Four approaches K-12 IT directors can take to address security threats – EdScoop News

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Questions about the safety and security of U.S. schools are reignited every couple of months when another shooting or cyberattack thrusts the conversation back into the spotlight.

How can such tragedies be avoided?

While technology can’t stop a school shooting from happening, it can certainly help. IT directors can play a central role in campus security by providing administrators and faculty members with the tools needed to anticipate and prevent both physical and digital threats. Here are four approaches they can take to prevent and manage security threats:

Student data analysis

Developments in big data have given faculty members the tools to make informed decisions to improve students’ overall education experience. While FERPA guidelines place restrictions on how data can be collected and used, there are several types of data that K-12 faculty can collect about students, including:

  • Student identity date: Demographic and biometric information, including data like fingerprints and eye scans.
  • User interaction data: Engagement metrics for educational content.
  • Inferred content data: Data concerning how instructional material improves student proficiency.
  • System-wide data: Administrative data about students, including attendance, disciplinary records and overall academic performance.
  • Inferred student data: Inferences based on teacher, content and student data that can be used to make predictions about student outcomes.

There are obvious academic uses for this information. But more than that, software can help educators draw inferences about student safety and assess potential risks.

If specific student behaviors have a correlation with issues such as mental health concerns, mistreatment at home or gang affiliations, inferences from system-wide data can signal those problems. Big data analysis can be used to “flag” students at risk for further investigation by school counselors or administrators. By dealing with root issues, this approach can prevent warning signs from escalating into dangerous situations.

Social media monitoring

Student monitoring can take place outside of the classroom as well. Many districts opt to monitor student behavior on social media by using software designed to alert educators when students write certain words or terms (which, depending on the platform, can be established by the user). When this data is placed in a broader context via system-wide and inferred student data analysis, it paints a more complete picture about learners’ well-being.

This permits school staff to take action in order to protect students from crises both on and off campus. For instance, if students express the desire to harm themselves, these individuals can be contacted by trained staff who know the appropriate way to intervene.

Of course, there are ethical concerns about collecting student data. It is important that districts abide by federal and state guidelines by only gathering information required to ensure student safety and academic achievement. However, messages on public forums such as social media sites are typically open to the public. Because individuals have no expectation of privacy while using these sites, examining this information is not an invasion of privacy. Still, use discretion.


Cybersecurity is an essential component of any district’s security plan. Every school district is a target for cybercriminals.

For a glimpse into how pervasive K-12 school district data breaches are in the U.S., take a look at the K-12 Cybersecurity Resource Center, a site operated by Doug Levin, the founder of EdTech Strategies, LLC. Since 2016, more than 350 incidents have occurred. At least one of those incidents resulted in threats of violence against children in several school districts.

In order to avoid becoming a part of this statistic, IT directors should adopt the technology needed to protect student data and enforce cybersecurity basics. Some include:

  • Implement strong password policies and educate staff, parents and students about phishing and other cybersecurity threats. This can also be a boon to students who may require technological savvy in future online learning programs.
  • Ensure school software is kept up-to-date and use security software to prevent unauthorized software from being installed.
  • Track school devices and assets that contain or are used to access sensitive information. Early smart home adopters — among the earliest adopters of IoT — have demonstrated that smart technology can also be used to deter thieves.
  • Stay abreast of current trends in cybersecurity. With each new year, new threats emerge — inform staff about these and provide them with the information and means with which to prevent your district from falling victim to a data breach.

On-campus surveillance

Surveillance technology has obvious applications in educational settings, though it should be evaluated critically and used with extreme caution.

There have been major advancements in surveillance technology in recent years, including facial recognition software to track who enters and exits a school building and deter criminals; object recognition software to identify weapons or other prohibited items; and license plate detection software to determine if visitors to campus are known predators. Student identity data can be used to grant access to school grounds or technology exclusively to authorized individuals. Examples of this include fingerprint or retinal scanners.

Such developments are beginning to see use in public schools. According to Gizmodo, “schools are spending millions to outfit their campuses with some of the most advanced surveillance technology available.”

This technology can improve campus security materially, giving administrators the ability to anticipate and react to dangerous situations much more efficiently. Some systems even allow local law enforcement to access information in real time in the event of a crisis situation.

Note, however, that there is a delicate balance between creating a secure environment and creating an environment that is conducive to learning. A brief on Education Dive notes that “the presence of scanners at every entryway coupled with security cameras — not just in halls, but also in classrooms — can create a prison-like atmosphere … While security is key, schools should feel like a welcoming environment.”

These are some of the strategies IT directors employ today in order to protect K-12 schools. By using a combination of these methods, education leaders can reduce the number of threats at their schools and ultimately regain trust from the public on the basis that they can provide a secure learning environment for students.

Bob Hand writes regularly from Boise, Idaho, on the way that teachers use technology in the classroom. His studies at the University of South Carolina and his experiences at high schools across the state allowed him greater insight into current edtech issues.

Window On Washington – Vol. 2, Issue 29 – JD Supra (press release)

Updated: May 25, 2018:

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The Increasing Presence of IoT and How to Prepare Your College Campus – IoT For All (blog)

Many campuses face problems that have so far been hard to track, address and fix. Some of them, like security of information have only increased over the years with the technology advancements. Some problems are smaller, like finding a parking spot, yet the solutions are often hard to find.

However, with the presence of the Internet of Things on campuses could potentially change that. Energy saving, for one, is a real possibility with the help of IoT.

When it comes to the campus, IoT-enabled technologies can let students know when their laundry is washed, track traffic patterns to plan sidewalk construction, track an athlete’s behavior and progress and monitor environmental factors for optimal training. This also means that the staff can control electricity, lighting and plumbing to prevent issues and deal with problems on time, not when they occur.

In the classroom, IoT can track how emotions affect learning, study the posture of students, give us insights into how biological factors affect emotions, and improve safety and ease of life on campus.

There are some concerns, however, like privacy, number of the devices involved or bandwidth demands, but IoT is still evolving and at this point the benefits far outweigh doubts.

Increased Presence on Campus

The IoT will continue to grow in the future, with one report predicting tens of billions of devices will be connected by 2020. College campuses are using IoT for functions such as automated controls, saving institutions lots of money on heating and cooling budgets.

Operators are able to remotely control hundreds of buildings’ systems with an automation system. Using IoT technology, electricity, lighting, plumbing, ventilation, and air-conditioning systems can all be controlled and monitored from one building.

Schools have implemented functions that enable students to lock and unlock their residence doors using a smartphone app. College stadiums are using this kind of technology to monitor everything from noise levels, to leaky plumbing, to providing information on parking and bathroom availability on smartphones.

