH Committee member Dawn Francis-Chewning.

LEAP! was followed by our annual LITS Game Day where employees participated in a Team Trivia contest, Texas Hold ‘Em poker tournament, video games, board games, and virtual reality. We could thank our hosts in Student Digital Life, our hosts for team trivia and poker, and perhaps name the winners of each contest. [Ed. Note: Stay tuned for an article next week about Game Day!]

The LEAP! event was organized the the PATH Committee, which also put on the 2018 LITS Town Hall. That committee was organized by its leadership sponsors Rob Renner and Leslie Wingate. The PATH Committee included Amy Allison, Ayana Bohannon, Cecilia Bolich, Maya Cody, Kyle Fenton, Dawn Francis-Chewning, Andrea Goldson-Barrett, Susan Henschen, Shoba Mallik (Co-Chair), Wade Moricle (Chair), Jack Scott, Alex Tudor, and Veta Williamson.

Special thanks also go to the volunteers: Carla Ashe-Hutchinson, Kat Boushell, Abby EllerbeNydia Charles-Huggins, Michelle Crawford, Kathy Dixson, Camille Hyatt, and Khadijah Muhammad.

If you would like to see all of the photos from the event, go to: https://lits.smugmug.com/2019/2019-05-14-LEAP/

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Lynda.com transitioning to LinkedIn Learning Platform

This summer, our Lynda instance will transition to the LinkedIn Learning platform. LinkedIn has owned Lynda since 2015 and this transition will retire the Lynda brand, relaunching as LinkedIn Learning. The change should be seamless and will provide added benefits while delivering all of the existing Lynda content, with additional courses and improved functionality.

The transition is scheduled for June 20. Please note that you will be unable to login and use Lynda/LinkedIn Learning on the day of the transition.

Lynda user course history and data will be migrated to LinkedIn Learning as long as the account is activated by March 2020, and you can access all of the courses you enjoyed while using Lynda. The login process will also be the same, using your Emory net ID and password at a new website, which will be provided closer to the transition date. The current site, http://it.emory.edu/lynda, will redirect to the new site and login. As with Lynda, LinkedIn Learning will be available to all University faculty, staff, and students.

In addition, users will now have access to the following features in LinkedIn Learning:

  • More content from LinkedIn Learning, including courses from popular certification programs
  • Learning Paths – recommended courses for mastering certain skills
  • An updated and easy-to-use desktop and mobile site and search

Users will also have the option of connecting their LinkedIn Learning activity to their personal LinkedIn profile (this is not required). This feature allows LinkedIn Learning to:

  • Show completed courses on your public LinkedIn profile
  • Recommend courses based on your experience and career goals

No user data will be passed from public LinkedIn profiles back to Emory.

Current Lynda users will receive reminders about the transition via email closer to the transition date. After the transition is complete, users will receive an email letting them know they can log in to LinkedIn Learning and connect their LinkedIn profile if they wish. To learn more, consult the LinkedIn Learning migration website.

One question that has come up is whether or not alumni can use the service. Lynda/LiL is licensed for current students, faculty and staff only.

If you have any other questions, please reach out to ATS Teaching & Learning Technologies at classes [at] emory [dot] edu.

You can see a video presentation about this transition, conducted by Lee Clontz and Jenn Sutcliffe, here.

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New York Times digital access available to Emory for free

As you may have seen around the Woodruff Library (elevators, digital signage), we now have full digital access to the New York Times.

This has been a long time coming for the entire university, but good things come to those who wait, as the price has gone dramatically decreased in the last several years for the academic market.

The first step is to go to AccessNYT.com, and select Emory from the long drop down menu.

For more details as to how to create an account, or how to use the Emory account if you already have a personal account, see Jennifer Elder’s excellent blog post:


Feel free to share this news widely.

If you are having difficulty logging in to your account, you should go directly through the proxy link.

Special thanks to Susan Klopper, the College Council rep, Wincie Wang, CCR, and Jennifer Elder for getting us off the ground, troubleshooting, and marketing.

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LITS recent headlines and upcoming events

Headlines & Events graphic banner

Recent LITS headlines:

Upcoming LITS events:

(go HERE for more information for each event)

  • May 17 – Event: STAFF FEST, Quad, all day
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Don’t miss the annual LITS Game Day next Tuesday

photo of a partyPlease note that our annual LITS Game Day celebration will take place immediately following the LEAP! (LITS Employee Appreciation Party) event next Tuesday, May 14, at the Computing Center at Cox Hall. Those of you who are registered for the LEAP! event are invited to just walk downstairs one level in Cox Hall at the conclusion of the LEAP! event and join us for Game Day.

Please note that although pre-registration is required for LEAP! attendance, you do not have to be registered for the LEAP! event in order to participate in Game Day. Game Day is a “drop-in” event where you can come and go as you please.

Game Day is an opportunity to enjoy various games and refreshments with your co-workers as we celebrate the conclusion of another successful academic year.

LITS Game Day:

  • When: Tuesday, May 14th from 1:30pm to 4:00pm
  • Where: Computing Center at Cox Hall

Desserts and beverages will be provided and the lineup of games shall include:

  • Gaming consoles for open play: PS4, Xbox One, Xbox 360, Wii U. Available games are listed on this page.
  • HTC Vive Virtual Reality Headset (for open play). Available games and experiences are listed on this page.
  • Wii Just Dance
  • Team Trivia (start forming your team TODAY)
  • Texas Hold ‘Em Poker Tournament (free to play with prizes going to the top-two finishers)
  • Improv Station
  • Corn Hole
  • Assorted board games and puzzles

We look forward to seeing you there!

