Tag Archive | "UMIT"

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Learning and Growing


Krishnan Kottaiswamy, ETL developer, hosted the ‘One Action’ presentation for about 20 of his UMIT colleagues.

Wish you could predict the future? A small group of University of Miami Information Technology staff learned the basics of predictive analytics—the use of data and statistical algorithms to predict future trends and behavior patterns—at a lunchtime presentation hosted by one of their peers. This was the first of a series of brown bag lunches implemented by the Decision Support and Planning and Institutional Research teams as their “One Action” in response to the results of last year’s faculty and staff engagement survey.

“Collaboratively, our teams reviewed the survey results and discussed the opportunity to focus on professional development,” said Sheryl Borg, executive director of Decision Support Services. “Working together as a blended team for the past two years has given us a unique opportunity to share diverse skills. Now we’re formalizing that. The team is strengthened as each team member has opportunities to learn and lead others in learning.”

Krishnan Kottaiswamy, ETL developer, hosted the presentation for about 20 of his colleagues. “We’re considering predictive analytics to assist in forecasting future plans for the University community.” Kottaiswamy said. “This was a great opportunity to teach others about it.”

The lunches will be hosted quarterly and anyone on the team can submit a topic for consideration. “We plan on having more sessions and eventually involving others going forward,” Kottaiswamy said. “Everybody has different skills—if anyone wants to learn through these sessions, they could transfer their knowledge and help each other grow.”

In addition to the brown bag lunches, the team created a shared calendar, where anyone can post webinars and conferences, and a resource library to share learning materials. UMIT Decision Support leaders encourage team members to dedicate up to five hours per month for professional development and to provide meeting rooms to support learning activities.

What have you learned lately? Share your story with InsideUM at InsideUM@miami.edu. In the meantime, don’t forget to take advantage of all the U has to offer, from tuition benefits to online learning, at ulearn.miami.edu and Lynda.com.



Posted in Professional DevelopmentComments Off


Working Securely Off Campus

PrintThe May Made for U newsletter focused on the University’s virtual private network (VPN), which employees should use to securely connect to the Internet off campus.

Many of you utilize remote access to dial in to your on-campus computers, but that poses a security risk to your and the University’s sensitive information since hackers may try to use remote desktop access to steal information or mask the activity of computers infected by malware.

As such, remote access to the University of Miami network will only be available through supported UMIT applications and services that enable you to:

  •   Access your files from anywhere, at anytime
    Instead of saving files on your desktop computer, save them in Box so that you can securely access and share your files quickly via the cloud from any of your devices: desktop computers, laptops, tablets, smartphones, etc. For information, benefits, and log in information, review the Box Made for U showcase.
  • Connect to the UM network while traveling or working remotely
    Use the University of Miami’s virtual private network (VPN) Pulse to make secure connections when you’re off campus. For more information, benefits, and download information, please review VPN Made for U showcase.
  • Securely access remote applications
    Some applications are only available on university-managed devices and may not be accessible outside of the UM network. If you would like to remotely host an application, please contact the UMIT Service Desk at: help@miami.edu with the subject line: “Remote Access Request.”

*Important: Personal virtual private networks (VPNs) and remote desktop protocols (RDPs) used to access University of Miami devices may not function, since these services/applications are not supported by UMIT.

For more information about remote access at UM, review the University of Miami’s remote access policy.

If you have any questions or concerns, please contact the UMIT Service Desk at 305-284-6565 or help@miami.edu.

Posted in For Your Benefit, InsideUMComments Off


Theresa Semmens Named Chief Information Security Officer and Assistant VP

UM News

Theresa Semmens

Theresa Semmens

CORAL GABLES, Fla. (June 17, 2017)—Bringing a wealth of strategic cybersecurity expertise, Theresa Semmens joins the University of Miami as its chief information security officer (CISO) and assistant vice president, effective June 19.

As a member of University of Miami Information Technology’s (UMIT’s) Executive Cabinet, Semmens will work closely with senior administration, academic leaders, health system leaders, and the University community to optimize UM’s information technology security.

“Theresa brings strategic leadership to UMIT during our ongoing work to enhance our cybersecurity posture,” said Steve Cawley, vice president for information technology and chief information officer. “We’re looking forward to her being a leader who will have a positive impact on our University and information technology as a whole.”

As an advocate for UM’s information security needs, Semmens will be responsible for the development of a comprehensive information security strategy and a security program that leverages collaborations and university-wide resources, facilitates information security governance, advises senior leadership on security direction and resource investments, and designs appropriate policies to manage information security risk.

