Celebrating our IT community

Showcasing the exceptional work that was recognized at the 2022 IT Awards.


Last year, thousands of students, staff, faculty, researchers and members of the public used U of A IT to connect and share information every day.

IT teams across the university have worked hard to not only keep our systems running, but provide innovative solutions to increased demands.

For example, this enrollment season we saw many students using automated scripts (bots) to try to ensure they get their choice of courses, which resulted in additional load nearly equal to that of our complete student body of 37,000! The PeopleSoft team put a number of very effective mitigations in place to respond to this increase, and enrollment season passed smoothly.

IT teams also showed excellence in how they addressed unforeseen challenges.
A series of eClass failures at the end of the Fall term resulted in a large number of rescheduled exams and left students and instructors understandably upset. The eClass and infrastructure teams worked tirelessly through the winter break to isolate the cause of those failures and because of their hard work, over 80,000 exams were written at the end of the Winter term with no system issues.

These achievements would be worth celebrating in a typical year, but managing it all while also facilitating the return of thousands of students and staff to our campuses is truly remarkable.

Our work is most noticed in our quick response to system failures, but when our systems run smoothly, our work can go unnoticed. The IT Awards are our opportunity to showcase the great work of IT professionals on our campuses. Please join me in recognizing the following IT Award recipients this year.

IT Ambassador Award

Ronnie Thengumpally
Information Services and Technology

“When a team member suggested nominating Ronnie Thengumpally for the 2022 IT Ambassador Award, everyone in the CISO portfolio jumped at the opportunity. It almost feels like we're nominating Ronnie on behalf of the entire department, as we would be hard-pressed to find anyone who would disagree with this nomination.”

- Michael Spaling, Team Lead in Security Operations (Information Services and Technology)

IT Innovation

Dr. Steven Katz
Faculty of Medicine and Dentistry

“Introduction of the RaaS system has greatly enhanced and streamlined the file review process for the internal medicine residency training program. I’m delighted that Dr. Katz won this award that recognizes his creativity, progressive and innovative thinking, as he’s always looking for ways to improve our processes and systems. The system is an innovation that in the future we hope to share with our sister programs across the country.”

- Doris Kurtz, Team Lead in Medical Education (Faculty of Medicine and Dentistry)

Yue Xing
Facilities and Operations

“Yue created an innovative way to not only pass rent charges from the Housing Management System (HMS) to BearTracks (Campus Solutions) but also to ensure that the systems were in balance. Developing this process was key to moving charges to Central Student Receivables and is paving the way for other non-tuition related charges to move centrally.”

- John Younk, Director of Business Continuous Improvements (Facilities and Operations)

IT Client Service Award

Nash Goonewardena
Faculty of Agriculture, Life and Environmental Science

“Before preparing Nash's nomination for the IT Client Services Award, I approached other members of the support and academic employees in ALES for their feedback on Nash's performance and suitability of his nomination for the award. Their response was overwhelming and very clear that Nash's dedication, his skills, his approach, and many years of outstanding IT support should be recognized.”

- Janusz Zwiazek, Professor (Agriculture, Life and Environmental Sciences)

Neil White
Information Services and Technology

“Some people are talented at customer service because they intentionally focus on it as a skill. Neil's customer service excellence is innate. It's just part of who he is. Even when he's overloaded, his demeanor and approach to putting the end user's experience first is inspiring.”

- Tiffany Baker, Strategic Initiatives Officer (Shared Services)

IT Client Service Award

Arts Resource Centre (ARC)
Faculty of Arts

“ARC is a most beloved team and relied upon by instructors, faculty members, and administrators alike. They are at the very heart of what we do. A faculty member so perfectly sums it up in saying, ‘My entire scholarly enterprise at the University of Alberta rests on the expertise and support of ARC staff.’”

- Eva Glancy, Faculty General Manager (Faculty of Arts)

IT Unsung Hero Award

Clare Peters
Faculty of Arts

“Clare has been a consistently reliable and attentive IT solution provider on campus for decades—his level of excellence is overdue for high level recognition beyond Arts. He works evenings and weekends tirelessly to support conferences and external engagement events, and is routinely double and triple booked. Somehow, he manages to juggle these all without complaint and make our events run seamlessly.”

- Eva Glancy, Faculty General Manager (Faculty of Arts)

Jason Clements
Information Services and Technology

“I have seen Jason work all day and all night to resolve outages and restore service. I have seen him help users, colleagues, and teammates at all hours of the day. I have seen him work directly with people or work in the shadows behind the scenes. He does everything and anything for the University of Alberta, and he never asks for accolades, or recognition or for anything in return. In my 15 years of being on campus, I have never met anyone more deserving of this award than Jason.”

- Devon Mielke, Team Lead in Windows Infrastructure Services (Information Services and Technology)

IT Distinguished Career Award

Francois Brochu
Faculty of Engineering

“We will be losing a very important member of the ECE team when Francois retires this summer, and I personally will miss his input and constant reminders that I must remain on my toes when it comes to IT services required by both our students and researchers. However I also feel very fortunate and most grateful that the ECE Department has had the opportunity to benefit from Francois’ insight, dedication, and expertise for many years.”

- Ivan Fair, Department Chair in Electrical and Computer Engineering (Faculty of Engineering)

Congratulations to all our winners for your extraordinary work this year. You have turned the many challenges of the year into opportunities for learning, growth, and innovation. I encourage our whole community to nominate your own colleagues next year and join us in showcasing the amazing stories unfolding every day on our campuses.

Mike MacGregor
Associate Vice-President & Chief Information Officer

Watch a recording of the 2022 IT Awards