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LITSers walk well in the 2019 Move More Challenge

This year’s Move More Challenge ended this week, and the LITS division was well-represented. The annual 42-day competition requires participants to electronically track their daily steps using FitBit, Apple Watch, or other related technology. Sponsored by the Faculty Staff Assistance Program (FSAP), the event was run through the Healthy Emory Connect resource as a way to promote wellness.

This year there were 6,491 participants spread across 975 teams. With the challenge wrapping up on May 5, over 1.9 billion steps were taken averaging out to 8,700 steps per day.

Norman Hulme

The most impressive LITS “feet” goes to Norman Hulme, whose 1.1 million steps placed him 21st out of those registered. Norman averaged over 27,000 steps a day, approximately 15 miles, through a regimen of running and walking.

The LITS Top 20 Walkers (with team name):

  1. Norman Hulme, Blomeyer – 1,143,366
  2. Madhuban Chaudhary, LITS: Kiss our APPS – 1,022,963
  3. Ramya Bommareddy, Comfortable Loafers – 978,150
  4. Teresa Fleetwood, LITS: Lets Increase Those Steps – 820,055
  5. Alex Huynh, Data Solutions Team #1 – 801,529
  6. Tara McCurley, LITS Go – 795,793
  7. Joanna Green, LITS: Lets Increase Those Steps – 780,790
  8. Kat Boushell, LITS: Lets Increase Those Steps – 763,986
  9. Haynes Chewning, Comfortable Loafers – 738,244
  10. Susan Henschen, Comfortable Loafers – 734,005
  11. Cresenda Bennett, LITS: Lets Increase Those Steps – 731,684
  12. Michael Williamson, LITS: Lets Increase Those Steps – 729,680
  13. James Alston, Blomeyer – 726,986
  14. Ike Ikegwuonu, Comfortable Loafers – 725,764
  15. Gerry Hall, LITS: TO THE MOON!!! – 725,569
  16. Tricia Goddard, LITS Go – 701,094
  17. Lindsay Narbeth, Speed Daemons – 697,922
  18. Dawn Francis-Chewning, Comfortable Loafers – 692,518
  19. Yolanda Cooper, Not Fast, Just Furious – 689,093
  20. Amelia Frances, LITS Go684,816

LITS walkers (L to R) Andrew Chin, Rich Mendola, Dawn Francis-Chewning, Ramya Bommareddy, and Seema Sharma.

One LITS team, Comfortable Loafers, reached the top ten, finishing 8th out of 949 teams that recorded steps. Captained by Dawn Francis-Chewning, the team had seven of its members surpass 500,000 steps.

The top-three LITS teams were:

  1. Comfortable Loafers (8th overall) – Ramya Bommareddy, Haynes Chewning, Dawn Francis-Chewning (captain), Andrew Chin, Ceray Doss-Williams, Katie Green (ECAS), David Hauenstein, Susan Henschen, Ike Ikegwuonu, and Wade Moricle
  2. LITS: Lets Increase Those Steps (13th overall) – Cresenda Bennett, Kat Boushell, Nydia Charles-Huggins, Kim Comstock (captain), Joanna Green, Sandra Harrison, Rich Mendola, Linda Richardson, Michael Williamson, and Michelle Wilson
  3. LITS G0 (26th overall) – Michael Buchmann, Derek Butler, Keith Covert, Tricia Goddard, Robin Horton, Shea Jarman, Alex Kyrychenko, Tara McCurley (captain), Dwain Smith, Amelia Frances

LITS finished 8th out of 43 business units who participated in the challenge.

For more information about Move More, go to: https://www.hr.emory.edu/eu/wellness/challenges-and-events/move-more-challenge/index.html.

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Clothing swap at the Computing Center? It computes!

Students checking out the options at the clothing swap.

If you walked into the Computing Center at Cox Hall on April 25, you might have thought you were walking into a thrift store. Hundreds of clothing items were spread across tables in the Gallery and Classroom A for a free clothing swap.

The swap was led by the Emory Climate Analysis Solutions Team (ECAST) and ~bin (an upcycling group on campus), and sponsored by the Office of Sustainability Initiatives and the Computing Center at Cox Hall.

Swap attendees brought in over 500 clothing items, keeping nearly 300lbs of clothing out of landfills. 25 attendees learned about the impact cost of fast fashion – when inexpensive clothing is produced rapidly to keep up with new trends. This supply chain has been criticized for contributing to pollution, poor working conditions, and landfill waste.

This swap built on last semester’s swap by adding a new element – an upcycling workshop led by student group ~bin. Bryan Deleon-Vargas (19C) of ~bin learned how to sew as a MAKEmory at TechLab staff member, then decided to share his knowledge with fellow students. After the swap, students could take slightly broken clothing items and mend them, or turn them into something new.

“Adding in a workshop element took the sustainability aspect of the event and pushed it to a new level,” said Bryan. “Swapping is good, but being able to save a broken item from going to a landfill takes an event bigger step.”

The event is yet another example of the Computing Center’s efforts to connect with student groups on campus and develop a sense of community.

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