IoT is also helping with academic matters.

“Projects are underway testing out technology such as automated grading systems, and apps that notify professors which students are struggling with the material. There are apps that can notify students about upcoming assignments that are due, and even offering suggestions about events they might like to attend,” writes Jeffrey Bryant, educator at Boomessays and Essayroo.

Students may someday be able to use technology similar to Disney’s magic bands to sign in at a final exam. Printers at Carnegie Mellon University have developed an app allowing people to link printers and projectors by simply snapping a photo of the device. There have even been trials recently at the University of Southern California to help personalize and enhance student experiences based on physiological data.

Security and Privacy Concerns

Of course with all this innovative technology come concerns and attempts to protect people’s privacy. Most evolving technologies come with an element of risk, and IoT technologies are no exception. Some companies that create and implement this technology seem to lack focus on ensuring the massive amount of data moving in these systems is properly secured.

Major interruptions occurred at one university as a result of more than five thousand discrete systems making hundreds of DNS lookups on their network every fifteen minutes. Each of these lookups sent information to the device requesting.

A botnet spread from device to device, due to poor passwords, and took control of devices, including vending machines. Network engineers were temporarily locked out of more than five thousand systems. Many devices with cameras and listening capability are vulnerable to becoming accessed remotely, this includes anything from your laptop to your child’s talking doll.

There is no better place to explore the benefits of IoT than a campus full of people willing to learn and embrace new things. Click To Tweet

Preparing Your School

The IoT will only become more pervasive as time goes on, so it’s important to prepare your school for this technology. It’s better to be proactive rather than reactive when dealing with changes brought about by the IoT.

Establish a policy for your campus that includes a definition of who may introduce devices to your network, which devices and apps are allowed, which websites and cloud services may be used by students and faculty for academics, and how data will be stored and protected. Strengthening security is also crucial, since the litany of new devices becoming connected to your network are all potential access points for cybercriminals. In October 2016 hackers used over one hundred thousand compromised devices to carry out DDoS attacks on companies such as Amazon. Consider investing in monitoring tools that can track who is connecting to your systems and what they are accessing.

“You can avoid a lot of headaches and unfortunate situations by educating faculty and students about security awareness. If the users at your college are informed about taking proper security measures with their devices, your network will be more safe and secure overall,” advises James Montgomery, teacher at StateofWriting and Academized.


Long-term implications related to the Internet of Things implemented in higher education are yet unclear, but the schools can prepare to be open to communication with businesses and IT companies to create best strategies for implementing IoT and maintaining it further, meeting the student demands and growing with the evolution of IoT. There is no better place to explore the benefits of IoT than a campus full of people willing to learn and embrace new things.

Written by Grace Carter, editor at UK Writings.

The Week That Will Be – Lawfare (blog)


The Center on Law and Security at NYU School of Law (CLS) is seeking a Program Associate/Special Assistant to the Executive Director to contribute to all aspects of the Center’s work. The Center on Law and Security is a non-partisan multidisciplinary research institute focused on cultivating an informed dialogue and conducting groundbreaking research on vital national security law and policy questions. Across all areas of its work the Center seeks to understand and illuminate the relationship between national security law and national security policy and place American frameworks in their global context. The Center endeavors to make our national security policies more effective, legitimate, and sustainable through its publications, student programs, and events.

In the coming months, the Center will be renewing its focus on the most pressing national security issues of the day, both at home and abroad—presenting an opportunity for the new program associate to help shape the future of the Center. The Center engages in research, including the publication of books, edited volumes, and white papers; convenes private senior-level working groups designed to advance the field; and hosts public and private conferences and other events to contribute to the public discourse on the subject matter and support the mission of NYU School of Law. The Center also hosts a large number of student-focused events and activities related to national security.

The Center’s Executive Director, Faculty Directors and affiliated Fellows have substantial experience in national security law and policy. Current and former Senior Fellows of the Center include: the former homeland security advisor to President Barack Obama; a former Deputy Legal Adviser to the National Security Council; former government attorneys, including General Counsels of member agencies of the U.S. Intelligence Community and senior federal prosecutors focused on cybersecurity and counterterrorism issues; and regional scholars. In the past several months, the Center’s activities have included a series of events on building resilience to national security threats; public events with the former director of the National Counterterrorism Center and the former Secretary of Homeland Security; and private convenings with members of the armed forces and foreign diplomats as well as private sector leaders.

Job Description

The program associate/special assistant will work closely with the Executive Director, Director of Operations, and Senior Fellows of CLS to contribute to a world-class academic and policy research center. Specific duties include:

  • Assist with research and drafting of op-eds, book chapters, academic journal articles, and grant applications;
  • Assist in preparation for media interviews and in development of all aspects of the Center’s programs;
  • Maintain the Center’s online presence, through its website, social media and media outreach, including blogging, drafting press releases, and/or using applications such as Twitter, as needed;
  • Assist professors in related course preparation;
  • Coordinate event preparation, including sending invitations and managing RSVPs, corresponding with speakers, helping prepare background papers and materials for distribution, and providing other logistical support;
  • Managing and coordinating with student interns to provide administrative support to the Center, including scheduling, booking travel, handling correspondence, and responding to requests for information;
  • Support the operations, scholarship offerings, and events of the Center for Cybersecurity, a sister research institute that operates jointly out of the NYU School of Law and Tandon School of Engineering;


  • BA in International Relations, Political Science, History, or related field with superior academic record. Advanced degree and/or several years’ work experience in related fields strongly preferred;
  • Excellent research, proofreading, and editing skills;
  • Excellent written and verbal communication skills
  • Background in U.S. foreign policy and national security strongly preferred;
  • Experience with communications and social media work is a plus;
  • Strong organizational skills and multitasking skills with a keen attention to detail;
  • Ability to meet deadlines and work calmly in a fast-paced environment;
  • Ability to work collaboratively with others but to act as a self-starter with substantial independence and keen judgment.

NYU is an equal opportunity employer. Salary commensurate with experience and competitive benefits package included.

Interested candidates should send a resume, transcript, and cover letter to Sarvenaz Bakhtiar, Director of Operations of the Center on Law and Security ([email protected] with “Program Associate Application” in the subject line or submit materials through the career services portal by June 15, 2018.

Task Force on Extremism in Fragile States, U.S. Institute of Peace

The United States Institute of Peace has been charged by Congress with developing a “comprehensive plan to prevent the underlying causes of extremism in fragile states in the Sahel, Horn of Africa, and Near East.” To fulfill this mandate, the USIP has convened the Task Force on Extremism in Fragile States, co-chaired by Gov. Tom Kean and Rep. Hamilton and including, among others, Sec. Madeleine Albright, Sen. Kelly Ayotte, Amb. Bill Burns, and Steve Hadley.

