We started the Sparta Awards in 2018 to recognize staff members who bring out the best in each other through their collaborative spirit, commitment to innovation, and everyday leadership. Our division navigated so much throughout the COVID-19 lockdown: shifts in modality, supporting the university while working from home, and preparations for future pedagogies. The entire division stepped up. There are dozens and dozens of folks in SJSU IT who deserve recognition and whose work merits an award. We could only pick one individual and one team to win. To say the choice was difficult this year would be a huge understatement.
It’s my pleasure to share this year’s winners with you. These folks dedicated themselves to helping our university community during a challenging year in SJSU’s history. They put in the work, led by example, and upheld SJSU IT’s core values of partnership and collaboration with their peers throughout the university.
The 2021 Individual Award went to Marco Scardina. This past year, Marco performed his duties with distinction and commitment to the campus community and his impact has been profound. He took it upon himself to perform some of the most essential behind-the-scenes duties on a digital campus such as SJSU. One of which was the complete digitization and modernization of security administration across multiple platforms. He also initiated and drove an automation project to grant access and permissions based on role. This streamlined access management for over 470 chairs, faculty, and staff transitioning in and out of the Advisory Role every semester, reducing processing time from weeks to hours and eliminating paper forms.
The 2021 Team Award goes to Debu Basak, Tristan Orlino, Cuong Doan, An Nguyen, Lor Vang, Kirk Nguyen, Norma Brown, Anthony Mays, Sree Gandikota, Natasha Jones, Belinda Nguyen, Kenny Gong, Suzanne Austin, Toby Shaw, Coe Tran, Bruce Kelbert, Steve Chang, Sean Davis, Kelly Deaver, Tam Vu, Prasad Meka, Sam Zhang, Nolan Liu, Paul Leung, Rigo Vargas, Jerry Darrell, Jeffory Toone, Steven Boring, Yue Wang, Danny Ta. This team successfully managed the Windows 2008 Upgrade Project.
With the increased onslaught of security issues across the globe, we wanted to mitigate vulnerability by retiring our servers running Windows 2008. Most of these servers were running legacy applications with very little or no support and many of the applications on them were homegrown with little or no documentation. In total, 132 servers were identified to be retired or upgraded. This was a large, collaborative effort working with many different colleges and departments. Thanks to their work, our university’s server infrastructure is more secure.
Thank you to the winners of both categories for your tremendous work. Thank you to everyone who sent in nominations – we had so many! And lastly, thank you to the SJSU IT Peer Consultation Group for discussing each nomination with me, giving me their feedback and input.
Please join me in congratulating this year’s winners!