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August 2021
McMaster Connectivity Newsletter

For the IT community, by the IT community.

McMaster IT News
Fall 2021 readiness edition

This special edition of Connectivity reflects on semester preparation efforts and the projects and tech information you need to know about for the fall. 

UPDATE: UTS Client Support for the fall semester

UTS Client Support Services will be provided remotely for the fall 2021 semester, and any on-site locations will not be staffed. The UTS Live Chat feature is the quickest and easiest way to access IT support.  

Extended Client Support Hours are: 

  • Monday – Thursday 8:00 a.m. – 9:00 p.m.  
  • Friday  8:00 a.m. – 6:00 p.m.  
  • Sunday 1:00 p.m. – 5:00 p.m.  

In some circumstances, in-person assistance may be arranged by appointment only by UTS staff. 

Please note: Faculty/departmental IT units may operate differently.

For more information on UTS-managed computer labs, tech tips and more, click below.

More info
Back to Mac information
The Back to Mac website is your guide to fall 2021 at McMaster, including ongoing COVID-19 reporting and campus updates for students, faculty members and staff.

If you have any questions about COVID-19, such as the importance of vaccines, wearing a mask and hand-washing tips, check out the Ask a McMaster expert article.
McMaster COVID vaccination/screening tool in development 
Following the announcement of McMaster's mandatory vaccination policy, an extensive cross-functional team began developing an application for the entire McMaster community to utilize for vaccination documentation upload and screening checks this fall.

This has been an immense cross-campus collaborative effort involving areas including: HR, UTS, Privacy Office, Health, Safety & Wellbeing, Student Wellness and many others. Kudos and thank you to the many individuals involved!

The tool will launch in early September. Keep an eye out for more information soon!
McMaster cyber security update
Multi-factor authentication (MFA) is an easy way to protect your Microsoft 365 email and calendaring service and adds an extra layer of protection to help prevent hackers from accessing your email and account. MFA is available for all members of the McMaster community, so sign up today!

Phishing attempts are not going away! It is vital the McMaster community learns how to spot the signs of phishing attempts. Check out the NEW Avenue to Learn phishing course.

All McMaster staff, faculty members, students and retirees with a MacID have been required to reset their passwords. This process will now culminate in any remaining password resets being addressed throughout September.

Cyber security drop-in sessions provided by the information security team will be available for McMaster community members covering topics such as multi-factor authentication, password security and phishing. Sessions will run every Thursday, 12:00 p.m. to 1:00 p.m. from September 9th to October 28th. More details to follow soon!

Please share with your groups as appropriate. We thank you for your cooperation and continued support of McMaster’s IT security activities which strengthen our cyber security.
Don't forget to forget your Wi-Fi 

If you haven't been on campus in a while, remember to "forget" on-campus Wi-Fi networks to regain access to McMaster networks (e.g. Mac-WiFi). This applies to all devices, such as laptops, smartphones and desktops. Forgetting a wireless network can also differ depending on the operating systems, such as Windows 10, Windows 7, MacOS, Android and iOS. Read more for guidance.

Read more
Updated top tech tips and resources for students, staff and faculty

Check out what’s new in tech to make the most of your online tools and experience with Top Tech Tips for students and Tech Readiness Checklist for faculty members and staff.

Students can also check out the Technology Resources page, a curated and extensive catalogue on all things tech for this semester. Please share with your respective areas as appropriate. 

Teaching and learning technology resources and tips
See a demo above of the Office 365 Hub for the McMaster Community.
The McMaster 365 Hub is the one-stop shop for all things Microsoft 365 for the McMaster community. 

Head to the Discover Microsoft 365 and Zoom page if you're looking for ways to enhance the learning experience in online spaces, communicate and engage with students virtually or discover other creative use cases. Check out the communities of practice too!

McMaster student email migration wraps up

Congratulations and appreciation to the project team and all those involved! Students are now in Outlook (not Gmail) for their email and calendaring. For post-migration resources, how-to guides and support, head to the student email migration information page.

NEW! Microsoft 365 features and updates

Students and instructors are in Microsoft 365 Outlook and Calendar now, so anytime instructors schedule a channel meeting in Teams or send a meeting invite to someone, it’ll also update students’ Teams and Outlook calendar. The Bookings app can easily schedule time in everyone's calendar automatically. 

Class Teams have been created for all courses listed in Mosaic and instructors are now able to access and use them. Check out the setup guide on how to start using and activate your Class Teams

PLEASE NOTE: Microsoft has announced changes to how Teams meetings recordings and transcriptions work. More changes will roll out over the next few weeks. Please encourage your teams to check back for more updated information when it is shared with the community.

New School of Grad Studies admissions system Slate welcomes applicants

The School of Grad Studies (SGS) welcomes the first applicants into a new admissions system known as Slate next month, when the recruitment cycle for the September 2022 academic year commences.

Slate is a comprehensive recruitment and admissions system, with a user-friendly interface that provides a seamless and enhanced applicant experience.

Read more
Registrar’s Office launches new admissions system Slate for out-of-province applicants

The Office of the Registrar welcomes 105 applicants including out-of-province and international undergraduate applications into the new Slate admissions system this fall. Implementation of this new system started in August 2020 in preparation for the 2022-2023 admission cycle which begins September 2021. The system is designed for staff and faculty to efficiently review and evaluate applications.

Read more
LinkedIn Learning renewed at McMaster for three more years
McMaster University extends access to LinkedIn Learning for an additional three years, so students, staff and faculty members can continue to have free, unlimited usage of this resource. Big thanks to the team for securing this for the McMaster community. To find out how to access LinkedIn Learning and other FAQs, check the information page.
Read more
Campus Wi-Fi Enhancement  

In a coordinated effort, the Campus Wide Wi-Fi Enhancement project accelerated to coincide with Back to Mac efforts. Facility Services and University Technology Services (UTS) have come together to provide the community with enhanced wireless coverage across buildings and campus grounds. Check out the upcoming September newsletter for a Spotlight into this effort. 

See map here
Listen in! Virtual hallway chat with Gayleen and Laura Harrington, AVP of the Faculty of Health Sciences
In this next installment of Virtual Hallway Chats, McMaster University AVP & CTO Gayleen Gray and AVP of Faculty of Health Sciences Laura Harrington discuss technology, leadership, life on campus and vacation plans.

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.
McMaster CTO marks four years with a message of gratitude

Earlier this month, AVP & CTO Gayleen Gray celebrated four years since joining McMaster University. In celebrating this milestone, she shares this message: "I'd like to share my gratitude with the McMaster community and in particular, the McMaster IT community, for helping to fill these past four years with many moments of joy and achievement - THANK YOU!"

Happy anniversary, Gayleen!

Items of interest
Guest speaker Bobby Richter on digital privacy
The SciTech team has another virtual “field trip” upcoming! Join September 1st at 10:00 a.m as guest speaker Bobby Richter  will discuss digital privacy. Bobby has an interesting career path, including time at Mozilla as a producer and researcher and Consumer Reports as a program manager. Bobby is currently the VP of Product at AppCensus, who have done some helpful and impactful privacy work. They’ve been cited in stories by the New York Times, Washington Post and Boston Globe. 

Save the date and block your calendar, September 1st at 10:00 a.m.! Check out the meeting link here: 

Any last-minute changes to the event will be announced in the TRT Teams channel.

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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