University of Wisconsin–Madison
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UW-IT Professionals

As IT professionals at UW-Madison, we value the high-quality services and support we provide to our faculty, staff and students, as well as UW System and beyond. We also recognize that having a shared set of resources helps us to better serve our users, our work unit and the institution.

History, vision, approach

Since November 2016, a campuswide team of IT staff has been committed to developing a set of standard guidelines, assembling a directory of training resources and onboarding tools, as well as establishing a UW-IT Professionals organization.

UW-IT Professionals is a campuswide, grassroots organization within the UW-IT Connects umbrella for self-identified new and current IT employees to collaborate and share these tools and resources.

Our shared vision is to improve the IT culture and inter-departmental relationships at UW–Madison. Our immediate plans for the organization are to recruit members to serve on sub-teams to plan and deliver IT- focused programming and training for faculty, staff and students.

Annually we host the IT Professionals Conference to provide a forum for networking and idea exchange among IT Professionals across the campus. 

In 2020, we coordinated the inaugural IT Recognition Awards. We work with excellent people who do awesome things. These awards were the first step in showcasing our impact. 

IT Recognition Awards

Congratulations to the 2021 IT Recognition Award Winners!

The Awards were presented as part of the IT Professionals Conferences on June 4, 2021.

View the ceremony.

2021 Awards and Recipients

Lifetime Achievement

Recognizes the continued contributions of a community member (emeritus and/or retired staff are also eligible for this award) whose body of work throughout their entire career has had a significant impact on the success of the university.

Brenda Spychalla

SoE/MERIT
Portrait photo of Brenda Spychalla
(Photo by Sarah Maughan UW-Madison)

Brenda Spychalla is the Co-CIO for the School of Education and Co-Director for MERIT, where she collaboratively leads a diverse set of information and technology professionals in strategic planning, stewardship and service delivery for the School of Education community and beyond. During her 29 years at UW-Madison, she has enjoyed serving on numerous governance groups and IT initiatives, and was a founding member of UW-WIT and UW-IT Connects. Brenda has been an IT professional in the School of Education since 1994, and is a proud UW Alum.

Janet E. Plato Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Award

Recognizes and celebrates the exemplary leadership displayed by an IT staff member in advancing diversity, equity, and inclusion in our community.

Learn more about Janet Plato.

Jay Ray

General Library System

head and shoulders portrait of Jay Ray

Jay Ray has been the Technology Operations Manager with the General Library System (GLS) since 2014, where he works with his team to manage technology services across multiple campus libraries. During that time, he and his team have attempted to focus his efforts on providing access to technologies and services that can help create equity in an environment that often feels inhospitable to underrepresented and marginalized communities. He is passionate about this work and has served on a number of GLS committees that promote the values of equity, diversity, and inclusion, even outside of the technology spectrum.

Community Engagement

Recognizes a member in the IT community for their role as community builder and active volunteer in professional service to the broader community.

Susan Weier

L&S Learning Support Services

Portrain photo of Susan Weier

Susan Weier holds the position of L&S Information Security Officer at UW-Madison. She has worked in UW-Madison’s College of Letters and Science for over 20 years, in a variety of IT staff positions. She holds a Master’s degree from UW-Madison’s iSchool, and a Certified Information Systems Security Professional (CISSP) certification. Susan is also co-chair of the UW-Madison Information Security Team (Mist) and is on the Policy and Analysis Team Executive Committee.

Rising Star

Recognizes a rising IT professional whose records reflect ongoing and exceptional growth in contribution to the profession.

Naomi Bernstein

DoIT Academic Technology

Portrait photo of Naomi Bernstein

Naomi Bernstein has been a proud member of the DoIT Academic Technology Project Management Team since late March 2020, previously working for 10+ years as a Professional Engineer in Agriculture. Naomi collaborates with DoIT AT campus partners by managing campus-wide efforts which promote and improve the student Wisconsin Experience. Naomi loves being outdoors, parenting two amazing kids with her husband Bernie, curling, and enjoying delicious food with family and friends.

