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McMaster IT News

July/August 2022
McMaster Connectivity Newsletter

For the IT community, by the IT community.

Please note, there will be reduced newsletter issues over the summer semester. Regular monthly issues will resume in September.

McMaster IT recognized at the 2022 CUCCIO Awards

McMaster took home the Collaboration Award for CanSSOC Threat Feed initiative and the Community Award for Amplifying Digital Accessibility in Education initiative

McMaster IT is delighted to be recognized at the recent 2022 CUCCIO Awards presented at the Canadian Higher Education IT (CanHEIT) conference taking place at the University of the Fraser Valley this week. Jessica Blackwood from the Faculty of Science and Kate Brown from the Equity and Inclusion Office were awarded the Community Award for their submission ‘Amplifying Digital Accessibility in Education.’

Congratulations to Jessica, Kate and their collaborators on this achievement for their work to make accessible content creation accessible to all, by leveraging existing technologies on campus to disseminate information to faculty, staff, and students through the Microsoft Office 365 suite, Kaltura, and eCampus Pressbooks.

Read more about McMaster IT recognition at the 2022 CUCCIO Awards

Another McMaster alum for the CUCCIO Learning Development Program!

Congratulations to our very own Carmalita Larkin, IT Collaboration & Productivity Services Manager, on finishing her time on the CUCCIO Learning Development Program (LDP)!

Following Carmalita, two other UTS leaders will be joining LDP: Greg Atkinson, Manager of Information Technology, and Andrea Oliver, Director of Enterprise Applications and Data Systems at McMaster University Technology Services. 

CUCCIO offers a Leadership Development program to aspiring IT Leaders within its member institutions. This program provides a bespoke program specifically focused on encouraging and mentoring the next cohort of Canadian Higher Ed IT leaders. Other McMaster leaders have graduated from this program, including Richard Godsmark, Paula Brown-Hackett, Amanda Baldwin, and Tracy Mestdagh. 

The Office of the AVP and CTO at McMaster University is launching the “Women in Tech Summer Series” to highlight women in the Higher Education IT sector across Canada

The Women in Tech Summer Series will bring together the following university Chief Information Officers:
August 23, 12PM-1PM: France Bigras
Associate Vice President of Information Systems and Chief Information Officer at Concordia University

August 31, 2PM-3PM: Shari Baraniuk
Associate Vice President Information Communication Technology and Chief Information Officer at University of Saskatchewan

Since launching this series in July, Gayleen has hosted conversations with other CIOs:

  • Jody Couch, CIO and AVP for Information Technology Services at Dalhousie University
  • Nela Petkovic, CIO at Wilfrid Laurier University
  • Sandeep Sidhu, CIO at Emily Carr University of Art + Design

Stay tuned! Recordings of these sessions will be available soon. 

To learn more about the series and to register, click the link below!

Learn more about Women in Tech Summer Series here

A thank you note to McMaster University system administrators  

System Administrators Appreciation Day is celebrated on the last Friday of July. To celebrate this year, McMaster System Administrator were challenged to participate in a cybersecurity quiz. The winner of this quiz receives a two-year subscription to the 2600 magazine.

The winner of this year's quiz is Fazmin Nizam, Lead Technical Support at the Faculty of Engineering, with a remarkable mark 14/15. 

Congratulations to the winner and happy #SysAdminDay to our system administrators. We truly appreciate and value the hard work of our behind-the-scenes heroes and your efforts to make sure everything runs smoothly.
Thank you!

EDUCAUSE President John O'Brien visits McMaster University, calls University Technology Assistance Group inspirational

On July 13, 2022, following the appointment of McMaster University Assistant Vice President (AVP) and Chief Technology Officer (CTO) Gayleen Gray as a member of the board of directors for EDUCAUSE, John O’Brien, President, and CEO of EDUCAUSE visited McMaster University and met with Gayleen and others supporting our campus community. EDUCAUSE is an international association and community of IT leaders, tech practitioners and professionals advancing higher education. Dr. O’Brien’s visit was aimed at strengthening connections with McMaster University as a contributing member of EDUCAUSE and learning about the approaches and integration of students in the IT community.

The visit was opened with meeting Gayleen, University Technology Services (UTS) managers and the University Technology Assistance Group (UTAG) which brings together students with diverse perspectives and skillsets to support UTS as part of the Collaboration and Productivity team. UTAG members presented on their backgrounds, the support they provide to UTS and the influence this experience has on every one of them.

