The Beth Guislin Team Award 2019/20

October 28, 2020

Written by ITS Campus Engagement, Jim Phillips and ITS Communications Coordinator and UCSC Legal Studies Student, Jane Tobias.

The Beth Guislin Team award is given for excellence in collaborative information technology projects at UCSC. Beth Guislin served as Director of Instructional Computing in ITS for 26 years, retiring in 2005. This award is connected to one of our Who We Are guiding principles, team work.

Based on nominations from across ITS, there are two team award recipients:

UCPath Team - Laurie Eppler and ITS core team Multi-Factor Authentication (MFA) Team - Glenn Blackler and ITS core team
    • Laurie Eppler - Lead
    • Diana Taylor
    • Pam Swain
    • Glenn Blackler
    • Cathy Sewell
    • Glenn Blackler - Lead
    • Pam Swain
    • Lisa Bono
    • Erick Rodriguez
    • Sopia Ciotti
    • William Woodrow
    • Paul Bauman
    • Jen Walker
    • Patrick Register
    • Hong Nguyen
    • Kari Robertson
    • William Woodrow
    • Andre Daniels
    • George Holbert
    • Jennie Kulczy
    • Dave Wasmuth
    • Scott Hyatt
    • Kristin Bradham
    • Syrma Dontcheva
    • Andre Daniels
    • Charles McIntyre
    • Aaron Hicks
    • John Baldwin
    • Krishna Beck-Davis
    • Alex Lin
    • Jevan Gray
    • Doug Niven
    • Erica Simpkins
    • Jennie Kulczyk
    • Michael Siladi
    • Michael Puckett
    • Scott Councilman
    • John Bartlett
    • Nicole Liebenthal
    • Alicia Moss
    • Ken Smith
    • Darrell Abbott
    • Iran Rodrigues
    • Charles McIntyre

Honoritng the UCPath Team

Melanie Douglas presented the first Beth Guislin award to the UCPath team, led by Laurie Eppler. As of January 2, 2020, access to the UCPath portal was opened for all UC Santa Cruz faculty and staff. 

UCPath is one of the largest collaborative implementations ever undertaken at UC Santa Cruz. Over 160 people across nearly every division on campus participated in the implementation.

The UCPath team, composed of over 60 ITS staff, rigorously tested the system and the multiple integration points with campus systems. In all, this represents the culmination of a decade of planning and collaborative work to create and integrate our implementation into a systemwide solution. The PeopleSoft agreement was originally signed in 2011. Eppler expressed her gratitude for the team's flexibility and willingness to collaborate.

The UCPath team members throughout ITS were always accommodating to the last minute nature of the ever changing requests (and timelines) from UCOP. They rose to the occasion every single time, to deliver what was asked on time and accurately. The team benefited from strong campus support and divisional leadership through the years. As the change requests occurred, each and every leader I asked for support within ITS came through with what was needed.

Additionally, Eppler expressed her appreciation to VCIT Van Williams, Byron Walker, and Melanie Douglas for their support in getting the project across the finish line! Eppler also recognized the work of Diana Taylor who played a critical role and wore multiple hats throughout the project, beginning with system design and conversion, facilitating multiple business process design sessions with key campus stakeholders, and all of the work related to testing, deployment and system administration.

Reflecting on the magnitude of the achievement, Eppler stated, “This truly took a village and I was proud to be involved and help guide such a critical project for the campus.”

Honoring the Multi-Factor Authentication Team

Pam Swain announced that the second Beth Guislin award this year would go to the Multi-Factor Authentication (MFA) team, led by Glenn Blackler. Swain described the implementation as a simple change but by no means an ordinary project. It required broad collaboration across ITS and the campus. Swain accepted the award for Blackler who was not available, adding that his leadership and guidance were amazing from start to finish. “Today, it is the new norm: It is the way we do business,” Swain asserted. But, in this case, this simple change dramatically improved the security of the enterprise applications used campuswide. 

Upon hearing of the Guislin award announcement, Blackler said, “I'm tremendously thankful to win the award but I think it's critical to note that it's intended for a team, not an individual.  Erick Rodriquez, Sophia Ciotti, Pam Swain, Lisa Bono and Sanjay Menon were just a few of the many people who made huge contributions to this project. This group rallied to overcome a slew of challenges; I'm honored that I was chosen to lead them!"