USIP is seeking experts in terrorism, extremism, state fragility, and/or U.S. policies dealing with these issues in the relevant areas to conduct research and draft briefing documents in support of the Task Force’s final report. In particular, the Task Force seeks experts who can help produce research papers dealing with three main topics: the presence, strategy, and future evolution of extremist presence in the designated regions; the root causes and drivers of extremism, particularly in fragile states, and their relation to fragility; USG policy and programs relating to countering extremism or providing stabilization assistance in the target countries. The ideal candidates will have a proven ability to conduct and publish original policy analysis on terrorism, extremism, and/or state fragility and will have significant knowledge of related topics, including U.S. national security strategy, conflict prevention, and global development strategy and policy.

The work of the Task Force will run from May through December 2018. Short-term, part, and full-time positions will be considered for qualified candidates. For more information, contact the Task Force’s Executive Director, Blaise Misztal: [email protected]

A Leading CHIO Discusses the VA’s Progress on Health IT Innovation – Healthcare Informatics

The Veterans Health Administration (VHA) is the largest integrated health care system in the U.S., providing care at 1,240 health care facilities, including 170 medical centers and 1,061 outpatient sites of care, serving 9 million enrolled veterans every year.

The VHA is advancing forward in a number of areas to leverage health IT to change the way patients experience medical care and to improve health outcomes. The VA was one of the earliest pioneers of electronic health records (EHRs), as the agency began its shift from a paper-based to a computer-based records system in the 1980s, although research into an electronic system began a decade earlier. Also in the early 1980s, the VA made its software available without restriction in the public domain to other government and private sector organizations, which offers the use of VistA as the standard-bearer for EHR implementation around the world.

Francine Sandrow, M.D., chief health information officer (CHIO) at the Corporal Michael J. Crescenz Veteran’s Affairs Medical Center in Philadelphia, is involved in a number of VHA clinical informatics initiatives. Sandrow is a board-certified emergency medicine physician, and she also is boarded in clinical informatics. In her CHIO role, she works to help facilities realize their potential to help patient populations through the application of technology. Sandrow will be speaking on a panel about digitizing patient engagement at the upcoming Florida Health IT Summit, being held at the Hilton St. Petersburg Bayfront July 24-25.

Currently, Sandrow is involved with the VA’s work to standardize instances of the VA’s EHR, known as VistA, in preparation for the roll out of a new Cerner EHR platform, scheduled to be deployed at three sites in Washington state by 2020. The VA signed a contract with Cerner in May, and the entire deployment could take 10 years to complete. “We are working to standardize our tools and our workflows. When they deploy the Cerner EHR, if the workflows are similar across the VA, it will take less work for the deployment at each facility,” she says.

While the Cerner EHR deployment grabs the headlines, the VA healthcare system is moving forward with many innovative IT initiatives, both at the national and local level. Just this past June, President Donald Trump signed the Veterans Affairs’ Mission Act into law, which will provide more than $50 billion in federal investments to the VA’s healthcare system. Major provisions of that law included an expansion of telehealth services to veterans (passed by Congress as the Veterans in E-Health and Telemedicine Support Act of 2017, or VETS Act). These provisions allow a licensed healthcare professional of the VA to practice his or her profession using telemedicine at any location in any state.

“This gives the VA an incredible opportunity, as it’s allowing a veteran to have telehealth visits with any VA provider, regardless of where the patient is or where the provider is,” Sandrow says, noting that state licensing laws and policies have been a major barrier to the practice of telehealth. “Congress basically obliterated that barrier for the VA and our Office of Connected Care has developed applications to allow telehealth to be provided pretty seamlessly. I think that the VA model is actually going to be one that’s going to be looked at by community providers. It’s amazing that we now we have a network throughout the country of all these providers who can see patients anywhere.”

Sandrow notes that there are significant advantages to working in the VA healthcare system to advance health IT initiatives.

“I think I’ve had opportunities here because of the size of the organization, opportunities that you just don’t get in your typical community hospital or even academic institution,” she says. “One of the things that I think people don’t realize is that the VA is the single-largest graduate medical education provider in the country. Most of our major VA centers have academic affiliates and we have agreements where research is done across the two institutions. In Philadelphia, our academic affiliate is the University of Pennsylvania. Our research department is fairly large, and we have a lot of grants that are coming in, and that leads to unique opportunities for us.”

Sandrow points to a project she was involved in that was a collaboration between the VA and IBM Watson Health. “For that project, I was able to work with our human factors engineering team, and that project focused on identifying patients who were at-risk for post-traumatic stress disorder, but who had not actually been diagnosed with it. Through this project, they were identifying patients at-risk by simply feeding their charts into the engine of Watson. I think working within the VA, whatever your interest is in, as long as its improving veteran care, you have opportunities to grow. It’s exciting.”

In a separate collaboration, this week, the VA announced it was extending its partnership with IBM Watson Health to apply artificial intelligence to help interpret cancer data in the treatment of veteran patients. First announced two years ago as part of the National Cancer Moonshot initiative, VA oncologists have now used IBM Watson for Genomics technology to support precision oncology care for more than 2,700 veterans with cancer, according to a press release.

VA treats 3.5 percent of the nation’s cancer patients—the largest group of cancer patients within any one healthcare group. VA established a central “hub” in Durham, North Carolina where a group of oncologists and pathologists receive tumor samples from patients nationwide and sequence the tumor DNA. They then use AI to help interpret the genomic data, identifying relevant mutations and potential therapeutic options that target those mutations. More than one-third of the patients who have benefited from VA’s precision oncology program are veterans from rural areas where it has traditionally been difficult to deliver cutting-edge medical breakthroughs, according to the VA.

Driving Innovation on Many Fronts

Sandrow also notes that the sheer size of the VHA can be a barrier to clinicians and IT leaders sharing best practices. To address this issue, the VHA initiated a Shark Tank-style competition to identify best practices to improve veterans’ health care. According to the VHA website, this past January, 10 winning ideas were selected from among 19 finalists for the first Shark Tank competition. Champions for each of the 10 practices completed a six-month facilitated replication at one or more VA facilities, adapting and implementing their programs, leading to gold status practices being replicated at over 40 sites.

“Many of these projects are going on to be funded, developed and deployed throughout the country. I think we have a lot of ground-breaking processes that we’re working on and that you’re seeing being reflected in the community hospitals,” Sandrow says.