Transformational Achievement

Recognizes an IT community member who made a significant impact in transforming the university through their efforts on a specific major IT project or initiative beyond community events. The Transformational Achievement Award differs from other awards in that it is to recognize a specific initiative, project, or service.

Eric Wentz

Office of Student Financial Aid

Portrait photo of Eric Gentz

Eric has worked for the University of Wisconsin for over 24 years working on business and reporting systems in a variety of roles. He currently works for the Office of Student Financial Aid supporting the department and the Student Information System. He loves providing flexible long term solutions for technology and processes. He enjoys mentoring employees. He always maintains a curious perspective.

Unsung Hero

Recognizes the contributions of a community member whose work is less likely to draw accolades.

James Lloyd

Populations Health Institute

Portrait photo of James Lloyd

James Lloyd has played many roles in his career and throughout he’s had a great fondness for IT work.   James’ completed a Master’s Degree in educational technology from the UW-Madison Graduate School.  He’s been back with the UW in for the past ten years and now landed in a great job with the UW Population Health Institute as Program Technology Coordinator.  James enjoys computer games, media production, Virtual Reality and volunteers to support non-profit organizations to conduct events in virtual worlds such as Second Life, OpenSimulator and more.  James has a robot dog and he lives with his parents in Middleton, Wisconsin.  Actually, his parents live with him, but it’s funnier to say the other way!

Team Achievement

Recognizes a single team of IT community members whose collective teamwork on one or more projects have made a significant impact to the university.

Learn@UW Team

Portrait of Theresa BallwegTheresa Ballweg is the Learn@UW Support Liason in the Learn@UW-Madison Team. Her work consists of giving advance support for tools within the suite and coordinates with the DoIT Help Desk to create a seamless transition between teams.  In doing so she ensures customers are receiving top notch support. Theresa has been a part of the team for over 18 years.

Portrait of Kristy BergeronKristy Bergeron is the Service Leader Supervisor for the Learn@UW-Madison service. She has been part of Academic Technology, in multiple roles, since 2010. Kristy came to UW-Madison from Ecolab in St. Paul, Minnesota, to fill the role of Desire2Learn learning management system administrator. Kristy has a background in training development and design, learning technology, technical writing, and business analysis.

Portrait of Cliff CunninghamCliff Cunningham was born in small-town Indiana. Received a Master of Science, from Purdue Univ. All jobs have involved software training. Moved to Madison in 1998. Joined DoIT in August 2009. Currently, a Learning Technologies Consultant.

Portrait of James McKayJames McKay is a Learning Technology Consultant on the Learn@UW Team where he has served for the past eight years. James is the product manager for Blackboard Collaborate, Piazza, and Top Hat and also serves as a Faculty Liaison for Learning Analytics. Additionally James plays a key role in liaising with the Instructional Technologists and Instructional Continuity groups on topics of learning technologies. James first came to Madison to pursue a PhD in US History before being sidetracked into the wonderful world of teaching and learning technologies.

Portrait of Andrew W MuellerAndrew W Mueller is Knowledgebase administrator for Learn@UW-Madison, and a Learn@UW Support technician. Andrew joined Learn@UW-Madison in January 2020 after previously working for DoIT’s Tech Store and Level 2 Help Desk. Outside of work, Andrew is pursuing a degree through UW-Madison’s Learning Analytics Masters Program. He is an avid fan of open-world video games and the Milwaukee Brewers

Portrait of Andy PosseltAndy Posselt has a Master’s Degree in Adult Education and has spent over 14 years in education and educational technology.  As a Learning Technology Consultant, his focus is on the University’s many non-credit courses.  He has played on role on several major 2020 projects, including SOAR online, Smart Restart, and Spring Commencement.

Portrait of Saundra SolumSaundra Solum is the Learning Technology Systems Administrator in the Learn@UW-Madison team for AEFIS, our Assessment Management System. She works closely with the Office of the Provost’s Assessment Office with Student Learning Assessment. Saundy is also part of the Learning Technology Development Council (LTDC) for UW-System. She has been working at UW-Madison since 2015 and previously at UW-La Crosse for 19 years where she worked for IT and was also an instructor in the Masters of Education Professional Development department. She lives in her hometown of Spring Grove, MN where she is active in local government and non-profits.

