Zeng Shows Tenacity
Cindy Zeng exemplifies the ITS core values of tenacity and accountability in her position as a systems analyst developing GeorgiaFIRST PeopleSoft, Financials Data Mart (FDM), and iStrategy applications at ITS.
In December 2012, Cindy accepted a challenge to learn, troubleshoot, and execute the technical process to get GeorgiaFIRST data archived, which was last performed by a consulting resource several years ago. This task is in line with our current data archiving strategy. Cindy demonstrated tenacity throughout the test cycles and was solely on point and accountable for the execution in production. She didn’t flinch when told that the maintenance window involved two Saturdays and one Sunday in holiday-hectic December.
“Thoroughness and attention to detail are persistent in Cindy’s work so she was a natural fit for data archiving, which she executed flawlessly,” said David Nisbet, director of Administrative Services. Cindy has been a member of the ITS team for almost six years. She holds a master’s degree in economics from the University of Colorado in Boulder, and a bachelor’s degree in economics/business administration from Jilin University in Jilin, China.
Why does Cindy enjoy her job at ITS? “I enjoy my job because of the people I work with every day. Each member on the Administrative Services team possesses a particular combination of skill sets, yet each has a great sense of team work,” said Cindy.
Cindy mentioned whenever an issue comes up, no matter how hard and urgent it is, there is always a right member with the right skills to tackle it, and in the meantime, all others are willing to help no matter what. She values the teamwork and treasures the friendship developed with her co-workers “I don’t get bored working on this team,” said Cindy. “We maintain the financial system, troubleshoot customers’ data issues, create financial statements and reports for the central office, and make sure dollar amounts on employee expense reimbursement checks are correct. We have Oracle and SQL Server databases. We operate on Unix and Windows systems.”
Cindy works on the day-to-day transaction data, as well as with large data warehouses to support strategic decision making. She also works with interactive reporting tools to help individual institutes’ analysis. “This team has covered such a big ground. Every time I receive a task to work on, there is something I’m not familiar with that requires me to learn. It is this challenge that keeps me excited, and it is every resolved issue that makes me learn new stuff and gives me the great sense of achievement,” added Cindy.
Thanks Cindy for your continued commitment to ITS!
Beech Is Committed To Excellence
Jennifer Beech exemplifies the ITS core values in her commitment to excellence in customer service, teamwork and high work performance. “I am proud to have Jennifer as a member of the Collaborative Program Services team,” said Diane Burnette, associate director of Collaborative Program Services at ITS.
Jennifer is a business systems analyst where she serves as senior analyst for the INGRESS multi-institution application. She has been a member of the ITS team since 2008. Previously, Jennifer served as a director of application systems and project manager for Cingular Wireless. She holds a master’s degree in business administration from Baruch College.
“I like working at ITS because the work we do is beneficial in preparing the next generation to realize their true potential,” said Jennifer.
Thanks Jennifer for your continued commitment to ITS!
The GeorgiaVIEW Team — Tenacity in Action
The ITS GeorgiaVIEW Team provided an example of tenacity when Blackboard, a product that enables universities to host classes online, released a security bulletin announcing a vulnerability which allowed a student to view a course’s full grade book by manipulating the course URL.
Although the vulnerability was limited to viewing grades and did not involve the ability to change grades, this was still a serious security concern. When the security bulletin was released, GeorgiaVIEW was in the midst of testing a Java Runtime Environment (JRE) applet error patch which was planned for application within a week. But clearly, the security patch took precedence. While Blackboard provided a patch to correct the reported vulnerability, the GeorgiaVIEW Team needed to verify that the patch would work and also verify that the vulnerability existed for GeorgiaVIEW users.
Blackboard’s policy is not to reveal specifics of security vulnerability so as to attempt to limit potential exploits. However Ezra Freelove, one of the GeorgiaVIEW database analysts, identified two potential URLs and successfully replicated and confirmed the issue. That same day, the GeorgiaVIEW team verified the vulnerability, applied the patch to a test environment, and verified the fix. Maintenance windows were successfully scheduled with campus representatives in a very short timeframe and the update was applied during the regularly scheduled maintenance period.
During the next week, the GeorgiaVIEW team completed testing the JRE patch and began applying it during regularly scheduled maintenance times. Although this patch resolved errors that were only annoying and not performance affecting, the optimal experience of the GeorgiaVIEW user is the team’s highest priority. Barry Robinson, interim director of the GeorgiaVIEW functional team adds, “The team has done a great job juggling multiple initiatives all while adapting to the departure of Doug Hyche, [the former director of GeorgiaVIEW]. I’ve been very impressed with their hard work and dedication.”
The GeorgiaVIEW team is comprised of a nine member team, who provide GeorgiaVIEW functional support to 31 campuses as well as three database analysts on the GeorgiaVIEW technical team, and draws upon the talents of ITS employees in Network Support, Systems Support, Strategic Communications, and the Project Management Office.
In addition, the team includes the 108 GeorgiaVIEW administrators in the University System of Georgia and more than 60 agents at the Presidium Learning Online Support Center who provide support for faculty and students using GeorgiaVIEW Vista.