Monthly Archives: February 2013

New Website Feature: Custom Sidebars

The web team is pleased to announce custom sidebars, a new site-wide feature available in WordPress, our content management system (CMS).

Administrators can choose to add one or more widgets to a sidebar that may be inserted site-wide or page by page.

Available sidebar widgets include:

  • A photo with a caption and web link
  • An HTML or text area with a header
  • Twitter feed
  • RSS feed
  • A custom menu of pages from your website

We will be adding more widgets over time.

The Department of Information Technology home page contains a sidebar with two widgets.  The first is an HTML area that links to a web page about identity theft, while the other is a feed from the department’s Twitter feed.  Since the Twitter feed is dynamic as the department adds items to Twitter, the content will automatically update on in the widget.

Other pages on the Department of Information Technology website (e.g., our Training page) contain a site-wide sidebar with two widgets: a RSS news feed from the IT blog called The Basement, and our Twitter feed.  Having the blog’s news items on every page of the department’s website greatly expands their visibility. And since these news items are coming through an RSS feed, they will automatically be updated across the site whenever items are added or changed on the blog.


The web team will be providing training on using sidebars and widgets next week. A how-to use sidebars and widgets is available.

Check their WordPress help site for more information.

The Web Team Welcomes New Spring Interns

We are pleased to welcome new interns this spring from Roxbury Community College, Norman Ellison and Juan Urena.  They are both enrolled in  the web technology program and are working towards their associate degrees. This placement is part of a new partnership coordinated by the HSPH Office of Human Resources.

They will each work 10 hours each week and will provide web support to the HSPH community, as well as enhancing their coding skills.

Norman is a youth leader and has worked at the Youth for Prevention Action Change Through Thought, Boston MA group. Juan has a 3.8 GPA in his field of study. We welcome them to the web team.

Celebration with the Stars

The Department of Information Technology is pleased to have a number of employees being recognized at this year’s Celebration with the Stars. 

The event will be held on February 28, 2013 at 2:30, in the Kresge cafeteria.

IT’s 2013 Honorees

5 year milestone
Patrick Creedon, senior user support specialist
Erin Breen Provensal, instructional technologist

10 year milestone
Christopher Riley, video specialist
Anne Marie Stathis, SIS support specialist

15 year milestone
Chris Ternan, Webmaster

Thank you to all for your dedicated service!

Last Year’s Event

Watch a slideshow from last year’s Celebration with the Stars event!


New Web Feature: A to Z index

The web team and our partner, the Office for External Relations, are pleased to announce the launch of a new website feature, the HSPH alphabetical site index.

A link to the feature may be found next to the search box on every page.

We encourage the community to search through the listing and make suggestions via the online form.  Suggestions will be vetted by External Relations.

While this is a simple enhancement, we hope that it will provide another convenient avenue for navigating through the thousands of pages on the HSPH site.

MS Outlook Quick Start Guides Available

The Department of Information Technology has Microsoft Outlook 2010 quickstart guides available for the community at the Helpdesk.

These handy how-to guides provide 6 pages of information on common tasks such as:

  • managing mail,
  • using your calendar,
  • creating and assigning tasks,
  • creating and managing contacts

It also contains a panel of Outlook keyboard short-cuts.

Please stop by the Helpdesk, Kresge LL15, to grab one for you or a handful for your group!

Maintenance Window: Thursday, February 14, 2013

Update (2/15/2012):

All updates were made. As we advise after every maintenance windows, we encourage all users to reboot their PCs.


To all HSPH users,

This Thursday night, February 14, 2013, we will be performing our normal system maintenance to all servers.

The maintenance window will last from 7PM to 1AM.

The following services will have one or two small outages:

(You can continue to work, but may have brief pauses while services restart)

The following services will be unavailable from 7pm to 10pm.

  • MyHSPH Portal

The following services will be unaffected during the maintenance window:

  • HPCC system
  • HUIT Icemail (Outlook) system
  • iSites

Upcoming maintenance dates:

  • 2/14/2013
  • 3/17/2013 – Moved to accommodate the Academic Calendar
  • 4/11/2013
  • 5/19/2013 – Moved to accommodate the Academic Calendar
  • 6/13/2013

Thank you,
HSPH IT Department

New Spring Coop: Lawrence Manigault

We are pleased to welcome a new coop this spring from Roxbury Community College, Lawrence Manigault.  This placement is part of a new partnership coordinated by the HSPH Office of Human Resources.  Lawrence is our third coop with Hansel Ruiz and  Moses Mokuolu completing assignments in the fall.