Portrait of Keegan ShawKeegan Shaw is the Atomic Assessments System Administrator on the Learn@UW Team. He joined the team in March 2021.

Portrait of Susan SloanSusan Sloan is the Canvas site administrator as a part of the Learn@UW Madison team. She has been working for the UW System for over 11 years and at UW-Madison for just over 3 years in various educational technology roles.

Portrait of Andrew TurnerAndrew Jason Turner is the Learning Technology Systems Administrator in the Learn@UW-Madison team for Pressbooks, Turnitin, and a few other tools. Andrew joined the team full-time in 2018 after completing his master’s degree in designed, informal, and creative education. When he isn’t helping instructors with their burning Turnitin or Pressbooks questions, he is likely in the woods foraging for edible fungi.

Past Awards and Recipients

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2020 Awards and Recipients

Community Engagement Award

Recognizes a member in the IT community for their role as community builder and active volunteer in professional service to the broader community.

Amanda Thornton

Community Award ThorntonAmanda Thornton is a business applications developer at the Space Science and Engineering Center. For the last 17 years, she has worked to improve reporting and project management capabilities for research PIs.

She is a co-lead for both the Leadership Improv and the Developers Community of Practice; serves on the steering committee for UW Women+ in IT; is an IT Mentor and frequent mentee; and is committed to creating inclusive communities for everyone.

Amanda’s nominators cited her as “one of the most dedicated and active volunteers in professional service to the broader UW-Madison IT community!”

I am proud to present the inaugural 2020 IT Recognition Award for Community Engagement to Amanda Thornton.


Janet Plato Award for Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion

Recognizes and celebrates the exemplary leadership displayed by an IT staff member in advancing diversity, equity, and inclusion in our community.Please click here to learn more about Janet Plato.

Christopher Kilgour

DEI Award KilgourChristopher is a life long WI resident with most of it spent in Madison or the surrounding area. He is the adopted son of William and Martha Kilgour and older brother to sister, Sarah. He attended Madison East HS and then, at the end of senior year, started a business which kept him busy enough for the next 12 years that school took a back seat.

After closing the business, Christopher went back to school (Madison Area Technical College) to complete all of the general ed requirements to transfer over to UW-Madison BUT, as fate would have it, life decided that kids and a family would happen before going on to complete the four year degree.

After raising three boys and while still working and chipping away at school, Christopher started working with the Information Technology Academy (ITA), a division of Academic Technologies, housed in the Department of Information Technology (DoIT)

It was at this point that he realized there was an opportunity to provide outreach and programming in the tribal communities in the state to:

  • Increase enrollment rates of diverse students at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. Through the Information Technology Academy (ITA), high school students build knowledge and skills with hands-on training, academic support, mentoring, leadership development, community service, and internship opportunities.
  • Develop a satellite program for ITA to be delivered as a blended learning platform with both in-person meetings in specific tribal communities and online learning using the same online learning system used by the university. The tribal program launched in 2015 in the Oneida and Lac du Flambeau tribal communities. June 6th, 2020 marks the 4th graduating class of the ITA Tribal sites.

In Christopher’s own words, “This work would not be possible without the incredible support of the communities in which we work and an amazing staff dedicated to helping our young leaders achieve their goals and beyond.”


Rising Star Award

Recognizes a rising IT professional whose records reflect ongoing and exceptional growth in contribution to the profession.

Nathan Fetter

Rising Award FetterNathan Fetter is a 2019 graduate of UW-Stevens Point with a degree in Computer Information Systems. For the past year, he has been working as a web developer/programmer in the School of Education (SoE) Office of Communications and Advancement on the SoE web redesign. A highlight of his work over the past year has been to create a custom plugin to enable departments to pull academic program information from the Guide in real time to ensure that department websites have up to date, accurate information about their academic programs.


