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April 2021
McMaster Connectivity Newsletter

For the IT community, by the IT community.

McMaster IT News
IT Spotlight Series 
Introducing Spotlight, a new series to highlight the collaborations, interactions and teams behind McMaster IT initiatives. Each month, we will spotlight a different area and go beyond just the technology and showcase our people and the cross-functional collaboration that makes McMaster IT great!
Read more
MCE goes live with CRM
McMaster Continuing Education has officially launched their client relationship management (CRM) platform through Microsoft Dynamics 365. The platform provides a deeper understanding of students' behaviours which enables tailored communication streams to uniquely target student audiences. Through a CRM solution, MCE can better anticipate needs and make smarter decisions to attract new students and nurture current relationships. In particular, the CRM will be used for case management, marketing and sales applications.

Implementing CRM is a huge undertaking, culminating in over a year and a half of planning, organizing, and, now, launching. This accomplishment has all been made possible by several teams and dedicated individuals. A big thank you to the steering committee, MCE staff and UTS members!
Adding IT security to your spring cleaning checklist
McMaster AVP & CTO Gayleen Gray reflects on the changing of season and the things we can keep front of mind for our IT security. 
Read more

Multi-factor authentication (MFA): easy and secure

Plus it's free for all McMaster community members! MFA adds an additional layer of protection by preventing hackers from accessing your email and account - even if they have your password. 

Get more info on all the benefits of this service and sign up to opt in. 

Learn more about MFA
Cyber security alert: phishing scams

The Information Security Services team is advising all McMaster community members to be aware of current online phishing scams. These scams are targeting higher education institutions and even impersonating internships and university newsletters.

If you’d like to increase your cyber security awareness, click below and access McMaster IT Security resources.

IT security resources
Student email migration
McMaster Student Email Migration from Gmail to the MS 365 Outlook environment has commenced and will continue over the summer months. New updates to the FAQ are available. Visit the McMaster 365 hub and follow @McMasterMS365 on twitter and Instagram for the latest updates.
McMaster 365 Hub
NEW! Microsoft 365 features and updates
See a demo above of the Office 365 Hub for the McMaster Community.

With the McMaster student email migration starting in May 2021, learning opportunities will be available ahead of time so students can make the most of features and benefits from the start. University Technology Services (UTS) has partnered with Microsoft to offer the Microsoft 365 Student Essentials Workshops, one-hour sessions that explore core Microsoft 365 apps, such as Outlook, Teams and OneNote. Register for free and join May 5th or May 19th to learn key collaboration tools every McMaster student needs to know. 

TAs should be aware of new feature and options after they have been migrated. See this reference document for key Microsoft Teams meeting options and Outlook features.

Microsoft Teams is increasing meeting capacity from 300 to 10,000 with overflow and view-only attendees. Check this update for how this update impacts users.

Listen in! Virtual hallway chat with Elizabeth DiEmanuele and Gayleen Gray

Listen to the latest Virtual Hallway Chat as Elizabeth DiEmanuele from from the Student Success Centre and Gayleen discuss themed parties, spring and how to keep your mood boosted.

If you're missing the delightful run-ins and impromptu conversations on campus and want to chat with Gayleen, please reach out to Tanya Reid at to set up a Virtual Hallway Chat.

Catch up on previous chats here.

Hallway chat
Tech talks with Gayleen coming soon!

Following last year's engaging tech talks, 2021 will see more stimulating community discussions on all things McMaster IT hosted by Gayleen Gray. Got an IT topic you're interested in? Submit your ideas to menti!

Submit ideas
Collaboration & Productivity Showcase

During the MacPherson Institute's Teaching and Learning month, join a panel of students and instructors as they share how they leveraged collaboration and productivity tools and discovered new possibilities through Microsoft 365 and Zoom. Christa Morrison from UTS will moderate the panel and accompanied by Dr. Joe Kim, Dr. Colin McDonald, Dr. Mihaela Georgescu, Christine Costa, Monique Beech, Emily Block, Zachary Chiodi and others. 

This showcase and discussion will present various use cases, highlighting key collaboration and productivity technologies that enabled remote/online teaching and learning, a variety of educational events, and working from home. The creative use of these technologies provided new possibilities.

Register and learn more below!

Register here
McMaster IT Data Centre and Server Space inventory project update
Get the latest information on this IT project, such as engagement sessions, inventory survey, project milestones and more.
Read update
President's Award recognizes McMaster IT
The President’s Awards for Outstanding Service provide an annual recognition for employees or groups of employees who have made an outstanding contribution beyond that normally expected for their position to the mission of McMaster University. A big congratulations to all the teams involved in providing excellence through supporting and leading McMaster's IT community!

Team recipients:
  • Student Email Refunds and Process Improvement Team
Team nominations:
  • Client Services Team
  • Virtual Pink Folders initiatives
  • Faculty of Science Remote Experience Home Lab Team
  • Faculty of Science Remote Experience Tech Transition Team
  • Faculty of Social Sciences Educational Technology Training Team
  • Research Software Development Team
Individual nominations:
  • Kate Brown, Manager, Accessibility Program, Equity and Inclusion Office
President's Awards
Power BI Community Team

The Power BI Community Team is growing! Join more than 50 other community members and get resources for new users and more content to come. Data driven decision making will continue to be a watchword at McMaster, and this Team aims to be a supportive group for people to develop their skills and share their learnings.

The next community event is tentatively planned for May 20th (11:30-12:30).  Theme, presenters and registration details will be published on the Teams channel as they are confirmed. 

Be a part of the growing community and join below.

Join the Team
Accessible Digital Content Training

Jessica Blackwood, from Faculty of Science, and Kate Brown, from the Equity and Inclusion Office, have published a new book! The free digital book contains video training modules for creating accessible content for digital environments, such as the Microsoft 365 suite of products.

Read the book here
CTO website update: enhanced 'Initiatives' section

In an effort to offer greater transparency to the many IT initiatives underway at McMaster, the Office of the AVP & CTO is updating a new 'Initiatives' section found at: Check back for regular updates and get in touch with the Communications team if there's anything you'd like to add. 

See here

Items of Interest

CANHEIT 2021 is the largest virtual gathering of Canadian higher education IT leaders from universities, colleges, technical and institutes. It will offer a unique forum to explore the latest best practices, opportunities and challenges within the realm of higher education technology. Register and join a week-long series of events from May 31st to June 4th.
Register here
Virtual fieldtrip to Microsoft's Ability Summit

Do you remember the energy, excitement and sense of collegiality that came from attending a big conference with your peers? Although in-person conferences are suspended, we can still attend as a community and enjoy the perks of a virtual field trip. You’re cordially invited to co-attend the Microsoft Ability Summit on May 5th and 6th. It’s a two-day, free digital event experience that brings together people with disabilities, allies and accessibility professionals to Imagine, Build, Include, and Empower the future of disability inclusion and accessibility.

If you would like to attend the Ability Summit as a community, we will be gathering in the TRT Teams general channel before the event for causal conversation and introductions, during the event to chat and after the event to share reflections.

CANARIE gets a new website

Same great CANARIE, brand new website! They've refreshed and redesigned for better organization, enhanced user experience and easier navigation.

See new website

Have a story you want to share with the IT Community? Email Peter McDonald at to feature an article!

IT@Mac Website
2020, McMaster IT

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