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November/December 2021
McMaster Connectivity Newsletter

For the IT community, by the IT community.

McMaster IT News
Happy Holidays, McMaster IT!

AVP & CTO Gayleen Gray reflects on 2021 and the amazing accomplishments of the McMaster IT community. Read her end of year message to see what inspires her and the return of her book list!

Read more
Limited IT support during University holiday closure

UTS support hours for the holidays will begin Thursday, December 23, 2021 at 4:30 p.m. with normal operations resuming Monday, January 3, 2022 at 8:30 a.m. During that period, if you require IT support, please visit the self-service page via the UTS website or submit a JIRA Service Desk ticket.

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Introducing new TRT co-vice chairs: Nevine Chawra and Wayde Nie

Nevine Chawra and Wayde Nie will be co-vice chairs in 2022 and co-chairs in 2023 following the TRT election. The duo will be joining the new TRT chair Greg Atkinson in 2022.

A big thank you to Graig Kelly for his time and contributions as the outgoing TRT chair!

Beware of increased phishing attempts over the holidays

Phishing attempts continue to increase, especially during the holidays. For example, there have been phishing attempts asking recipients to purchase gift cards. Please do NOT act on this. These are not legitimate campus activities. 

To learn more about how to identify and avoid phishing attempts, please refer to the many resources and supports available through McMaster’s IT Security Services.

Winter 2022: Universal adoption for MFA on Microsoft 365

McMaster will be requiring Multi-Factor Authentication (MFA) on Microsoft 365 services for all students, faculty members and staff, beginning in the winter semester. This is a Higher Education IT Security best practice and has full support from McMaster's senior leaders, including the Provost, VP Operations and Finance, and Provost Council. 

Please note that this is a rolling implementation across the Winter 2022 term.

There's no need to wait! You can start today and #GetMFA for the holidays! All McMaster students, faculty members and staff can sign up for and use MFA right now.

Read more
Self-service password reset (SSPR): Change YOUR password YOUR way

FACT: self-service password reset (SSPR) is a tool giving you control over resetting and recovering your password. You can safely manage YOUR own password reset without the need of logging a ticket with the UTS Service Desk — giving YOU more control to easily and quickly reset your password anywhere and anytime. 

SSPR is available for students, faculty members and staff to use to reset passwords for McMaster Microsoft accounts. 

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#GetMFA winners announced!

October was National Cyber Security Awareness Month and we celebrated with the #GetMFA campaign, a campus-wide campaign to share cyber security awareness and a chance to win some great prizes.

Thank you to everyone who participated and engaged with this campaign, and congratulations to our contest winners! Look for more #GetMFA activities during the holidays and into the new year.

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Introducing McMaster Byte Size

McMaster Byte Size is an upcoming monthly newsletter open to all McMaster faculty members, students and staff covering tech topics from collaboration tools and service updates to tips and tricks, learning opportunities and much more. 

Connectivity 2022: McMaster IT Forum - SAVE THE DATE and Prepare to Present!

Connectivity – the annual forum for McMaster IT community will take place from Feb 22 to 25, 2022. Further event information and registration details will be available in early January 2022!

Are you interested in presenting at the McMaster IT Forum in the IT Showcase? The McMaster IT Showcase is comprised of speed learning sessions presented by McMaster IT for McMaster IT. If you have an interest in participating, please fill out the form. Further details will be shared soon. 

Sign up form
UTS support for Winter 2022

University Technology Services (UTS) is pleased to announce in-person Client Services support will resume when on-campus activities resume in 2022 per institutional guidance. Live Chat and self-service options continue to be the quickest and easiest ways to get support. However, should you require in-person support during regular business hours, things will be different! 

UTS is excited to announce a new virtual queuing service to launch when on-campus activities resume. In partnership with Office of the Registrar, our new virtual queuing service allows you to "wait in line" wherever you want while maintaining physical distancing and keeping your place.

Read more
UTS 2022 maintenance weekend schedule

UTS has released its monthly maintenance windows for significant repairs, installations and upgrades for the 2022 calendar year. The maintenance activity during these scheduled times may cause limited or interrupted access to McMaster’s IT system resources. See what services, systems, days and times are expected to undergo maintenance in the full 2022 schedule.

New McMaster IT dashboard coming 

A new McMaster IT service dashboard will soft launch in January 2022! The enhanced service dashboard will provide timely info about service outages. And it's built in the Atlassian cloud, so it will be accessible everywhere. Announcement will be forthcoming in January!

McMaster One Card update

To enhance the student experience, McMaster is implementing a One Card solution to seamlessly integrate several student and staff activities onto one ID card that can be virtual or physical. This initiative is part of the McMaster IT Strategic Plan to deliver seamless technology and experience and aligns with the institutional McMaster Strategy under Operational Excellence by creating streamlined services.

