The Path to Cascade 8, or Don’t Go Chasin’ Waterfalls

On January 26-27, the LITS Web Hosting team, in conjunction with Emory Communications and Public Affairs, completed the long-anticipated upgrade of Cascade to version 8, colloquially referred to as “The Ocho”.

Cascade is the Content Management System that Emory developers employ to create, edit, and maintain the vast majority of Emory’s web presence. The application manages over one thousand Emory web sites and is accessed by hundreds of users each year.

Cascade provides approved users with an array of standard templates complete with common look and feel elements, shared web components like news services and calendars, and a development environment to create web content for review before going live.

This upgrade was crucial to maintain supported status with the vendor of Cascade as well as to introduce new features and functionality. The primary feature upgrade was a vast overhaul of the user interface to make it more user and mobile friendly. The new version also features embedded accessibility checks for compliant web design, improvements to scheduled publishing, and the introduction of some task/project management tools to make collaborative design and workflows more functional.

Photo of new employee Caleb Boyd

Caleb Boyd, who was the featured speaker for the Cascade 8 upgrade at the January IT Briefing.

Preparations for this upgrade took well over a year to complete due to a variety of hurdles including legacy sites that were not compliant with the new version, orphaned websites, and lynchpin Emory sites such as Finance and HR that had to be carefully migrated and validated in preparation for the upgrade.

The cleanup and preparation process was truly an example of Emory collaboration drawing on Caleb Boyd, Steve Collins, and Joshua Baughcum of LITS Web Hosting; Bryce Roberts, John Mills, and Lindsay Paroczai of Communications and Public Affairs; Mark Parten of LITS Database; and Curt Tucker of LITS Systems Support, not to mention the large numbers of users who volunteered to test the new version before it went live.

Huge thanks to all those team members involved, as well as to the Cascade user base as a whole for their patience and support.

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Introducing Healthy Emory Connect

January 2018 saw the launch of Healthy Emory Connect, a wellness application designed to serve as an online hub for all of your health and wellness needs, whether you’re looking to earn your 2018 health plan incentives, track your personal health and fitness goals, or connect with colleagues for a little friendly competition!

Things to know:

  • As of this year, Healthy Emory Connect will serve as the access point for many of your 2018 health plan incentives. You’ll also need to access the application in order to complete your 2018 health risk assessment.
  • Participation in this year’s Move More Challenge, which begins on March 5, will be managed through Healthy Emory Connect. As a result, this year’s participants will be able to compete using a range of fitness trackers, including Garmin and Polar devices, Apple Watch, and Fitbit.
  • If you regularly use a fitness tracker to monitor your daily steps and activity, you can sync your device with Healthy Emory Connect and have all of your information stored in one place. Whether you are looking for some gentle encouragement or friendly competition, Healthy Emory Connect will allow you to organize groups and challenges among your colleagues to help you get (and stay) motivated.
  • Use Healthy Emory Connect to access the Healthy Emory events calendar for up-to-date information about classes and programs offered near you.
  • Healthy Emory Connect is a service provided by Virgin Pulse. For information about how Virgin Pulse collects and manages your data, see their privacy policy here:
  • For answers to other Healthy Emory Connect FAQs, visit:

Register for Healthy Emory Connect!

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MS Forms tips and tricks

Need to send a simple survey or quiz, but don’t want to pay a vendor fee?

Microsoft Forms may be for you!

Microsoft (MS) Forms is ideal if you need to send a list of questions to a group of people and capture simple analytics on the results.  Some of the advantages of using MS Forms outside of saving money include:

  1. Intuitive set-up process
  2. Multiple people can collaborate on the structure and layout of quizzes and forms
  3. You should be able to skip the whitelisting process
  4. Existing in-house tool that can be accessed via OWA (

Example of MS Forms Use:

In January 2017, the Messaging Team worked with James Leonard to develop a customer satisfaction survey.  MS Forms was used as the vehicle to send the survey and report analytics on the survey results.  The “responses” section of MS Forms displayed a summary of the results for each questions, as people completed the survey (see picture below.)

MS Forms also captured the results in an Excel workbook, which was saved in our Office 365 Group central file repository.

MS Forms can be found by going to, clicking on the App Launcher (looks like a waffle in the top left corner of the screen) and selecting MS Forms.

Find out more about MS Forms by visiting

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Doug Goans, Assistant Director for Library Technologies and Digital Strategy

Photo of new employee

“The opportunity to collaborate with colleagues on library technology initiatives is exciting!” – Doug Goans

Doug Goans fills the newly created role of Assistant Director for Library Technology and will oversee the Core Systems and Software Engineering teams. Doug joins Emory from Georgia Tech where he served for six years as the head of library information technology and development. He also worked for 11 years at Georgia State University, starting as the web development librarian and ending his career there as the department head for digital library services.

