Georgetown University’s Newspaper of Record since 1920

The Hoya

Georgetown University’s Newspaper of Record since 1920

The Hoya

Georgetown University’s Newspaper of Record since 1920

The Hoya

Campus IT Gets Upgrade

Building on momentum from the summer, Georgetown’s Chief Information Officer Lisa Davis has set lofty goals for the current semester.

Since she became CIO in February, Davis has overseen the university’s inaugural Innovation Summit, the launch of Georgetown’s mobile application, the expansion of on-campus wireless coverage and the integration of Georgetown’s email system onto Google Apps.

Over the summer, University Information Services transferred 50,000 students and alumni onto HoyaWorks, an email and calendar system that is merged with Google, increasing the total users from the previous 10,000 original faculty and staff.

“Everyone is now on a single integrated platform for email and calendar, allowing greatly increased efficiency and communication among all members of the Georgetown community,” Davis said.

HoyaWorks increased the efficiency of communication across campus by enabling the sharing of documents and calendars.

According to Chief Innovation Officer Michael Wang (MSB ’07), the new system reduced past space management problems.

“The confusion between students and faculty in regards to booking spaces for events will be drastically reduced by having a single system in place that allows for the sharing of resources such as Google Docs,” Wang said.

Now students and faculty can use this feature to reserve lounges and spaces throughout the semester.

This summer, Davis was able to cross another goal off her list: expanding wireless coverage on the university’s SaxaNet server to encompass the entire main campus.

Nearly 300 old wireless devices were replaced to improve coverage and connect the entire campus to a single high-performance network, we largely improved wireless security for students and staff and increased usage efficiency,” Davis said.

According to Davis, the next step is to increase wireless coverage for New South and the Southwest Quad residence halls by placing new devices in weak Wi-Fi locations.

She also plans to test the current status of Wi-Fi coverage on campus during the fall semester in order to identify any network gaps that remain after the initial overhaul.

Also on the agenda is a second Innovation Summit, to be held in mid-November. This time, Davis said, she hopes to involve alumni in discussions about ways to improve technology on campus.

Davis added that she intends to use the two months before the second summit to identify specific issues that need to be addressed.

“We have more time to leverage and target problem sets,” she said.

In the meantime, a working group is forming to determine the university’s next technology-related project, according to Wang. The group will explore the possibility of using Modo Labs, a service that integrates and transforms data and content from any source for use on any mobile device, to exchange information and applications with other universities who have similar data integration systems, such as Harvard and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

This year, Davis wants to add Georgetown’s mobile application to the Apple Store in order to facilitate downloading the software onto mobile devices.

Davis and her team are also collaborating with the Georgetown University Student Association and newly appointed Chief of Police Jay Gruber to investigate how to use technology to increase student safety.

“As we modernize the infrastructure and systems of technology at Georgetown, we are looking to create programs based on the needs of students,” Davis said. “Safety is certainly one of those needs, and we are planning to collaborate with the Department of Public Safety to address these wishes.”

GUSA President Clara Gustafson (SFS ’13) and Vice President Vail Kohnert-Yount (SFS ’13) want to equip the mobile app with an “emergency” section.

Sources under the emergency heading would include police department contact information and GPS-tracking technology for university emergency response groups and service shuttles.

“These changes are dependent on the development of an ecosystem in which we build dialogue and develop programs and applications based on the needs of students, faculty and staff,” Davis said.

CORRECTION: A previous version of this article incorrectly denoted Michael Wang’s school and year as (COL ’14). He actually graduated from the McDonough School of Business in 2007. The corrected version was posted at 1:41 p.m. on Aug. 31. 

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