Learn more
AODA web accessibility roadmap project

Thank you to all who participated and submitted their web accessibility compliance reports. The project team is summarizing information and next steps regarding the web project will be shared in the new year.

Accessibility document training: PDF (in)accessibility

Hosted by the Canadian Association of Professional Academic Librarian's Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) Community of Practice, Dr. Daniella Levy Pinto, manager, National Network for Equitable Library Service presents Experiencing inaccessible PDFs and how the National Network for Equitable Library Service has been advancing the agenda of accessible publishing.

This event will take place on Zoom and registration is open to everyone.

Register here
Get tech ready for the Winter term

Check out what’s new in tech to make the most of your online tools and experience with Top Tech Tips for students and the Tech Readiness Checklist for faculty members and staff. For students, the Technology Resources for students page, and for instructors, Technology Resources for instructors page, curated pages and extensive catalogues on all things tech are available for the upcoming semester. Please share with your respective areas as appropriate. 

NEW! Microsoft 365 and Zoom features and updates
Click here to see a demo of the McMaster Office 365 Hub.

Class Teams have been created for all courses listed in Mosaic and are now available for instructors for the Winter 2022 term

Introducing the McMaster staff community of practice! Get answers fast, learn what others do on campus, share tips, tricks and use cases that can help us all. There's a community for everyone. Check out the others.

Whiteboard has new updates! Check out a demo so you know how to make the most of the app. 

Recording meetings in Microsoft Teams has new features, such as playback speed and transcriptions with timecodes! When a meeting starts with Meet Now, scheduled in a channel or calendar, users can activate meeting recording and transcripts. After the recording ends, the recording with transcription will automatically upload to the "Recording" folder in the channel (in the case of Meet Now and Scheduled Channel meetings) or in the meeting organizer's OneDrive "Recordings" folder (in the case of scheduled Outlook/Teams Calendar meetings). Got questions? Ask in a community of practice.

Microsoft OneNote has updates so users can sync and download files from OneDrive and SharePoint. Learn more about the update here.

Automatic Zoom updates will roll out every third Thursday of the month. Zoom will be upgraded to the latest version so you have the latest upgrades and security. Make sure you allow for enough time to install the updates on your App before starting meetings and lessons.

Stay up to date on Zoom and best practices for securing your meetings.

IT Spotlight: MacCheck

Explore the people and teams behind MacCheck, McMaster’s digital tool for uploading vaccination receipts and completing daily health screenings. Many across the McMaster community came together to develop, collaborate and deliver on what some might call “mission impossible.”

Read article
Listen in! Virtual hallway chat with Gayleen and two of McMaster's brilliant library leaders.

Listen in as Gayleen has two guests for two different virtual hallway chats: Vivian Lewis, University Librarian and Sandra Rakovac, Library Assistant. Tune in as they discuss advancement of technology within the libraries, the vast array of services provided by the library, their love of books and traveling. 

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 Hallway Chats.
Items of interest

Newswire: TeraGo partners with McMaster to deploy the first institution-based private 5G millimeter wave network

TeraGo and McMaster University plan to develop the most cutting-edge technologies for advanced manufacturing and Industry 4.0 in Canada. With higher speeds and lower latency, 5G millimeter wave private network enables users to access the benefits of machine learning, augmented reality, remote automation, edge computing and more to improve current products and processes. Read more below.

Read article

What does artificial intelligence mean for our world?

A new course at McMaster University is diving into the societal implications of artificial intelligence. INNOVATE 1Z03 is unique in that it studies AI from an interdisciplinary perspective, involving art and science. The course development was driven by students and the McMaster AI Society. Read this Macleans article to learn more about how AI impacts our society and what the future holds.

Read article

EDUCAUSE: 2022 Top 10 IT Issues: The Higher Education We Deserve

The EDUCAUSE 2022 Top 10 IT Issues describe the way technology is helping make the higher education we deserve. It begins with developing a shared transformational vision and strategy for the institution that guides the institution’s digital transformation work. See how technology can help your institution in 2022 and beyond.

Read Top 10

Communications Security Establishment Annual Report 2020-2021

The shift to virtual brought on by COVID-19 put foreign intelligence, cyber security and information assurance right at the heart of Canada’s pandemic response. The Communications Security Establishment (CSE) helps protect Canadian individuals and organizations from cyber actors looking to exploit the pandemic to extort money, spread disinformation, steal personal data or copy intellectual property.

The annual report provides a snapshot of the scope and depth of those contributions.

Read report

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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