Sandrow also points to the VHA’s Life-Sustaining Treatment Decisions Initiative (LSTDI) as another industry-leading effort. LSTDI is a national VHA quality improvement project led by the National Center for Ethics in Health Care (NCEHC) with the aim of promoting personalized, patient-driven care for veterans with serious illness by eliciting, documenting, and honoring their values, goals, and preferences. The initiative involves a new national policy to standardize practices related to discussing and documenting goals of care and life-sustaining treatment decisions, and the tools, resources, education, and monitoring to support clinicians and facilities in making practice changes.

VA is the first health care system in the world to develop and implement practices and related tools across the health care system, setting a new standard for discussing and documenting treatment decisions with high-risk patients, according to the VA.

“When people reach the end of life, whether it’s a natural end of life or they have developed a terminal condition, there are decisions that have to be made, and medicine, as a whole, does a very poor job of handling those discussions,” Sandrow says. “The VHA has developed an entire program to not only document patients’ preferences, but to provide patients, through our palliative care providers, support and assistance at that difficult time in the patient’s life. When you are treating a patient, you’re also treating their family, and the end of life is one of hardest times for the family as well.”

VA healthcare leaders are also focused on advancing population health management efforts, particularly to improve preventive care measures. Through a partnership with Walgreens, veterans can receive immunizations, such as flu vaccines, at any Walgreens location and the immunization records are electronically shared with the VA and then connected to the patient’s VA medical record. Both Walgreens and VA are participants in the Sequoia Project’s eHealth Exchange, a health data sharing network, which enables veterans’ medical records to be integrated. According to Sandrow, this data sharing effort enables the immunization records from Walgreens to be reconciled with VA providers’ clinical reminders, enabling them to more effectively provide patient-centered care.

“Another area that we’re working on right now is that we are working to identify high-risk populations,” Sandrow says. “We have a tool that identifies, via a CAN (care assessment need) score, that estimates the probability that a patient is going to have a significant hospitalization or death within the next 365 days. We can use that score to find people who are being underserved. If you have someone who has a really high CAN score, but has a low cost to the VA, then we may be missing opportunities.”

She continues, “Because our EHR addresses all aspects of that patient’s care—primary care, inpatient, mental health—we have an advantage, I think, over many of the community organizations. What we’re trying to do now is to bring together the data that we have and the risk factors that we can identify to improve care, across the board, to our patients.”

EXCLUSIVE Survey: Industry Execs Express Confidence in Interoperability Advancements – Healthcare Informatics

CommonWell’s executive director said this latest step “breaks down another interoperability barrier”

Connection capabilities to the Carequality framework, by members of the CommonWell Health Alliance, are now “generally available,” according to officials who made an announcement today.

CommonWell, a trade association providing a vendor-neutral platform and interoperability services for its members, announced in August that it had started a limited roll-out of live bidirectional data sharing with an initial set of CommonWell members and providers and other Carequality Interoperability Framework adopters. This marked a key step in a collaborative effort to increase health IT connectivity across the country by enabling CommonWell subscribers to engage in health data exchange through directed queries with Carequality-enabled providers, and vice versa.

In just the first two weeks of a few CommonWell-enabled providers being connected, Jitin Asnaani, CommonWell Health Alliance executive director, said there were more than 4,000 documents bilaterally exchanged with Carequality-enabled providers.

Since then, by leveraging the technological infrastructure built by CommonWell service provider Change Healthcare, members Cerner and Greenway Health successfully completed a focused rollout of the connection with a handful of their provider clients, who have been exchanging data daily with Carequality-enabled providers, officials stated today.

Now, since the connection went live in July, officials noted that CommonWell-enabled providers have bilaterally exchanged more than 200,000 documents with Carequality-enabled providers locally and nationwide.


Advancements in Healthcare: Interoperability, Data Exchange, and More

Micky Tripathi, President and Chief Executive Officer of the Massachusetts eHealth Collaborative, is one of the most well-informed and well-respected healthcare IT leaders in the U.S. Tripathi has…

“We are proud to break down yet another barrier to interoperability by making this much-anticipated connection available to our members and their clients,” Asnaani said in a statement today. “This increased connectivity will serve to empower providers with access to patient health data critical to their healthcare decision-making.”

In December 2016, CommonWell and Carequality, an initiative of The Sequoia Project, announced connectivity and collaboration efforts with the aim of providing additional health data sharing options for stakeholders. Officials said that the immediate focus of the work between Carequality and CommonWell would be on extending providers’ ability to request and retrieve medical records electronically from other providers. In the past two years, teams at both organizations have been working to establish that connectivity.

Together, CommonWell members and Carequality participants represent more than 90 percent of the acute EHR market and nearly 60 percent of the ambulatory EHR market. More than 15,000 hospitals, clinics, and other healthcare organizations have been actively deployed under the Carequality framework or CommonWell network.

Carequality is a national-level, consensus-built, common interoperability framework to enable exchange between and among health data sharing networks. It brings together electronic health record (EHR) vendors, record locator service (RLS) providers and other types of existing networks from the private sector and government, to determine technical and policy agreements to enable data to flow between and among networks and platforms.

CommonWell Health Alliance operates a health data sharing network that enables interoperability using a suite of services aiming to simplify cross-vendor nationwide data exchange. Services include patient ID management, advanced record location, and query/retrieve broker services, allowing a single query to retrieve multiple records for a patient from member systems.

Following the August announcement of the limited bi-directional data sharing capabilities, Micky Tripathi, Ph.D., president and CEO of the Massachusetts eHealth Collaborative said, “This is the ‘golden spike’ moment, connecting the two big railroads, like when AT&T and Verizon finally got connected. This is building that bridge.” Tripathi, who also directly observes and participates in conversations with Carequality and CommonWell, added, “It will take a while for all of the production sites and different vendors to get up and running. That will probably take a couple of years. But you have to have the bridge to connect them to begin.”

One key element in this progression is that currently, EHR giant Epic is not a member of CommonWell, despite other major EHR vendors pushing Epic in that direction. “Because sharing among Epic customers is already universal, when CommonWell connects to Carequality, the entire Epic base will become available, creating instant value for most areas of the country,” a recent KLAS report on interoperability stated.

Interestingly, Tripathi noted in August that once there is “general availability” of the data sharing services for all Carequality and CommonWell members, the competition factor will become less important. “It makes both networks more valuable,” Tripathi said at the time.

It appears as if that “general availability” time has now come. “Thanks to the CommonWell-Carequality connection, our patients can have access to their medical records regardless of the EHR a health care facility uses,” said David Callecod, president and CEO of Lafayette General Health, a Cerner client located in Lafayette, La. “When data is made readily available, providers can make diagnostic and treatment decisions more quickly, and patients can recover sooner. Better data means better communication with our patients and providers, better care and better outcomes. This is a very powerful tool!”

