News and Announcements

Tools to help your HSPH website shine

Summer is an ideal time to look through your site and make sure that everything is shipshape for the upcoming school year. The WebTeam has developed tools to help you identify problems and has suggestions for addressing these problems to make your site shine for the fall. Below are solutions to three common website issues – broken links, typos, and images that lack alt text.

Broken Links

broken_linksBroken links happen. You may have linked long ago to a site that’s now deleted or has since been updated. Such broken links adversely affect your search rankings on Google and are also very frustrating to users who can’t find the content they’re seeking. To help you find and fix broken links, the Broken Link Checker tool on your site’s dashboard will do all the hard work for you. And if you’re one of the primary site administrators, you’ll also be receiving email notifications about broken links on your site.

Click here for a tutorial on how to use the Broken Link Checker tool.

Typos

proofreaderWe all occasionally make typos. Unfortunately, typos on websites are there for the world to see and detract from a site’s overall professionalism. To rid your site of typos, you can use the Proofreading tool that’s built into the editor on your dashboard. Just click on the button in the top toolbar and, similar to Microsoft Word, red and green underlines will appear in your text, allowing you to spot issues and correct them.

For a complete tutorial on how to use the Proofreading tool, please click here.

Image Alt Tags

Image Alt Tags ExampleWhen inserting images into your site, always fill in the boxes for title and alt text. Alt text, which stands for “Alternative Text,” is important for people with visual disabilities because screen readers use it to describe what is in a picture. Google also uses the alt text to determine what a picture contains, allowing people to search for images based on keywords. To create alt tags, try to write no more than one-sentence descriptions that are detailed but not wordy. For example, for a picture of soccer on the med school quad, you could write the following alt tag: “Students play soccer on the Harvard Medical School quad on a beautiful summer afternoon.” The sentence is concise yet fully describes what the photo shows.

Click here for more information on alt tags and click here for a guide to best practices.

New Staff Additions: Chris Doherty and Deion Barawid

We are pleased to welcome two new additions to the Department of Information Technology, Christopher Doherty and Deion Barawid.  Both Chris and Deion are Northeastern University students and will be working for 6 months full-time as co-ops at HSPH as part of their degree program.  They replace Lina Ji and TJ Porter, who completed their assignments with great success.

Chris Doherty

Chris Doherty, Co-op

Chris Doherty is a candidate for a bachelor of science in information science and business and will graduate from Northeastern in May 2016.  His last co-op was with John Hancock – Investment Division in Boston, where he was a project coordinator supporting the Resource Allocation process for the Investment Division. He was selected as a John Hancock High Performer Co-op.

Chris studied tenor saxophone for 9 years and achieved best soloist award at the Berklee College of Music High School Jazz Festival.

He will be working the 8:00 AM – 4:00 PM shift.

Deion Barawid

Deion Barawid, Co-op

Deion Barawid is a candidate for a bachelor of science in computer science and cognitive psychology and will graduate from Northeastern in May 2016.  This is his first co-op position.

He was a National Director for the Filipino Intercollegiate Networking Dialogue, Inc., from August 2012 to May 2013, where he collaborated with other national directors across the East coast to help plan and organize larger-scale conferences.

Deion has designed and built sets and organized light fixtures/wiring with a team for theatrical productions. He also has studied saxophone and percussion!

He will be working the 10:00 AM – 6:00 PM shift.

Please join us in welcoming Chris and Deion to the Harvard School of Public Health!

RCN Network Outage Impacting Huntington Avenue and Tremont Street Locations

UPDATE, 7/11/2014, 11:30 AM: RCN reports that the network will be repaired by 6 pm.

UPDATE, 7/11/2014, 8:00 AM: RCN remains down and HSPH sites below do not have network connectivity.

The Department of Information Technology and Operations are working with affected offices on temporary relocations and other work-arounds.  Please contact the HSPH Helpdesk at 432-HELP for more information.

7/10/2014
A major fiber cut in South Boston is causing a widespread network outage for RCN customers at Harvard.

We have lost network connectivity to our locations at:

  • 708 Huntington Avenue
  • 718 Huntington Avenue and
  • 1633-1639 Tremont Street

RCN is stating that it will be after 5PM before service will be restored.

Server Maintenance RESCHEDULED to next Thursday, 7/17/2014 from 7PM to 1AM

To all HSPH users,

Next Thursday, July 17th, 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 7 pm – 10:30pm:

The following services will be unaffected during the maintenance window: 

Upcoming maintenance dates:

  • 8/17/2014 (Moved to Sunday)
  • 9/11/2014
  • 10/16/2014
  • 11/13/2014
  • 12/11/2014

Thank You,
Bill Mahoney

New Staff Addition: Jeffrey Myers

The HSPH Department of Information Technology welcomes new hire Jeffrey Myers as Assistant Director of IT Infrastructure Support and Project Management.  He replaces Bill Mahoney, who will be retiring in August after 45 years of outstanding service to the Harvard School of Public Health.

Jeffrey will provide direction for the HSPH Helpdesk, desktop support, and our technical infrastructure, including servers, network, and security.  Managers Brian Pedranti, Christopher Cahill, and Andy Ross will report to Jeffrey.

Jeffrey Myers, Assistant Director of Infrastructure Support and Project Management

Jeffrey Myers, Assistant Director of IT Infrastructure Support and Project Management

Jeffrey has 14 years’ technology experience solving business challenges and designing innovative technology solutions to support the teaching, research, and service mission of Higher Ed.  He has had the opportunity to work closely with faculty and most administrative offices across a wide range of universities such as Haverford College, Penn Law, and the Villanova University School of Law.

