Information Technology Services
Information Technology Services

ITServices 2014 Conference Calendar

Logo: OUCC 2014This year's season of Higher Ed IT conferences kicked off with the Ontario Universities Computing Conference (OUCC) 2014, April 27 to 29 in Windsor, Ontario. The OUCC is an annual conference of professionals who provide IT solutions and services for Ontario universities.

Queen's University sent an impressive 14 delegates to Windsor, and a total of six presentations from Queen's were on the program:

The Value of Participation

ITServices regularly encourages its staff to take advantage of the professional development opportunities afforded by attending conferences like this. Judy Russell has attended every OUCC since 2005, when it was hosted at Queen's. She finds that these events help to strengthen working relationships within the department, and that presenting at them can provide even greater opportunities for collaboration.

"Since we're spread over campus, being together at the conference gives us a chance to talk about work with coworkers we might not see regularly. And when you just attend, you may not know who is interested in the same things you are - but when you are a presenter, they find you."

Occasionally, members of other departments at Queen's will come along to these conferences. Vicky Arnold, Communications Coordinator for Queen's Faculty of Education, came to OUCC to do a shared presentation with Natasha Redknap about a major project that they collaborated on last year.

"I am grateful to have had the opportunity to travel with members of ITServices to the OUCC. I found the ITS team to be an inclusive group of professional and fun people, and I was proud to discover that our ITS team is so well-respected by their colleagues in the field."

Brad Hannah, Manager of Systems and Storage in ITServices, finds great value in networking outside of the organization and sharing information at conferences like these.

"The people are the biggest part of the conference. Meeting your peers at other institutions and sharing stories provides an astounding amount of value, with the reaffirmation that we are not alone in our IT struggles. Other schools are presented with the same issues and are actually looking into the same solutions.

2014 Conference Schedule

OUCC is just one of a few key events attended by ITServices each year, including several dedicated to more specific IT fields. However, there are two main IT conferences similar to OUCC, but on a much larger scale:

  • CANHEIT is the Canadian Higher Education Information Technology Conference. This year's event takes place June 1 to 4 in Prince Edward Island, and Queen?s is very well represented ? with a remarkable ten presentations in total.
  • EDUCAUSE is an annual conference for higher education IT professionals in North America. In 2013, ITServices hosted several virtual conference sessions, which were open to anyone on campus who was interested. This year's conference will be in Orlando Florida, from September 29 to October 2.

Bo Wandschneider, Queen's CIO and Associate Vice-Principal (IT), regularly attends these conferences and other professional development and networking opportunities, such as CUCCIO member meetings, iAssist, and the Leadership Council for Digital Infrastructure. For those interested in learning more, he occasionally writes about these experiences on his blog.

Closer to home, here are a couple of other noteworthy events taking place:

  • Monday, May 26, is Data Day - a forum for researchers and data service providers hosted by Queen's University Library.
  • From June 17 to 20, the STLHE 2014 conference is being held in Kingston, hosted by Queen?s University, St. Lawrence College and Royal Military College.
On the road to OUCC
ITServices staff on the bus headed to Windsor
Chatting with colleagues
Bo Wandschneider takes time to chat with colleagues from other institutions
Speakers Orientation
Presenters attended a speaker's orientation at the start
Presentation: Active Learning Classrooms
Dave Smith and Don Harmsen give a presentation on the Ellis Hall Active Learning Classrooms