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February 2022
McMaster Connectivity Newsletter

For the IT community, by the IT community.

McMaster IT News
Connectivity 2022: McMaster IT Forum comes to a close

That's a wrap! Connectivity 2022 was a big hit with lots of learning, sharing and prizes!

With nearly 200 attendees across 26 sessions, free lunches, door crashers, capture the flag and prizes, the McMaster IT Forum shaped up to be an eventful week.

Special guests included Takara Small, who gave the keynote address, and McMaster President David Farrar gave opening remarks, along with the Digital Futures panel featuring John Weigelt from Microsoft Canada, Bruce Wainmann from McMaster and Jaclyn Winitsky from the McMaster AI Society.

Also a reminder that sessions were recorded, so if you missed one or would like to rewatch, head to the Connectivity 2022 Teams.

Join Teams

McMaster awarded Cisco Fast Future Innovation Award for Smart Campus Initiative

McMaster University is one of three recipients selected for the 2021 Cisco Fast Future Innovation Awards and has been awarded $200K CAD in funding from Cisco’s Country Digital Acceleration program.

With over 65 Canadian organizations submitting nominations, McMaster successfully presented a compelling path to a more digitized and innovative future. McMaster’s submission focuses on creating a sustainable and equitable future through digital spaces and ‘smart campus’ initiatives.

McMaster’s Smart Campus approach is a truly collaborative effort involving teams from across the institution including the DeGroote School of Business. Facility Services, University Technology Services, Library Services, Campus Security, Campus Classroom Technologies and the Office of the Registrar.

A big thanks in particular to Randy Walinga and team from DSB and Elliot Jeyaseelan and team from Facilities for their leadership and involvement in this initiative. 

Read more
ACCESS Tech: IT collection, reuse and donation

ACCESS Tech is a new initiative at McMaster aiming to minimize electronic waste on campus. In the past few years, this initiative has collected and upcycled around 1,500 kg of electronics. Please consider ACCESS Tech before using the e-waste bins on campus. 

If you have any electronics to donate, please consider one of our avenues below:

  • For small/medium donations: The Drain on the 1st floor of the Hatch Center, Monday to Friday, 9:25 a.m. to 4:45 p.m.
  • For large/bulk donations: ACCESS Tech Office space in LSB B125 (set up via appointment:
Read more
IT Spotlight: ACCESS Tech

Tune in next month for a deep dive into ACCESS TECH, how cross-functional teams come together to collect, reuse and donate used tech.

In the meantime, check out a past IT Spotlight!

Read past articles
VIRTUAL EVENT: Salim Ismail: Turning Academic Institutions into Exponential Organizations

Salim Ismail is an author, entrepreneur, technology and exponential strategist who will bring his expertise and insight to a special guest talk at McMaster University on Thursday, March 10 at 12:00 p.m. to 1:00 p.m. This virtual talk is open to all in the McMaster IT Community and will delve into exponential academic institutions. Please register for this free, virtual event!

Many thanks to Technology Roundtable (TRT) co-chair Nevine Chawra for reaching out and securing this great speaker!

SAVE THE DATE: Continue the AI conversation with Carlton Sapp from Gartner Professionals

Join Carlton Sapp, Managing Vice President from Gartner's Data Analytics team, and McMaster's AVP and CTO, Gayleen Gray. On Tuesday, April 5, from 2:00 to 3:00 p.m., Carlton and Gayleen will have an exciting and energetic discussion that looks into the digital future, with a focus on AI, XR and other emerging digital trends. 

Save the date for this virtual event!

Continuing this month: MFA for Microsoft 365 required for students, faculty and staff

As announced by the Provost and VP Operations and Finance in late 2021, McMaster will be requiring multi-factor authentication (MFA) on Microsoft 365 services for all students, faculty and staff.

A rolling implementation for universal adoption is continuing from late January, with information and support available throughout the Winter semester.

Start using MFA today! 

