Information Technology in the College of Social and Applied Human Sciences
The College of Social and Applied Human Sciences (CSAHS) is one of three founding academic colleges at the University of Guelph. CSAHS offers a diverse range of programming from the social and applied human science disciplines. The CSAHS information technology (IT) team supports all students, faculty and staff in the college, providing service to advance the teaching, learning and research experience. While each team member has distinct responsibilities, the team is very collaborative and supportive of one another.
Who is on the CSAHS IT Team?
- Gordon McCague, Senior Manager, IT Shared Services
- Heather Bogart, IT Coordinator
- Lane D. Buryta, Computer/Electronics Coordinator
- Janice Hicks, IT Coordinator
- Sandy McLaren, Technician
- Gihan Sooriyabandara, Computing Coordinator
How does the CSAHS IT team support teaching, learning and research?
The IT team within CSAHS has supported the college in achieving many important milestones, including:
Establishment of The Maplewoods Clinic: The Maplewoods Centre for Family Therapy and Child Psychology is a clinic and training centre that provides a wide range of clinical therapy services conducted by graduate students and regulated healthcare professionals. The CSAHS IT team played a fundamental role in the design of the centre, providing technological support for the implementation of video conferencing, a video recording system and teaching spaces.
Exploring Virtual Desktop Infrastructure: The demand for virtual technology has increased for students and faculty who require access to specialized software from remote locations. The Department of Geography uses GIS software for their day-to-day projects, which is too large to install on personal devices. The IT team found a solution by making the on-campus software available for use remotely. The college continues to explore virtual workstation options to improve accessibility to those from home and has the potential to free up space in Geography buildings.
Partnerships to Manage Secure Networks: The IT team works with faculty members from CSAHS to provide secure storage networks for their research data. One such example includes Dr. Ben DeVries, a professor whose research focuses on satellite earth observation data funded by NASA’s Land Cover and Land Use Change program. To support DeVries, CSAHS partnered with Computing & Communications Services (CCS) to ensure his data was appropriately stored in accordance with security policy. This partnership allows CSAHS to support research initiatives and meet faculty needs.
Upgrades to Classroom Tech: Over the course of the past year, CSAHS has worked with Classroom Technical Support to upgrade several classrooms to enable hybrid learning opportunities. CSAHS prioritized a few independent meeting room upgrades using Logitech to fast track the deployment of hybrid spaces, resulting in increased accessibility for users.
CSAHS and Lang Faculty Device Subsidy Program: The Faculty Device Subsidy Program has expanded to support the purchase of faculty laptops/desktops in CSAHS and the Gordon S. Lang School of Business and Economics. The program offers $1,000 subsidy every three years to each faculty member for the purchase of computing equipment. CSAHS and Lang IT Shared Services manage the purchasing, configuration and support of the devices. This program enables flexibility and savings for faculty, leverages economies of scale for the University and allows IT staff to provide consistent and meaningful computing support to faculty.
Shared IT Services Supporting the IT Community
The Senior Manager of Shared IT Services for CSAHS and Lang is a new role to the University as of 2020. Gordon McCague fulfils this position and aims to improve the integration of shared services between CSAHS, CCS and Lang. His role supports IT services by bridging teams together and creating a collaborative space to improve communications across units.