Officials also noted that with the connection officially in production, additional CommonWell members, including Brightree, Evident and MEDITECH, are in the process of subscribing to the connection and taking it live with their provider clients.

The Babel Problem with Big Data in Higher Ed – Inside Higher Ed (blog)

Over the past decade Bring Data! has emerged as a new cri de coeur across American colleges and universities.

Campus planning initiatives, policy discussions about student success (retention, advising, institutional outcomes, and value added), instructional interventions and innovations, operational effectiveness, and efforts to enhance the return on investment (ROI) are all data dependent. And because “Big Data” has emerged as a powerful engine of analysis and insight in the consumer and corporate sectors, it is no surprise that institutional leaders (along with patrons on campus boards and in state legislatures) have great expectations for the role of Big Data and Analytics across all sectors of American higher education.

We can trace the origins of this movement, in part, to Margaret Spellings, currently president of the University of North Carolina System. As Secretary of Education under George W. Bush from 2005-2009, Secretary Spellings frequently cited the “Deming Dictum”In God we trust; all others bring data – as a charming if disarming way to articulate the both the K-12 and higher education policy priorities of the Bush Administration. And in her current position as the leader of the University of North Carolina System of Higher Education, President Spellings has also served notice about her “bring data” priorities for planning, policy, and decision-making across for the 17-campus UNC system.

Yet great expectations (and great needs) notwithstanding, bringing Big Data and Analytics into the operational DNA of American higher education, might be appropriately characterized as a Sisyphean task. Why?

First, presidential and provost proclamations supporting data-informed campus decision-making notwithstanding, much of the decision-making in higher education is too often “informed” by opinion and epiphany, not data and evidence. Recent national surveys of presidents, provosts, CFOs, and CIOs reveal that the many (and in some surveys the majority) do not believe that their institutions do a good job of using data to inform campus planning and decision-making.

Second, to paraphrase a long ago New Yorker cartoon, higher education has lots of information technology, but too many colleges and universities seem to have little timely and useful data and information to aid and inform campus planning and decision-making.

Third, both CIOs and CAOs seem to agree that, in general, their institutional investments in data and analytics have not been “very effective.” The data about the effectiveness of institutional investments come from the fall 2017 ACAO Survey of CAOs and the 2016 Campus Computing Survey.

Fourth, the “data culture” at too many institutions continues to use as a data weapon (what you did wrong; how your unit failed) and not as a resource (how do we use data to do better).

Finally, the core task of data integration and transparency remain a major challenge. Big data analytics depend on a rich “gumbo” of data from a wide array of campus sources, often generated by several different technology platforms and data bases. As a technology rather than a campus culture issue, data integration and transparency – creating the “data gumbo” – should, in theory, be the easiest of these factors to resolve in a timely matter. In fact, it may be among the most difficult.

The different, and often disparately structured and defined data from Student Information Systems (SIS), campus financial systems, student financial aid systems, HR/personnel files, ePortfolios, Learning Management Systems (LMS), alumni/development programs, and other databases large and small that are scattered across campuses (and servers and now also the Cloud) are the core resources that inform and fuel program assessments, institutional interventions, and outcomes analysis. The business intelligence and data mining tools that, a more decade ago, allowed Wal-Mart to discover a surprising run on beer in its Florida stores ahead of Hurricane Frances in 2004 are the same tools that colleges and universities now want deploy to gain information and insight about how to improve student success efforts, and how to assess the impact of campus programs and the efficiency of campus operations.

These same data resources and tools are essential for campus efforts to respond to the mandates – some new and some ignored for years but now enforced – from accrediting associations, government regulators, and various higher ed sponsors that increasing demand hard data and real evidence to document claims for program effectiveness and institutional outcomes.

Framing the Data Babel Problem

Over the past four decades higher education’s technology providers have repeatedly promised data integration and transparency.

Consider the hypothetical case of Susan Wilson, the provost at Acme State University, a mid-sized public comprehensive institution of some 14,000 students. Susan Wilson began her academic career as a newly-hired assistant professor at Acme State in 1985, as campuses across the US were grappling with strategies to address enrollment problems created by the demographic downturn caused by the declining size of the high school graduating cohort in her state and across the US.

  • In 1993, as a member of a Faculty Oversight Committee on Enrollment and Retention, Assistant Professor Wilson heard the directors of university’s Administrative Computing and Institutional Research units cite the benefits Electronic Data Interchange (EDI) as way to integrate data from various campus sources which would facilitate analytic efforts to enhance lagging recruitment and retention activities.
  • A decade later, as an Associate Professor and Associate Dean, Prof. Wilson sat through technical explanations about the importance of Web Services and the emergence of Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) as a new strategy that would generate more and (much) better data, information, and analysis about academic programs and institutional operations for her and her Acme State colleagues.
  • And following her appointment as Provost in 2015, Susan Wilson now feels she has been captive to way too many presentations about data and analytics from both campus personnel and technology providers. These presentations, including those from “analytic specialists” with barely five years of experience in the higher education market, typically extoll the potential of Big Data and Cloud Services to generate insight and analysis to address a range of critical campus issues, including timely student interventions to reduce DWIF numbers, as well as informing efforts to increase retention and degree completion, and supporting a wide range of student success initiatives. ”

Despite the recurring promises during her rise through the ranks over her decades at Acme State, Provost Wilson does not believe that any of these “new technologies” have truly delivered on oft-offered (and much needed) data transparency, data integration, and now, Big Data Analytics. Admittedly, she knows that the Student Success movement may have added more elements to the data gumbo; however, she also knows that the underlying challenges of integrating the key data elements remain significant. Consequently, Susan Wilson, like many of her CAO colleagues, remains understandably skeptical that future investments in analytics will provide the much-needed data, information, and insight for Acme State.

Data Transparency and Integration

Data transparency and integration issues might be characterized, in part, as a “cross-platform integration challenge.”Critical data come from a variety of sources and technology applications or platforms and then have to be coded or processed in a way that allows links to individual student records ahead of analysis.

This involves more than simply linking student data via a common ID number in several data files.Data structures, common data definitions, and other issues typically pose significant challenges that requiretime and money (and often outside expertise) to resolve linking and data integration problems.

The analytical potential for the data linkage and “data gumbo” is a gestalt where the “sum” (information and insight) from the analytical work should be more than the “parts” were the work is limited to just one or two sets of data from different sources (e.g., background and transcript data from a Student Information System and transactional data from a Learning Management System).