Hailing from Springfield, Missouri, Doug received his bachelor’s degree in communication from Missouri State University and his master of library science degree from the University of Missouri in Columbia. He has family in Georgia and relocated here soon after library school.

Doug is a do-it-yourselfer who enjoys upgrading his house and has been focusing on weekend wood-working projects in recent years.

“I’m happy to be at Emory and look forward to meeting and working with people in LITS,” says Doug. “The opportunity to collaborate with colleagues on library technology initiatives is exciting!”

You can reach him at dgoans [at] emory [dot] edu.

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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)

  • February 7 – Event: Get an Atlanta-Fulton Public Library Card, 11:00 am-3:00 pm, Level 2, Woodruff Library
  • February 7 – Workshop: Intro to Digital Publishing, 2:00 pm, Room 303E, Woodruff Library
  • February 12 – Event: Feast of Words, 4:00-6:00 pm, Jones Room, Woodruff Library
  • February 12-16 – Love Data Week, various locations to be announced soon
  • February 14 – Workshop: Data Cleaning and Manipulation, 2:00 pm, Room 312, Woodruff Library
  • February 15 – IT Briefing: 10:15-12:00 pm, 4th Floor Auditorium, NDB
  • February 16 – Event: Twelfth Night Revel 2018, 6:30-8:30 pm, Jones Room, Woodruff Commons, & Schatten Gallery, Woodruff Library
  • February 17 – Event: Free reading by US Poet Laureate Tracy K. Smith, 4:00 pm, Schwartz Center
  • February 21 – Event: The Rebel: In Celebration of Mari Evans, 6:30-8:30 pm, Jones Room, Woodruff Library
  • February 21 – Workshop: Publishing with GitHub Pages, 2:00 pm, Room 312, Woodruff Library
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The weather outside was frightful, but the LITS Holiday Party was delightful

Barbara Brandt (L) and Brenda Rockswold.

The LITS Holiday Party was held on December 20 and the rain and cold temperatures did not keep the revelers away.

Over 300 people attended the event, held in the Math and Science Atrium. Festivities included a DJ, trivia, and a prize raffle. This year also featured an excellent array of food, planned expertly by new LITS events manager Maya Cody.

CIO Rich Mendola delivered some kind words during the event. “I hope everyone is getting away to spend time with family and friends. Enjoy the season and accept my thanks, and that of the senior leadership team, for all that you have done this year to contribute to Emory’s mission.”

(L to R): Circe Tsui, Perry Eidson, Sharon Mason, and Jocelyn Ramirez.

Perry Eidson was perfect as Santa Claus. He posed for photos with various party goers and took down various Christmas wish lists. If you did not get what you wanted for Christmas, please see Perry.

The planning committee raffled several prizes including wine, beer, Echo dots, wireless headphones, and a Firestick. “The change in location was a big hit with everyone,” said Kim Comstock, LITS business manager. “People seemed to enjoy the opportunity to sit and talk with their fellow co-workers.”

Bonnie Jean Woolger wins one of the raffles!

Thanks to this year’s planning committee: Cressenda Bennett, Maya Cody, Kim Comstock, Michelle Crawford, Sebreana Echols, Wade Moricle, and Linda Richardson.

If you would like to download your photos from the event, please go to



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Shruti Uolligadla, ETL Developer, Data Warehouse and Business Intelligence

“Right now is the happiest I’ve ever been.” – Shruti Uolligadla

Shruti Uolligadla (pronounced SHRUE-the Oh-lee-GOD-lah) is a new extract transform and load (ETL) developer in Enterprise Applications. Before coming to Emory she worked for six months as an ETL developer at the Admin Office of US Courts (AOUSC). Most of Shruti’s experience has been on implementing Data warehousing and BI solutions for different clients. She has worked on several ETL tools like SSIS (Microsoft), ODI (Oracle) for designing and developing data warehouses during a three-year stint at Tech Mahindra in Bangalore, India.

Born in the northern part of Karnataka, India, in a town named Bidar, Shruti earned her bachelor’s degree in computer science engineering from VTU (Visvesvaraya Technological University). She also has completed Salesforce developer and admin certifications.

For fun, Shruti loves to cook, play games like badminton, and tennis, and do outdoors activities such as rafting, jet skiing, kayaking and sky diving. She also enjoys painting and other crafts.

“Right now is the happiest I’ve ever been,” says Shruti. “I look forward to my future at Emory. I have a wonderful team which motivates me to work, learn and enhance the skills I have gained through the years.”

You can reach Shruti at shruti [dot] shruti [at] emory [dot] edu.

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