Lawrence will work 10-12 hours each week providing computer support to the community at the Helpdesk, as well as in the field, with support and training provided by our User Services team.

He is a candidate for an associate degree in information systems technology and has outstanding technical skills.

Lawrence Manigault

Please join us in welcoming Lawrence to our technical staff and to the HSPH community!

New Staff Member: Dylan O’Connell

The HSPH Department of Information Technology welcomes new hire Dylan O’Connell. Dylan will work as a user support specialist in our User Services Group and will provide helpdesk, desktop, classroom, and media services support to the community. He replaces Nate Varney, who left the User Services team for a promotion with the our server team.

Dylan is a graduate of Tufts University, where he earned a bachelor of science in physics.   While a student, Dylan spent 3+ years at Tufts University IT, working as a support technician at their main computer laboratories.  He has extensive experience with front-line technical support, computer and printer troubleshooting, and audio-visual equipment.

We are excited about Dylan’s technical and customer service skills.   He brings great support experience in an academic setting to HSPH.

Dylan O'Connell


Please join us in welcoming Dylan to our technical staff and to the HSPH community!

Interesting fact: Dylan had two outstanding internships while at Tufts.  He first worked a summer at the NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, CA, including imaging work on satellites orbiting Jupiter.  Later, he worked at Rhode Island Hospital’s Department of Radiation Oncology on smartphone applications to reduce treatment errors with safety checklists and information sharing.

Congratulations to Tom Gatton and Nate Varney

We are pleased to announce two recent promotions:

  • Tom Gatton has been promoted from server administrator to server administrator II
  • Nate Varney has been promoted from senior user support associate to server administrator

Tom Gatton

Nate Varney

Tom Gatton has been at Harvard since 2006, working first for Harvard University Information Systems (now HUIT) and then Graduate School of Arts and Science (GSAS).  Tom joined HSPH in 2010 and has consistently been one of the top ticket closers in IT since his arrival.  He will continue work with Brian Pedranti, server manager, on maintaining HSPH’s server and storage infrastructure that now numbers more than 100 virtual machines, a disaster recovery facility, and more than 80 TB under management.  Tom replaces Alex Garcia-Rangel who was promoted to a management role for Student Information System (SIS) team.

Nate Varney has been with HSPH since 2009, when he joined the User Services team.  Nate was quickly promoted in 2010 to senior user support specialist.  Nate, like Tom, has consistently been a top ticket closer and provided excellent support for our audio-visual infrastructure, classroom technology, and computer laboratory software imaging.  Nate also worked on the production team for many events in the Forum at HSPH and Voices from the Field series.  In his new server administrator role, he will be joining the server team and leaving User Services. He will be involved in a number of important projects including server upgrades, a virtual desktop pilot for instructional and administrative computing, and replacement of the Novell infrastructure.  Nate replaces Tom Gattton.

Please join us in congratulating both Tom and Nate!

Congratulations to Alex Garcia-Rangel

We are pleased to announce that Alex Garcia-Rangel has been promoted to SIS Manager.  Alex has been the interim SIS manager since mid-November on a part-time basis.

Alex has been working on the SIS project since its inception in 2008.  He was on the implementation team as the technical lead.  Alex has built all servers for SIS, maintains our backups, maintains our disaster recovery site, and administers other products/servers that tie into Banner (e.g., EMS and PowerFAIDS).

Alex Garcia-Rangel

Alex has been with the HSPH IT Department for more than 10 years.  He first worked with our desktop team as a technician and was promoted to a server administrator position with the server team in 2006.  In addition to his excellent technical skills, his customer-service focus, strong troubleshooting skills, and outstanding communication skills will be an immediate asset to the SIS team.

Alex’s new responsibilities will include:

  • Managing team of 4 SIS employees.
  • Maintaining and upgrading Ellucian Banner infrastructure and MyHSPH portal.
  • Working with the Registrar, Admissions, and Financial Aid on planning, reporting, feature requests, and training needs.
  • Working with functional users from around the school to enhance and expand our system.

Please join us in congratulating Alex!