The Stephen Hauskins Research Amplification Award 2019/20

October 16, 2020

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

ITS continued its tradition of acknowledging exceptional achievements by individual staff and teams at their annual awards ceremony on August 13. The event, which attracted 190 ITS staff members, was held via Zoom at their ITS All Hands meeting.

The Stephen Hauskins Research Amplification award honors an individual who has worked collaboratively with groups on campus to make significant advances in supporting UC Santa Cruz's research mission. This award reflects our division's strategic objective to create powerful, accessible, easy to use and scalable research IT services.

This award is named after the inaugural recipient Stephen Hauskins, renowned ITS divisional liaison for Physical and Biological Sciences, who passed away on July 14, 2019.

Hauskins' Legacy

Stephen Hauskins

Jay Olson announced the winner and accepted the award posthumously for Stephen Hauskins. Olson shared that Hauskins, over his many years of service in ITS, had a great influence on research IT for UC Santa Cruz. Olson offered some insights into Hauskins' character, citing an obituary, written by Andrea Hesse in July 2019, which states that:

Stephen was deeply committed to advancing the university’s research mission. He was a complex problem solver with an innate curiosity and extraordinary work ethic. He was generous with his time, knowledge and expertise and leaves behind many friends and colleagues who will miss his friendship and guidance and with whom he enjoyed working at UC Santa Cruz.

"He was a technical genius," Olson reflected, observing that Hauskins could be reactionary at times but always excited about technology and finding solutions to technical challenges. If Steve seemed less interested in the political discussions that often drive decision making in higher education, it was because he was so thoroughly committed to his customers and the academic mission.

Hummingbird Computational Cluster

Diagram of Hummingbird Computational Cluster

Hauskins managed the Hummingbird Computational Cluster for the Academic Divisional Computing group in ITS. Hummingbird, an open-source computational structure, gives researchers, graduate students, and undergraduate students across disciplines access to essential research and computing recources who otherwise might not have access. Hauskins' contributions to Hummingbird reflect his commitment to advancing UC Santa Cruz's research mission.

Research IT can forge a strong bond with those who support it, whether it be a result of the critical importance of the world-changing solutions that are being pursued as part of the research or because of the great passion that the researchers themselves bring to their projects. Research IT matters in very real terms and, for Hauskins, that made all the difference.