There’s no need to wait! You can start today and do not need to wait until your scheduled activation date.

Learn more

MFA drop-in sessions to support universal adoption

To support the McMaster community with universal adoption of MFA, the Information Security Services team is hosting virtual drop-in sessions for anyone who has questions about how to prepare yourself for MFA, guide you on the set-up process and address any questions.

Virtual drop-in sessions are available on Microsoft Teams meetings every Tuesday and Thursday from 12:00 to 1:00 p.m. Community members can also join the Microsoft Teams group to post questions and get answers from the Information Security Services team.

GSuite decommission coming soon

With the institutional move to Microsoft 365, McMaster's GSuite will be decommissioned on May 4, 2022 for all active students with GSuite accounts.

Advanced notices will begin in the second week of March. Individuals who are impacted will receive advance notice and instructions on how to move their files and data.

Learn more
Mac AI: Women in STEM Panel March 8

This panel aims to support women pursuing STEM fields and careers. Fostering more inclusive and diverse STEM communities is a core goal for the Mac AI Society.

The Women in STEM Panel is a great place to hear more about different perspectives on how they navigate through the imbalance in the fields.

Sign up here to join the virtual discussion on Tuesday, March 8, 2022, at 5:30 to 7:00 p.m.!


SAVE THE DATE: McMaster AI Society Project Expo

The McMaster Artificial Intelligence Society is hosting it’s second annual Project Expo March 31, 2022. Through this event, students will present their work on AI based projects that they have been working on with Mac AI for the 2021-22 school year. The projects will be judged by McMaster Professors and industry professionals. The McMaster AI Society welcomes McMaster IT community members to join and show their support to students. For more information on the event, please join Mac AI’s General Member Community.

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

March is Mac’s month of Microsoft learning! Tune into Discover M365 and Zoom to see the latest training sessions when they begin on March 8th, every Tuesday and Thursday at 12:00 to 1:00 p.m. Leverage the newest updates for Teams, meetings and breakout rooms, and learn helpful apps to boost your productivity, such as Tasks, Forms and Viva Insights.

Updates coming to your dashboard and Office App for Windows. The "Home" screen is your virtual welcome, where you can see updates and recently visited files. "My Content" shows your files in one place. "Action Commands" offers helpful tips to get tasks done. And "Create" has all your favourite apps and handy templates for convenience. 

Check best practices for successful large meetings in Microsoft Teams. Learn which roles to assign, what support to have in place, and more about engagement options and advice.

MyAnalytics becomes Viva Insights. The Microsoft Viva Insights app in Microsoft Teams shows you personalized recommendations that help you do your best work, build better work habits for uninterrupted, individual work and collaborations. 

Call for 2022 Virtual Hallway Chats with Gayleen!

Are you missing the delightful run-ins and impromptu conversations on campus and want to chat with Gayleen? Express your interest and reach out to Tanya Reid at to set up a Virtual Hallway Chat.

Catch up on previous Hallway Chats.
McMaster Byte Size launches!
McMaster Byte Size. Your monthly tech newsletter for the McMaster community. Subscribe today.

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!

Items of interest


Ryerson University will be hosting the Ontario Higher Ed IT (OHEIT) conference from Tuesday, May 24 to Friday, May 27, 2022. OHEIT is open to all IT staff, faculty and employees from Canadian universities who are interested in gaining insight into:

  • Technology trends, projects, products and services in higher education;
  • Cybersecurity initiatives and progress on cybersecurity benchmarking projects.

This year, the conference will be presented in a hybrid format with day one having in-person and virtual events and the remaining 3 days virtual only.

Read more


University of the Fraser Valley (UFV) is set to host CANHEIT 2022 from June 20 to 23. With a unique hybrid agenda that will allow attendees to come together in Abbotsford or attend virtually from wherever they are, UFV will welcome colleagues from coast to coast to coast – physically and virtually. 

Save the date and stay tuned for more information. 

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

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