Team Achievement Award

Recognizes a single team of IT community members whose collective teamwork on one or more projects have made a significant impact to the university.

University Health Services (UHS)
Megan Crass

TeamAward CrassA Physician Assistant who has worked in the Primary Care Department at University Health Services since 2014. In addition to her clinical work, Megan is currently serving as the Interim Deputy Medical Director and is a member of the Informatics team. She is passionate about exploring ways to use technology to improve patient access and health outcomes within the health care field.

Kelly Bauman

Infrastructure Team Lead, Administrative Information Management Services (AIMS)

Ellie Kachel

UHS Informatics


Transformational Achievement Award

Recognizes an IT community member who made a significant impact in transforming the university through their efforts on a specific major IT project or initiative beyond community events. The Transformational Achievement Award differs from other awards in that it is to recognize a specific initiative, project, or service.

Greg Konop

Transformation Award KonopIn Pre-COVID times, Greg Konop provided leadership to DoIT Academic Technology’s Online Course Production and Media Production teams. Like many, Greg’s role shifted in March 2020, acting in a leadership role with UW’s Continuity of Instruction which moved thousands of courses to a remote learning format. Greg suspects that his most visible leadership contribution in the Continuity of Instruction has been in rallying together and leading over 100 cross-campus staff into a collaborative instructional support structure. However, what he takes the most pride in and dreams to have endure is the deep collaborative spirit that has built so many new relationships  and built trust in spaces where it was previously absent or lacking.


Lifetime Achievement Award

Recognizes the continued contributions of a community member (emeritus and/or retired staff are also eligible for this award) whose body of work throughout their entire career has had a significant impact on the success of the university.

Bob Mayville

LIfetime Award MayvilleAfter graduating from UW-Madison with majors in Psychology and Computer Science, Bob worked for DoIT and its predecessor organization for over 31 years. He started as a mainframe developer, managed projects for 4 years, then held several management roles over the last 20 years. His focus has been leadership of administrative applications teams with a humanistic and collaborative focus.

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Members

Co-Chairs

Terry Bradshaw (DoIT), Sara Nagreen (Mathematics)

Steering Team

Jason Erdmann (MERIT, School of Education), Laura Grady (DoIT), Patti Havlicek (DoIT), Mariah Julson (AIMS), David Parter (Computer Sciences), Alan Silver (Chemistry), Susan Weier (L&S), Crague Cook (UW–Madison Libraries)

2020 IT Recognition Awards Committee

Terry  Bradshaw (DoIT), Sarah Buszka (DoIT), Sara Nagreen (Mathematics), Jason Pursain (CALS), Elizabeth Simcock (SMPH), Todd Shechter (DoIT)

2021 IT Recognition Awards Committee

Mehrnaz Ahmadi Joobaneh (ODMAS), Terry Bradshaw (DoIT), Peter Boguszewski (UW–Madison Libraries),  Sarah Buszka (DoIT), Greg Konop (DoIT),  Sara Nagreen (Mathematics), Jason Pursain (CALS), Elizabeth Simcock (SMPH), Todd Shechter (DoIT), Sara Tate-Peterson (DoIT)

Resources

UW-IT Connects

Addresses areas of professional development and networking by creating events and programming to enable a diverse set of opportunities for the community to engage.

UW-IT Mentoring

Connects newer UW-Madison employees with experienced colleagues in peer relationships that enhance skills, knowledge and experience.

Resources for IT staff

Looking for a “one-stop-shop” for valuable campus IT information? Whether you’re a new hire or a seasoned staff member, this resource may have what you’re looking for.

Onboarding resources 

Resources from the Office of Human Resources Communities of Practice.

IT events 

Learn about the IT conferences, meetings and workshops happening on campus.

To add your event, visit http://today.wisc.edu/ and select “SUBMIT AN EVENT.” Select “Add event” and complete the relevant sections. In the Event tags section, type in “IT Event” and it will appear in the list of IT events within 24 hours.

Submit your resource 

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