Unfortunately, rather having access to a “data gumbo” rich with integrated data sources, most colleges and universities continue to experience “data babel” – critical operational challenges that involve applications, platforms, and data bases (often six to eight or more on some campuses) that do not “talk” with one another and that are difficult to aggregate, integrate, analyze, and exploit.

Admittedly, cross platform issues (challenges) are common to higher education.And yet some cross-platform strategies and solutions do work. For example, the emergence of the ) standards for learning management systems reflects efforts to provide common standards across various LMS applications. The relatively fast and widespread adaption of the LTI standard among higher ed’s LMS providers provides a model for how tech providers might collaborate on standards that would facilitate data integration and cross-platform data migration.

From Watching to Doing

Some institutions have solved the “data babel” problem. Arizona State and Georgia State, among others, have each earned accolades and have become the envy of many of peers for their work with data and analytics in service to student learning and student success. Georgia State University reports its impressive gains in retention and graduation are fueled, in part by analytic work that monitors some 800 student risk factors, and also by a significant investment in support services. But ASU and Georgia State are analytic outliers in the landscape of American colleges and universities.

So rather than continuing to talk about what Arizona State and Georgia State have done with Big Data, the key question pressing most institutions is how can they do what Arizona State and Georgia State have done – faster, easier, and at lower cost?

One component of the solution involves identifying the operational and structural barriers that impede efforts to integrate data across the key applications and platforms. Addressing the structural barriers will require that the various platform providers – ok, the harsher term is vendors – learn to play nice with one another and their campus clients when it comes to data access and integration.Simply “sending data streams to the Cloud “ – the strategy I’ve heard in several presentations in recent years, will not solves the data compatibility and integration challenge of presented by data streams from multiple platforms.

A second key component involves strategies to optimize the use of student data in digital learning, leveraging the data stream from adaptive courseware and other resources to improve prospects for course completion before course correction is no longer possible. Efforts to leverage digital learning resources and strategies must include operational strategies that exploit data, provide information and insight, and launch interventions faster and better to improve the likelihood that more students succeed.

A third component of the solution must focus on faculty.Data-laden PowerPoint presentations and research papers typically lack the compelling narrative required to engage faculty – to help explain to faculty how analytic insights and the interventions that emerge from Big Data analytics can help their students.Compelling evidence of impact, coupled with a change of the too-common campus culture of using data as a weapon to using data as a resource are essential if campus officials hope to build faculty trust and foster faculty engagement in student success initiatives.

Ultimately, it’s time for institutional leadership, and technology providers to stop talking about the benefits of Big Data and start working on ways to resolve the data babel and related issues that impede institutional efforts to exploit data to enhance our understanding of student learning, to help target interventions intended to increase retention and degree completion, and inform decision-making about campus management and administration.

Acknowledgement: My thanks to Karen Vignare, director of the Personalized Learning Consortium at the Association of Public and Land-Grant Universities, and James Ptaszynski, Vice President for Digital Learning at the University of North Carolina System Office, for their very thoughtful comments on an early draft of this blog post.

Nemours Children’s Health: Deploying Technology to Meet Consumers Where They Are – Healthcare Informatics

How does a pediatric health system engage families more fully and improve service and loyalty? The leaders at the Wilmington, Delaware-based Nemours Children’s Health System have been on a multi-year journey around those goals, Gina Altieri told her audience gathered at the Grand Hyatt Hotel in downtown Denver, during the Health IT Summit in Denver, sponsored by Healthcare Informatics.

On Friday, July 13, Altieri, the senior vice president, corporate services, at Nemours, spoke on the topic “Developing a Technology Strategy to Increase Patient Engagement, Improve Satisfaction, and Deliver Better Care,” tracing her organization’s journey forward in working to enhance consumer loyalty through technology-facilitated improvement of care delivery and service quality.

Nemours Children’s Health System, which is anchored by the Nemours/Alfred I. duPont Hospital for Children in Wilmington, and by the Nemours Children’s Hospital in Orlando, treats 410,000 children every year, for a total of 1.7 million annual encounters, across 90 pediatric care locations in five states. All of its physicians are employed. And the health system sponsors more than 300 active research projects and clinical trials within its Nemours Research Centers for Excellence division. Furthermore, Nemours achieved Stage 7 status on both its inpatient and outpatient sides, in 2017, recognizing its high level of electronic health record (EHR) development, by the Chicago-based Health Information & Management Systems Society (HIMSS), and in February 2011, received the HIMSS Davies Organizational Award of Excellence for 2010, for its effective use of health information technology to improve the safety and quality of patient care.

Foundations first

Recapping a history of “two decades of IT evolution,” Altieri noted that “We decided a long time ago to eliminate all the separate clinical and business systems we had. In 1999, we quickly installed Cerner for inpatient, and then started to install our outpatient EMR. Several years later, we decided to have the revenue cycle management and all business systems put on two high-end platforms, and then decided to have all our applications on one platform, and replaced Cerner with Epic. And then we decided to dabble in telehealth, and we were building our Nemours Children’s Hospital in Orlando. And that really was all of the technical infrastructure we needed, in order to do what we’re doing now, as well as to build the team we needed, to leverage all that technology.”

Gina Altieri speaking at the Health IT Summit in Denver on July 13

Further, Altieri recounted, “When I first started, we had paper charts, and a lot of equipment we didn’t realize, and no sense of organization. And you really cannot function like that it today’s world; it’s just too expensive and inefficient. And the information security aspects are pretty important right now; so we really did need to invest information security; the government’s demanding it, but so are consumers. The other thing we’re doing,” she said, “is that because we had these systems for 20 years—the lifetime of a child—we had a lot of very valuable data. So we had been using the data behind the scenes, and we’ve been providing it to the frontline in an easy self-service way, so that the physicians have access to the data, the executives do, so that more and more people actually understand what the data’s been telling them. That’s been effective.”

Innovation for a purpose

A lot of different technology-facilitated innovations are taking place right now at Nemours, Altieri reported. For one thing, the health system’s leaders decided to go ahead and post ratings for all physicians, including consumer comments, on the organization’s website. “That wasn’t an easy task, because we posted them all, good and bad,” and there was some physician alarm at the prospect. “But we’re helping them to know what’s happening in real time. So when they see a Press Ganey result, for example, they can understand what’s going on in the consumers’ minds. And it’s been very helpful.”

Meanwhile, she added, “At Nemours, we have one integrated radiology department, so all the radiologists read all the studies. In fact, we have a 13-minute turnaround for all the [digital images], which is pretty remarkable.”