“Your approach is remarkable. You are bringing the expertise and energy and fun to important strategic work,” O’Brien addressed UTAG members

Read more about EDUCAUSE President visit to McMaster University

Start of term IT resources for students, staff and faculty now available from UTS!

University Technology Services (UTS) has brought together tips and recommendations to help the McMaster community get tech ready for the fall semester. In this checklist you can find information on different tools and services provided by UTS as well as links to trainings and various resources to help make the most of your McMaster IT experience.

Check out the tech readiness checklist for McMaster staff and faculty here

Mark your calendar for upcoming Zoom App updates

Making sure your apps are up to date is key to staying secure and protecting your data. If you’re a McMaster student, faculty or staff using the Zoom app, keep an eye on the upcoming updates and make sure to run them.

Zoom releases updates and minor fixes for reported bugs on a regular basis and recommends that users stay current with the latest version of the Zoom app to leverage any new functionality and security features.

McMaster UTS will be updating the minimum client version to all users on a quarterly basis. The next update is scheduled for Thursday August 18th, 2022.

Learn more about upcoming Zoom App updates here

UTS live chat and chat bot successfully upgrade on Comm100

UTS is pleased to announce that migration to the upgraded platform for our live chat and chat bot on Comm100 was successful. Eight areas across campus are currently using the platform. UTS is keen on improving its self-service and connecting live chat and chat bot self service between different areas across McMaster University.

Heads up! McMaster updates wireless network SSL certificate. Here's what you need to know!

The wireless networks at McMaster University use a server-side certificate to secure communications between your device and the wireless infrastructure. University Technology Services (UTS) updated this certificate for Eduroam on July 5, 2022, and for all other Wi-Fi networks, on July 7, 2022. Certificates must be renewed every year to remain valid.

McMaster authorized Wi-Fi networks that will use the new certificate are:

  • Mac-WiFi (preferred network)
  • Resnet-WiFi (Resnet only)
  • Eduroam (for roaming McMaster users)

Some devices may require you to acknowledge the new certificate to continue using the Wi-Fi network. If a dialog prompts you to verify that the server certificate information is authentic, select “Trust” or “Connect” to complete the wireless connection. This ensures that you are not connecting to a “rogue network” pretending to be a McMaster University wireless network. If this dialog box does not appear, or for any other problems afterward, you may need to “forget” the wireless network profile and setup the connection following the guides at

For further questions and support, please see

CYBER ALERT: A new, streamlined approach for McMaster cyber alerts and awareness

The McMaster Information Security Services team has introduced new methods for sharing critical information and updates from the cyber security landscape (e.g. CanSSOC) with the McMaster IT community. Keep an eye on your inbox and check out the Cyber Alerts Teams channel to view past alerts. 

Have you subscribed to the UTS Service Dashboard?

The new UTS Service Dashboard allows you to customize your preferences for alerts on upcoming planned maintenance and unplanned major service interruptions. The dashboard is built on Atlassian. You can set your preferences to receive your alerts via email and/or text for the services most relevant to your work. Subscribe today!

Subscribe to UTS service dashboard here

Important update for Microsoft Class Teams for Fall 2022

We are pleased to announce an update to McMaster’s Class Teams for the upcoming Fall 2022 term.  

As of August 15th, instructors will be able to initiate the creation of your Class Team from Avenue to Learn. Check out the setup guide on how to start using and activate your Class Teams. Note: Class Teams will no longer be created in advance.

Get Started with your Class Teams

NEW Pre-Hire MacID e-Form

Human Resources Services in collaboration with UTS is launching the Pre-Hire MacID Solution and Training. A series of trainings will be held during August to introduce the the Pre-Hire MacID e-Form. This eForm allows the  HR team, Department Administrators and Hiring Managers to obtain new hire’s MacID through an automated process. This solution will expedite the provisioning of the MacID for new employees during the ‘pre-hire’ stage to enable departments to initiate system access in preparation for the employees start date.

Register now for the upcoming Network Sessions held by McMaster University Human Resources.

Visit the HR website for more information about the sessions.

Register here for the session on August 17
Register here for the session on August 24

McMaster Byte Size: Your monthly tech newsletter

Have you subscribed to the monthly tech newsletter for McMaster students, staff and faculty? McMaster Byte Size includes tech news, reminders, training and more for the McMaster community to learn more about IT security, Microsoft 365 and Zoom offerings, new services and more! Have a news item to submit for an upcoming issue? Get in touch!

Subscribe to McMaster Byte Size Newsletter here

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

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2022, McMaster IT

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