News and Announcements

Staff Promotion: Nate Varney

We are pleased to announce the promotion of Nathan Varney from User Support Associate to Senior User Support Associate.

Nate joined the User Services team one year ago and has quickly become a key technical resource in the department.

Nate led the development of new HSPH computer images for all models of Dell computers, rebuilt our computer laboratory PC image, and has been instrumental in our laptop encyrption project.  He also has excellent audio-visual skills and has provided oustanding support to Sarah Bearse, audio-visual systems engineer and group leader for media services, in a number of major upgrades.  These include the renovations of Kresge G2, Kresge G3, FXB G11, FXB G12, and FXB G13.

Please join us in congratulating Nate!


External Links in the HSPH Publisher

The web team is excited to announce improved Publisher functionality for links that open in new windows. With minimal changes on the user side, links that open to new windows will comply with university accessibility requirements.  They’ll also include a nice icon to give website users a visual cue that they open in a new window.

New Window Icon

Does this Change how I make Links?
Not really.  We simply replaced the “Target” dropdown in the link manager with the “Options” menu.

Open links in a new window using Publisher

Why couldn’t we keep the old “Target” menu?  I’ve been using it for years!
The old way has been is not included in the most recent official specification for HTML This new method complies with all current and foreseeable standards.

How does this aid in accessibility?
Visually impaired users have trouble with links that open in a new window without telling them they do so.  If they click that link the new window would take their focus from the site they were on.  This creates a very confusing and unpleasent experience for the user.  The new method adds an “new window” icon to the link.  It tells screen readers the link is going to open a new window.  Crisis averted!

Staff Promotion: Mike Demarco

We are pleased to announce the promotion of Mike DeMarco from Senior User Support Associate to Instructional Technologist in the Instructional Computing Facility. Mike replaces Fred Sheahan, who left HSPH in early July, after five years of outstanding work at HSPH.


Although Mike has been at HSPH for less than a year, he’s made an immediate impact with his outstanding technical and customer service skills.

In his new role as instructional technologist, Mike will contribute to many important processes and projects, including:

  • Supporting the HSPH Courseware (Harvard’s iSites)
  • Overseeing HSPH computer laboratory operation in all locations (Kresge LL19, Shattuck, Landmark)
  • Managing HSPH computer classroom operation (Kresge 209, 210, 213, LL10, and LL6)
  • Teaching training sessions to faculty and students on a variety of technologies including Cisco telepresence, video conferencing, web conferencing, Skype, and other software packages.

Please join us in congratulating Mike!

Computer System Maintenance on August 15, 2010

On Sunday night, August 15th, we will perform our normal system maintenance to all servers and network equipment.  We are moving the time from the previously scheduled time of Thursday, August 12 to avoid a conflict with the end of the summer 2 session.

The maintenance window will last from 5:00 PM til 12:00 AM.

All future planned maintenance times are Thursday nights from 7PM to 1AM on the following dates:

  • 9/16/2010
  • 10/14/2010
  • 11/11/2010
  • 12/16/2010

HSPH participating in telepresence pilot

HSPH Information Technology is pleased to announce that HSPH is participating with other Harvard faculties and Harvard-affiliated hospitals in a new telepresence pilot that utilizes bandwith of the Internet 2 for high-end video conferencing.

HSPH has installed a Cisco telepresence 500 machine in the Instructional Computing Facility conference room (Kresge LL19) that can communicate with other similarly equipped locations around the world.  Initial meetings with offices in Cambridge on the main campus have been impressive.

Cisco TelePresence systems “combine life-like, ultra-high-definition video (1080p), quality audio, a specially designed environment, and interactive elements to create the feeling of being in person with meeting participants in remote locations. This simple, easy-to-use solution allows you and other participants to communicate naturally and effectively.”

If you have potential uses for this new device, please contact Taso Markatos, Chief for Information Technology with potential uses (i.e., research projects with other universities that may have telepresence units).

For further information, please visit:

Student Computing in Kresge LL19

As of 11 am on Monday morning, all computers in the student computing laboratory in Kresge LL19 are fully functional.  Work crews have completed their work.


On Saturday afternoon, July 10, an intense rain storm caused some water damage at HSPH, primarily on the ground floor and lower level of the Kresge building. 

The water caused minor damage to the main student computing laboratory in Kresge LL19.

Student Computing Laboratories

On Saturday afternoon, July 10, an intense rain storm caused some water damage at HSPH, primarily on the ground floor and lower level of the Kresge building.  The water caused minor damage to the main student computing laboratory in Kresge LL19.

As of 8 am on Monday morning, all student computing laboratories are currently open for business. 
The Kresge LL19 lab has 25 computers currently available. We will bring the rest back online today. There will be work crews in LL19 throughout the day. 

For quieter computing, we suggest that students use:

  • Kresge 209
  • Kresge 210 or
  • Kresge LL10

Thank you for your patience as we get the labs operating back at full capacity.
A copy of the email sent to community from Operations on Sunday:
Sunday, July 11, 2010

From: Operations

On Saturday afternoon, July 10, an intense rain storm caused some water damage at HSPH, primarily on the ground floor and lower level of the Kresge building. The School remains open.

Eleven workstations in the Student Computing Facility (LL19) have been taken offline for repair. The remaining 31 are available, as well as the workstations in the other computing facilities on the Lower Level and in Kresge 209. There also has been damage to rugs and walls in the Kresge G1 and G2 classrooms, offices on the ground level, and in the adjacent corridors. Occupants may occupy the spaces, including classrooms, this Monday (excluding affected student workstations).

Crews are working to remove moisture and to make repairs. On Monday, Environmental Health and Engineering will conduct a moisture survey, with a focus on preventing and removing potential mold.

We thank you for your patience.

Computer Labs Updated

We have completed our summer reimaging of all computer laboratories.  The new image include an upgrade of Microsoft Office to Microsoft Office 2007.  We have also added Microsoft Project 2007 and Microsoft Visio 2007 as well as updated many software packages.

Finally, the image was slimmed down considerably and now loads considerably faster.  User Services technicians Nate Varney and Jeremey St. Marie did outstanding work to speed up the machines.

The following rooms were updated:

  • Kresge 209
  • Kresge 210
  • Kresge 213
  • Kresge LL19
  • Kresge LL10
  • Kresge LL6
  • Shattuck House
  • Landmark Center
  • All classroom instructor machines

Spring Computer Training Results!

We completed our spring 2010 computer training offerings last week and would like to thank the community for making time for computer training.
During the 12 course series, 88% of seats were filled!
The training featured the following courses:

  • New Features of MS Office 2007
  • Intermediate MS Powerpoint 2007
  • Intermediate MS Excel 2007
  • Introduction to MS Project 2007
  • Intermediate MS Project 2007
  • Adobe Captivate
  • Novell Groupwise

We are planning our fall series of computer courses now.  Please contact Deane Eastwood at if you have suggestions for course offerings.
In the meantime, please visit the Harvard Center for Workplace Development for additional computer courses on the Harvard campus throughout the summer and into the fall.
Finally, consider an inexpensive ElementK license.  This license allows you to take self-paced, online courses from a large library of the most popular software titles.