Further, Nemours has been successful with a remote-monitoring system in which trained paramedics monitor patients in their patient rooms 24/7. Up to 400 patients are monitored continuously at any time, in both the Wilmington and Orlando facilities, from a single location at the Orlando hospital. Nemours was the first pediatric hospital system in the world to install such a system, and, Altieri noted, parents have been strongly in favor of the capability.

On the softer side, she mentioned, “We also bring Santa from the North Pole to patients in the child life area or to the bedside. The elves are actually executives from some of the vendor companies. And the North Pole is actually next door to my office. The children are enchanted by this.”

Then, speaking of the journey forward in “listening to the consumer,” Altieri framed the bigger picture around consumer engagement. “One misconception about companies like Amazon and Lyft,” she said, “is that it was the technology that changed everything” in terms of those companies’ abilities to disrupt their business sectors. “But it wasn’t the technology alone that was a disruptor. It was that they met the consumer where they were. And if we don’t provide the consumer with what they want, they’ll go elsewhere.” Historically, she noted, “We’ve been OK in healthcare with forcing patients to call during the hours of 9 to 5, to schedule appointments. But what we’ve learned is that most people are scheduling online in off hours. In primary care, that can work OK; but in specialty care, we do demand a lot of information prior to the visit,” and that can pose challenges in terms of the ability to gather all the relevant information online. “The concern among providers is continuity of care; but the concern of the consumer is that they want to be seen. So we’re working through that. We clearly need to engage the millennials,” she said, “and that means meeting where they are. They’re ready for telehealth; they’re willing to pay for convenience; they look to the research and what others are saying about providers, before they make a decision. So a social media presence is very important. So then we hone down to the Nemours parent, and find out what’s important to us. They value quality, respect, and environment of care over cost. And they will choose hospitals based on internet searches.”

As a result of the research that she and her colleagues conducted, Altieri reported that “We came up with Nemours Anytime, Anywhere. We want to be that trusted advisor” for consumer medical information. “Our aim is to expand a more accessible continuum of care within our communities to be a more proactive partner in guiding and empowering parents throughout their children’s development. We’re trying to tie everything together, so that their experience is a seamless one and they only have to go to one place, and we remove all the friction that exists today. So we created the Center for Health Delivery Innovation. We have editors, data scientists, developers, design thinking experts. We use agile methodologies to work with patients and families and providers every step of the way.”

In short, Altieri said, success in all these areas requires developing an entire “ecosystem” of technology infrastructure to support consumer engagement. She cited Nemours KidsHealth; Nemours Prevention & Population Health; the health system’s HIMSS Stage 7-level core IT infrastructure; and telehealth capabilities, as composing that constellation of supports. What’s more, she said, in all this, “You can’t just pull solutions off the shelf; you’ll no engagement with providers and patients/families.”

A consumer insights and digital strategy

“We also created a consumer insights and digital strategy, to analyze our consumers’ digital footprint and optimize leveraging of out digital assets,” Altieri continued. And in that regard, “We’ve been able to track what parents are doing when they go to our site, and we’re trying to direct them to schedule an appointment or have a video chat and get more connection to Nemours. And what’s the click-through rate? Why did they stop at a particular point in the process?”

A lot of learnings have been absorbed along the way, Altieri noted. “Originally,” she said, “the patient portal was a little clunky, people we’re really using it. But we’ve embedded our kids’ health content, our patient instructions, and have automated the onboarding of the patient portal to make it easier. Everything has to be made easier.”

Further, she said, “We’ve been doing telehealth for five years, We call it Nemours CareConnect. We have partner facilities. They want to retain patients. And we want to transfer only the really complex cases to our children’s hospitals. And we’ve turned it to direct-to-consumers. 24/7, a Nemours board-certified physician can provide telephonic care. In addition, 400 specialists have also been trained to do consults from the hospital. We’re also in schools. Right now, they’re in special-needs schools. But eventually, they’ll be in general mainstream schools. We’re also on cruise ships.”

Meanwhile, Altieri reported, “The Center for Health Delivery tied all these separate assets together,” and created an app for asthma management that “touches the entire continuum of care, and works not only for the provider, but also for the patient and family.” In developing the app, she said, “We asked the providers, what problem can we help you solve? And they were saying, most of the problems have to do with gaps—what’s happening in the home and other things that might be triggering this?” And she showed the audience a video involving actors that walked through what a mother and her daughter experienced as they were guided through telehealth and in-person encounters around the daughter’s asthma, with caring, empathetic interactions with physicians and other clinicians, and successful follow-up around questions and concerns. What the video depicted was a thorough and comprehensive approach to helping parents with children with chronic illnesses to have their children’s medical issues handled successfully, with caring and convenience. One particularly exciting element of the use of the consumer app as part of that continuum of care is that the parent can make notes on exercise, activities, symptoms, etc., that are relevant to their child’s condition, and those are then incorporated in the information that the clinicians caring for the child have at their disposal.

“We’ve launched that proof of concept, it’s on the app store. And we had our first telehealth visit through the app last week,” Altieri noted, after showing the video of that care delivery and management process. “Now, we’re working on an app for cardiac care, and then we’ll move on to add one for diabetes, and then for WellChild care, which will be the umbrella for all of this.”

In the end, she noted, it’s all about listening to consumers and finding out what they want and need, and figuring out how to deploy technologies that facilitate improved care delivery and management, and support consumer convenience and wants. Nemours leaders, she emphasized, will continue to listen and to act accordingly.

Beyond Compliance Summer Update from the CP/EVC – UC Santa Cruz (press release)

I am pleased to provide an update about Beyond Compliance, our UC Santa Cruz initiative that engages faculty to help reshape campus culture with the goal of creating an environment free from sexual violence and sexual harassment.

As you know, Beyond Compliance has been co-chaired by Associate Vice Provost for Academic Affairs Martin Berger and Senate Vice Chair Kimberly Lau. With Martin’s departure, I have appointed Physical and Biological Sciences Dean Paul Koch to serve with Kim as co-chair. In addition to his extensive administrative and Senate experience, Paul brings a nuanced understanding of SVSH issues in higher education and will continue to ensure Beyond Compliance remains attuned to the complexities underlying efforts at cultural change.

This past year, our Beyond Compliance working group collaborated with faculty, staff, and students to develop a series of programs and proposals around five key priority areas: best practices for supporting graduate students whose advisers may be placed on leave or dismissed as a result of a Title IX investigation; a faculty ambassadors program; a single reporting portal; learning communities to facilitate curriculum development; and a call for new course development.

