Information Technology Services (ITS)

ITS staff recognized at the 6th annual OREP Awards

Published on: October 8, 2021

Photo of the OREP awards at Varsity Stadium. Staff are sitting in the bleachers looking onto the field where awards are being announced.On Tuesday, Oct. 5, the Operations & Real Estate Partnerships (OREP) department hosted their annual Thank You BBQ & Awards event. After taking one year off, the 2021 event was held as a socially distanced outdoor gathering at University of Toronto’s (U of T) varsity stadium.

Among the 15 Outstanding Individual Awards, six Distinguished Service Awards and the 11 Outstanding Staff Teams winners, many Information Technology Services (ITS) staff members went home with awards!

Scott Mabury, Vice-President, OREP, established this annual program to recognize exceptional staff contributions to the success of their particular unit, the University Operations portfolio and the University as a whole.

“Congratulations to all the ITS staff who were nominated and received awards for incredible teamwork and innovation over this past year,” says Bo Wandschneider, Chief Information Officer, U of T. “Your contributions to IT@UofT and the University are recognized and valued. The past year has been extraordinary and the folks in the ITS division have consistently gone above and beyond.”

Congratulations to all award winners from ITS:

Outstanding Individual Employee Award

Presented to an individual staff member involved in any area of staff work who has made outstanding contributions that go beyond the ordinary fulfillment of the position’s duties.

Praveen Narayanaswamy, Enterprise Applications & Solutions Integrations (EASI), ITS

Nominated by Frank Boshoff, Senior Manager, Technical Solutions & Architecture, EASI

“As a SAP Solutions Architect, Praveen has amassed a series of successfully accomplished, high profile and complex projects for our institution and its various lines of business. He has demonstrated thoughtful and methodic approaches to organization, planning, execution and support, helping us transform our business systems, during the S/4Hana project.

Praveen has the ability to remember vast complexities of details in his head, and a natural talent to lead and inspire by bringing structure to our work, with clear goals and an ability for finding common language that serves everyone.”

A photo of nine ITS staff members sitting and standing on the bleachers at the OREP event.

Information Security staff happy to be together, in-person, again

Robin Wilcoxen, Information Security, ITS

Nominated by Isaac Straley, Chief Information Security Officer

“During the pandemic year, we learned how much we rely on each other and the importance of every individual on our teams. Even in a year like this, Robin’s contributions to Information Security, to IT@UofT and to U of T as a whole stand out. She is truly a stellar performer who has furthered the strategic goals of Information Security within the greater community and has improved how we work within the team. As an individual, she has reached out to so many other individuals, personalizing why we are all responsible for securing data at this institution.”

Distinguished Service Award

Presented to an employee with more than 15 years of service at the University who has made outstanding contributions that go beyond the ordinary fulfillment of the position’s duties.

Mike Ryall, EASI/Planning, Governance & Assessment, ITS

Nominated by Pamela Harris, Associate Director, EASI

“For over 24 years, Mike has been a key resource in the onboarding and support process of ITS staff and the 2,500 Digital Workplace clients. Throughout these years, he has diligently set up and supported thousands of employee computers, always with a friendly smile, an easy-going attitude and a helping hand. Mike has been one of those staff happy to assist with anything — whether it’s muscle to help move a heavy item, an extra set of hands to prepare a meeting room for a large event or a quick server setup to move files around. During the pandemic, Mike selflessly volunteered to work on site each day to ensure we had someone for our staff onboarding and offboarding processes, and for deliveries and hardware issues. He has always been there for us, regardless of the need.”

Outstanding Staff Team Award

Presented to two or more staff members who function as a team and who have taken on a time-limited project.

Edge Firewall Migration Project

“Three impactful cyber security attacks targeting U of T on Dec. 9, 2020 were the impetus to accelerate a next-generation firewall (NGFW) migration. Although there were significant risks in rushing the project and doing it during exams, agility, collaboration, communication and engagement across the entire IT@UofT community lead to a successful and unheralded 24-hour implementation, and we had an uneventful conclusion to exams and the term. Solid and professional preparation by the team over the fall played a significant role in their success.”

Joe Bate, Information Security Architect, ITS

Carl Chan, Senior Security Information & Events Monitoring Administrator, ITS

John Calvin, Manager, Data Centers, ITS

Jason Chan, Senior Network Administrator, ITS

Kevin Wong, Network & System Administrator, ITS

Sean Despres, Senior Infrastructure Operations Specialist, ITS

UCheck implementation team (cross portfolio)

A cross portfolio team at U of T responded quickly and efficiently to evolving public health guidance to roll out our online symptom screening for individuals coming to campus, contact tracing options and management of rapid testing sites.

The varsity stadium jumbo-tron displaying the names of UCheck implementation team members

The jumbo-tron displaying the names of UCheck implementation team members

Farah Ally, Project Manager, ITS

Brian Galvis, Project Manager, EASI, ITS

Kelly Gao, Manager, Development, ITS

Rodney Branch, Manager, Client Services & Process Integration, ITS

Sue McGlashan, Information Security Architect, ITS

Carrie Schmidt, Senior Manager, Education, Awareness & Culture, ITS

Nominated by Cathy Eberts, Director, Enterprise Applications and Deputy CIO

“In the spirit of “UTogether”, members of ITS, Environmental Health & Safety, Facilities and Services, the Provost’s office and People, Strategy, Equity & Culture (PESC) worked under very tight deadlines and evolving requirements to make this important application available to the community. Congratulations to the ITS members on this team.”

To see a full list of winners across the University, visit vporep.utoronto.ca/orep-hosts-6th-sort-of-annual-orep-bbq-awards-event-at-varsity-stadium/.