Jeffrey arrives to us from the University of New Hampshire as Director of Information Technology for Advancement where he built an IT team to support a newly formed 120-person development, alumni, and communications office that raised an institutional annual record of $35 million in FY13.

Prior to UNH, Jeffrey was at Lehigh University as Director of Information Technology for the P.C. Rossin College of Engineering and Applied Science, where he worked closely with the Dean to develop an IT strategic plan that focused on the marketing/communications, business intelligence, productivity, and customer service goals of the college’s strategic plan.

Jeffrey has outstanding customer service and project management skills and will lead a number of key HSPH initiatives in 2014–2015, including moving Microsoft email services to the cloud (Office 365) and assessing virtual desktop infrastructure (VDI) for expanded use at HSPH.

Jeffrey attended Colgate University before transferring to Saint Joseph’s University in Philadelphia where he earned his bachelor of science degree in an interdepartmental major between chemistry and computer science.

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

Interesting fact:  In addition to his impressive career in higher education, Jeffrey has 16 years of experience as a volunteer firefighter and emergency medical technician (EMT-B).

 

New Staff Addition: Cassandra Depietro

We are pleased to welcome Cassandra Depietro to the Department of Information Technology. Cassie began a summer internship on June 4 working for the Media and Educational Technology Services (METS) team.

Cassie DepietroShe is currently a graduate student at the University of Massachusetts Amherst studying applied mathematics where she maintains an impressive 3.7 GPA. In 2013, she completed her bachelor of science in mathematics at Fairfield University where she was a member of Pi Mu Epsilon, the national mathematics honor society.

She will assist the METS team in preparing for our migration from iSites to Canvas learning management system as well with testing statistical software within our virtual desktop infrastructure environment.

Previously, Cassie has worked as a teaching assistant at UMass, a research assistant at Fairfield, and a math tutor at Mathnasium Learning Center. She has also studied abroad at Regent’s American College in London.

Please join us in welcoming Cassie to the Harvard School of Public Health!

Vulnerability in Microsoft’s Internet Explorer

Updated: Wednesday, April 30th
Dear Members of the Harvard Community,
The U.S. Department of Homeland Security recommends that all users temporarily discontinue the use of Microsoft Internet Explorer (IE) due to a critical security flaw.
Harvard Information Security recommends that all members of the Harvard community use another browser, such as Mozilla Firefox or Google Chrome, until a fix has been issued for IE.
If Harvard internal sites require the use of IE, please limit use to those specific sites.
For more information about this flaw, please visit the Harvard Information Security website, security.harvard.edu.
Sincerely,
Christian Hamer
University Chief Information Security Officer

___________________________________

Tuesday, April 29th

Many of you may have heard or read in the news of the recent vulnerability in Microsoft’s Internet Explorer. Microsoft has released a work around until a patch is designed to fix this issue. SPH IT is now pushing out this work around to SPH configured Windows 7 PCs. Once this is done the risk is mitigated until the patch is released fixing the vulnerability.

For those not using a Windows PC configured by the SPH IT department or using any Windows XP PC (which is no longer supported by Microsoft and will not be patched at all) we recommend not using Internet Explorer but use a more secure web browser, such as Firefox or Chrome, for all non-Harvard web sites.

Please contact the Helpdesk (helpdesk@hsph.harvard.edu or 617.432.4357) with any questions or concerns.

Thank you,

Bill Mahoney
Director, Information Technology

 

HSPH IT is now supporting Apple OS X Mavericks 10.9.2 for all HSPH-owned Apple computers

To All HSPH Mac Users,

The Department of Information Technology is now supporting Apple OS X Mavericks 10.9.2 for all HSPH-owned Apple computers.  Mavericks contains improvements to the stability, compatibility and security of your Mac.  Unlike other OS releases, Mavericks is free and will eventually become Apple’s only supported OS.

The upgrade process differs based upon whether your computer is a desktop or an encrypted laptop and what OS version you are currently running:

  • Apple OS X 10.9 or Apple 10.9.1 desktops
    Please use your Mac’s automatic update system.
  • All other OS X desktops
    Please contact the Helpdesk at 432-HELP to arrange for an upgrade.
  • All encrypted laptops
    Please contact the Helpdesk at 432-HELP to arrange for an upgrade.  Please do not attempt to update the operating system yourself as a faulty upgrade could result in data loss.

For more information on how to check your current OS and for information on updating Apple operating systems, please see our web page at:

http://www.hsph.harvard.edu/information-technology/desktop-computing/information-for-new-apple-os-mavericks-10-9-2/

If you have any questions, please contact the Helpdesk at 617-432-HELP or email helpdesk@hsph.harvard.edu

 

New Policy on Access to Electronic Information Posted

Harvard University has posted a new University-wide policy on access to electronic information.

The policy on electronic information is grounded on six important principles:

  • Access should occur only for a legitimate and important University purpose.
  • Access should be authorized by an appropriate and accountable person.
  • In general, notice should be given when user electronic information will be or has been accessed.
  • Access should be limited to the user electronic information needed to accomplish the purpose.
  • Sufficient records should be kept to enable appropriate review of compliance with this policy.
  • Access should be subject to ongoing, independent oversight by a committee that includes faculty representation.

Read the full Harvard Gazette article.