When faculty members are placed on involuntary leave during SVSH investigations, or when they are disciplined for violations of university policy, there are invariably negative consequences for graduate students. In the past, when faculty have been unavailable to graduate students due to Title IX investigations or discipline, it has been left largely to individual departments, and the affected graduate students, to find replacement advisers, faculty who can write letters of recommendation, qualifying-examination committee members, etc.

To reduce the burden on departments and students, Beyond Compliance has developed a best practices guide to provide assistance in these situations. The guide offers an extensive list of potential adverse impacts, suggests who should serve as the point person for resolving the situation (and lists others who need to be involved), and provides a menu of potential solutions. It is our hope that the guide will aid departments and students in better understanding, and more efficiently resolving, problems that arise through no fault of students. The guide is currently under review by the campus counsel and my office. As soon as it is approved, Beyond Compliance will circulate it to the Graduate Student Association, the Division of Graduate Studies, and directors throughout the division for comment.

The Title IX Office provides training and education to the campus community on SVSH prevention, while also conducting investigations. But the office’s limited staff precludes them from meeting all of our educational needs. For that reason, Beyond Compliance has developed an ambassadors program that aims to train volunteer faculty members to serve as SVSH educators to the community. Working in conjunction with, and trained by, the Title IX Office, ambassadors will give public presentations at department or divisional meetings and serve as a resource for faculty members with SVSH-related questions.

It’s our hope that the program will both increase the percentage of faculty with an understanding of Title IX policy and procedures and allow the Title IX Office to reach a vastly larger population. The program proposal is also currently under review by the campus counsel and my office. We hope to announce additional details in the fall.

Over the past two years, Beyond Compliance members have heard repeatedly that faculty, students, and staff found it challenging to know where particular incidents should be reported. While our campus has many different reporting paths (for SVSH, hate/bias, faculty code-of-conduct violations, campus crime, etc.) it is not always clear to community members where a given incident or problem should be reported. To simplify reporting, I have engaged with Information Technology Services to build a single portal that will include links to every campus reporting site. I hope this will make reporting seamless and efficient for all members of our campus community. The new portal will go live in the fall. Stay tuned for additional details.

Finally, as an incentive for faculty to integrate courses on SVSH-related topics into departmental curricula, Beyond Compliance has created a competitive program offering course release to support the research and development of such courses. The CFP is now posted to the Beyond Compliance website, and the first of a series of rolling deadlines is Sept. 24. In addition to this approach to developing new course offerings, Beyond Compliance will co-sponsor a faculty learning community with the Center for Innovations in Teaching and Learning for faculty interested in adding an SVSH-related unit into an existing course; we expect this program to take place during the Winter 2019 quarter.

Who Is Fresno State’s Top Dog? Hint: She Researches Important Stuff. –

Educator and academic researcher Safiya Umoja Noble and 14 other Fresno State alumni will be celebrated for their accomplishments Oct. 26 at the Fresno State Alumni Association’s Top Dog Alumni Awards Gala at the Save Mart Center.

Noble will receive the Distinguished Alumni Award for her efforts in social justice, professional accomplishments as an educational leader and success with research on the impact of technologies on society.

Based on scholarship, leadership, and service to the university, the Distinguished Alumni Award is the highest alumni honor given.

Tickets for the Top Dog Alumni Awards Gala are $150 per person and will go on sale in early September. They will be available by calling 559.278.ALUM or online at this link.

Each year, one alumnus is chosen from each of the University’s academic schools and colleges, the Department of Athletics, the Henry Madden Library, the Division of Student Affairs and the Division of Graduate Studies to receive a Top Dog Outstanding Alumni Award.

Meanwhile, the Arthur Safstrom Service Award honors alumni who have a distinguished record of service to Fresno State. The 2018 Arthur Safstrom Service Award recipient is Harry Gaykian (1955), financial advisor at Wells Fargo Advisors and an instrumental supporter of the University and its students.

“The Top Dog Alumni Awards Gala is an inspiring event that recognizes the achievements of our most accomplished alumni,” said Jacquelyn Glasener, executive director of the Fresno State Alumni Association. “This year’s class of 15 honorees represents what it truly means to be a Bulldog, and we are excited to celebrate their successes with the University and community.”

Noble graduated from Fresno State in 1995 with a bachelor’s degree in social sciences before earning her master’s degree in information science and her doctorate in philosophy (information science) at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. She is now an assistant professor at the USC and previously served as assistant professor at UCLA and at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.

In addition to her career as an educator, Noble is revered as a researcher, focusing on the design of digital media platforms on the internet and their impact on society. Her work is both sociological and interdisciplinary, marking the ways that digital media impacts and intersects with issues of gender, race, culture and technology design.

Noble’s research has led to numerous peer-reviewed articles and published books, including “Algorithms of Oppression: How Search Engines Reinforce Racism” and “The Intersectional Internet: Race, Sex, and Culture Online.”

Fresno State’s 2018 Top Dog Honorees

Distinguished Alumna: Safiya Umoja Noble (1996), assistant professor at the University of Southern California Annenberg School of Communication

Arthur Safstrom Service Award: Harry Gaykian (1955), financial advisor at Wells Fargo Advisors

Outstanding Alumni by College or Division:

Jordan College of Agriculture Sciences and Technology: Jim Marderosian (1979), president and owner of Bee Sweet Citrus, Inc.

College of Arts and Humanities: Gerald McMenamin (1972), emeritus faculty for the Department of Linguistics at Fresno State

Department of Athletics: Chris Williams (1994), Paso Robles Joint Unified School District Superintendent

Craig School of Business: James G. Parker (1972), president and CEO of James G. Parker Insurance Associates

Kremen School of Education and Human Development: Michael Giovannetti (1970, ’72, ’01), executive director of the Renaissance Group

Lyles College of Engineering: Steven Schmidt (1977), assistant center director for strategic implementation at the NASA Armstrong Flight Research Center

Division of Graduate Studies: Michael Snell (2004, ’10), CEO of the California Teaching Fellows Foundation

College of Health and Human Services: Timothy McGonigle (1980), partner at Folsom Physical Therapy and Training Center

Henry Madden Library: Ellen Gorelick (1979), retired executive director and chief curator of the Tulare Historical Museum

College of Science and Mathematics: Raymond Rodriguez (1969), professor in the Department of Molecular and Cellular Biology and executive director of the Global HealthShare Initiative at the University of California, Davis

College of Social Sciences: Rosendo Peña, Jr. (1977), associate justice of the State of California Court of Appeal, Fifth Appellate District in Fresno

Division of Student Affairs and Enrollment Management: Christopher Morse (1988), partner at Moss Adams LLP, and Kenneth Wittwer (1986), partner at Moss Adams LLP


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