IT Services Celebrates Innovation Award Winners

by Randy Hollowell, IT Services

We would like to take this opportunity to acknowledge and congratulate several members of the IT Services family who on Thursday afternoon were awarded Miami’s Creativity and Innovation Award. These individuals were Jake Harrison, Bill Miley, and Elizabeth Parsons.

Elizabeth and Bill with their award plaquesJake is an Information Security Analyst III in the Information Security Office. He was nominated for his work related to cybersecurity awareness, and in particular, his involvement in establishing the first-ever CyberMania event. CyberMania was a friendly competition between Miami University and Ohio University, facing off to see who was the ultimate cybersecurity champion. Participants tested their cybersecurity knowledge by completing a short survey and gaining information security awareness along the way. Unfortunately, Jake was unable to attend the event.

John Virden, Miami’s Chief Information Security Officer, praised Jake’s efforts. “Thanks to Jake’s innovative thinking and project perseverance, he initiated and pushed an effort to bring together two leading Ohio universities to spread cybersecurity awareness, critical in today’s online environment, through a fun and engaging information security competition. This resulted in 3,000 students, staff, and faculty learning more about how to be safe at work and at home in our online lives.”

“Jake’s innovative awareness work with Tiny Tabletops, our competition with OU, and a host of other efforts has had a huge impact on Miami’s overall level of security awareness,” noted CIO David Seidl.

Bill with Renate CrawfordBill is a Director of Application Development within Solution Delivery. He was nominated primarily for his work on managing the successful completion of the transition to Banner 9. This included managing work within IT Services, involvement from the various business offices, and a small group of contractors.

“Demonstrating an extraordinary blend of hard work, persistence, and unyielding patience, Bill navigated through complex technical challenges while fostering a spirit of collaboration and innovation within the team,” according to Brian Henebry, Assistant Vice President of Solution Delivery. “His special-sauce approach to problem-solving and his commitment to excellence not only propelled the project to successful completion but also set new benchmarks for future endeavors. To me, this award celebrates not just his technical skills, but also his relentless drive and creative vision to better the institution.“

Seidl also commented on the impact of Miley’s work. “Bill found ways to keep our Banner 9 efforts moving through bumps, pitfalls, and other challenges, leveraging his deep Banner expertise and demonstrating both dedication and real creativity in finding ways to achieve a goal where others might have given up.” 

Elizabeth Parsons with David Seidl and President CrawfordElizabeth is a Digital Content Creator/Specialist within the IT Communication and Customer Advocacy unit. She was nominated for her ongoing communications work concerning cybersecurity awareness and was the driving force behind the communications and website creation for the CyberMania event. This also included managing student work on the project.

“Elizabeth is such a huge proponent and advocate for cybersecurity awareness across the University, and has been for her entire career at Miami,” noted her manager, Randy Hollowell. “She really stepped up her game with this project and did a phenomenal job of mixing creativity with hardcore cybersecurity awareness practices. We could not be any more proud of her commitment and excellence. Oh, and did I mention we beat Ohio University to win the competition?”

Innovation Award MedalSeidl praised Parsons' creative contributions. “Elizabeth brought new ideas and inventive ways to build engagement to CyberMania, driving engagement and letting us beat OU!”

Seidl is extremely appreciative of the efforts of not only the award winners but everyone within the IT Services organization at Miami. “Folks in IT Services meet the challenges of serving the institution in amazing, innovative, and creative ways that continue to delight me.”

Congratulations to all of our winners, and please reach out and congratulate each of them when you get a chance.