Semmens joins UM from North Dakota State University (NDSU), where she served as its CISO. There, she was responsible for creating, coordinating, and evaluating processes to build an information security vision and strategy, which included security policies, procedures and risk management, and assessment. At NDSU, she also reviewed contracts, software and service licenses, and agreements that contained IT components of security and regulatory compliance—in particular evaluating matters related to HIPPA, FERPA, GLBA, and applicable protection of information and privacy laws.

Semmens holds two master’s degrees, one in business administration and another in management, from the University of Mary in North Dakota.


Posted in Appointments, NewsComments Off

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Faculty Showcase Features Storytelling for Teaching Excellence

By Michael R. Malone
UM News


Visiting Assistant Professor Mónica Alexandra Durán  leads a learning circle at the Faculty Showcase.

CORAL GABLES, Fla. (May 24, 2017)—Teaching teachers to weave stories using mind tools—rhythm and cadence, humor, a twist of the bizarre, or a taste of the familiar—that enhance learning was just one of the many novel techniques shared at Faculty Showcase 2017.

Promoting teaching excellence was the story at this full-day workshop held this month in the Donna E. Shalala Student Center. The third annual showcase, facilitated by University of Miami Information Technology’s Academic Technologies unit, attracted faculty from a range of disciplines across the University and included a potpourri of Faculty Spotlights, learning circles, and faculty exhibit opportunities.

“I’m always looking for new and better ways to get students engaged,” said Dan DiResta, a senior lecturer in the Department of Biology, when asked his motivation for attending. DiResta and colleague Jane Indorf, an assistant professor, both appreciated the emphasis on storytelling in teaching and said narrative techniques are used often in biology in the form of case studies.

“The students really enjoy the case studies for learning—they’re like investigative mysteries—and some of the cases are ‘told’ by some very good storytellers,” Indorf said.

In his Faculty Spotlight on “Promoting Retention of Information through Narrative Memory,” Matthew Kaeiser, an instructor in the Division of Continuing and International Education’s Intensive English Program, shared associative language learning techniques he developed when teaching in Honduras. Research shows that narrative presentations enhance learning and storytelling techniques can be especially helpful for students whose first language is not English.

“Teaching can become very siloed, so the showcase is geared to get people from different teaching areas to connect and to expand faculty awareness for the many opportunities that are there for them but often not talked about enough,” said Gemma Henderson, senior instructional designer with Academic Technologies. The showcase was mainly contextualized for University faculty, but was open to the public.

As part of his keynote address, “Developing Students’ Emerging ‘Story of Self’ as Citizens,” Scot Evans led participants in a storytelling exercise to identify the “ah ha” moments in their lives, a snippet in time where they became aware of their purpose and civic identity. Evans, an associate professor of educational and psychological studies in the School of Education and Human Development, uses the same exercise in his classes to connect students to the power of their own stories—and how their stories deepen connections to each other and to their learning.

In addition to the keynotes and a wide range of topics explored in learning circles, faculty toured tables with resource information about Learning Innovation and Faculty Development; the Faculty Learning Community (trans-disciplinary); Learning Platforms (online technologies for classroom teaching); Miller School of Medicine campus resources (curriculum development, mentoring and faculty development, Panopto lecture-capture); and the treasure chest of resources available for faculty and students at the library—Digital Media Lab, Geographic Information Systems Lab, Digital Humanities, the Learning Commons, and much more.

For the last two years, the Faculty Showcase has been funded by a grant from the Knight Foundation.



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Sign Up for Free Planner Training on March 2

Trying to take the chaos out of project planning and add more structure to team collaboration? If so, Microsoft Planner is a useful tool for your work life. Planner helps workgroups create shared plans (projects), assign tasks, and set deadlines. It also provides ways to visually organize and track your team’s progress with tools such as charts and visual dashboards. Plus, Microsoft Office works with Planner to assist in communication among team members and scheduling important events.

Interested? This course is offered on Thursday, March 2, from 10 a.m.-12 p.m., on the Miller School campus (Dominion Tower, room 1003A). Sign up for this free, two-hour, instructor-led training offered by University of Miami Information Technology (UMIT) in ULearn (ulearn.miami.eduby searching for the keyword “Planner.”

Additional courses are currently available featuring a number of applications. To view the entire course catalog, visit the UMIT training website.



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