Category Archives: Student Computing

New Staff Additions: Don Tracia and Sejal Vashi

Don Tracia and Sejal Vashi recently joined the Digital Learning Team, part of the Media and Educational Technology Services (METS) team, as learning designers. Don and Sejal will be working closely with faculty and other METS team members in the development of the courses in the online and on-campus MPH in Epidemiology program, as well as supporting faculty through the Chan School in using technology in pedagogically effective ways.

Don Tracia, M.Ed.

Don brings 20 years of experience in instructional design, instructional technology, and faculty development. He was most recently at Boston University supporting their online programs and spent 7 years at Bunker Hill Community College overseeing their instructional technology and faculty development center.  He also spent time at Blackboard as a trainer.

Don Tracia, Learning Designer

Don Tracia, Learning Designer

Don has extensive experience in collaborating with faculty in the design of online and blended courses, in online teaching, and in coaching faculty for video recordings. He has a background in video production as well.

Interesting fact: Don traveled to New Zealand with a team of multi-national researchers to search for Giant Squid on behalf of the Smithsonian Institution and the Discovery Channel.

Sejal Vashi, MS, MPH

Sejal joins us from her most recent stint at the Infectious Diseases Institute in Kampala, Uganda, where she was an e-Learning Specialist and Global Health Corps Fellow, designing and delivering training on HIV and TB, among other topics. Before that, Sejal was with the Devalle Institute for Emergency Preparedness at the Boston Public Health Commission, training health professionals on emergency preparedness.

Sejal Vashi, Learning Designer

Sejal Vashi, Learning Designer

Sejal brings a great combination of an educational and experiential background in public health, teaching, and mathematics, along with her expertise in the design and production of online courses.

Interesting fact: Sejal staffed the Stephen M. Lawlor Medical Intelligence Center to assist in coordinating public health and health care organizations during the Boston Bombings.

Don and Sejal are in the Kresge LL-19 suite, so please stop and say hello.

Networking Upgrades on December 22 from 9:00 pm to 3:00 am

Harvard Networking Services will be performing upgrades to our networking equipment in the following SPH locations tonight, December 22nd from 9:00pm to 3:00am. Each site below will lose network connectivity for a period of 15 minutes sometime during the maintenance period. If you work and/or have equipment that is connected to the network in any of these locations, please turn off your computers and networked printers before 9:00pm tonight.

Here are the locations:

  • Building 1 – All Floors
  • Building 2 – All Floors
  • 1633 Tremont Street
  • 1635 Tremont Street
  • 1639 Tremont Street
  • 718 Huntington Avenue

Please call the Helpdesk (617-432-4357) if anyone has problems logging back into the network on December 23rd or if you have any questions about this work.

Thank you,
Help Desk

Winter Recess Computer Support

The Department of Information Technology will be providing phone support hours to assist the community with computer issues during the winter break.

Phone support hours are as follows:

Thursday, December 24: closed
Friday, December 25: closed

Monday, December 28:  10 am to 1 pm
Tuesday, December 29:  10 am to 1 pm
Wednesday, December 30:  10 am to 1 pm
Thursday, December 31:  10 am to 1 pm

Friday, January 1: closed

Emergency phone number:
617-520-4774 (617-520-HSPH)

Walk-in service will not be available from December 24th through January 2.  The Helpdesk will reopen for walk-in service on Monday, January 4 at 8:00 am.

Please note that all core systems (e.g., email, network, web servers, server rooms) are monitored throughout the break by IT staff.  These systems are monitored 24/7/365.

We wish everyone a happy and safe holiday break and look forward to working with you in 2015.

Thank you,
HSPH Department of Information Technology

Upcoming WordPress Trainings for 2015

Word Press LogoThe Harvard Chan Web Team will be offering WordPress training in the Kresge LL6 computer laboratory on the following dates:

  • November 12, 10:00 – 11:00 am
  • December 1, 12:30 – 1:30 pm pm
  •  January 6, 11:00 am – 12:00 pm

If you want to brush up on your WordPress skills or just need to learn how to edit your site, this session is for you.

Sign up for training today!

The training will cover many of the basic WordPress features, including how to edit pages, add images, and configure menus. It will be hands-on in a computer lab, so you can maximize your learning as you follow along.

For more training sessions and announcements, please check out the Web Technologies homepage.

BlueJeans Accounts Available to Community

We are pleased to offer a new video collaborative platform to the community called BlueJeans.

BlueJeans Features:

  • Up to 100 participants per call
  • Your own “BlueJeans” meeting room
  • Ability to connect via browser, mobile device, or room system; excellent interoperability
  • Ability to connect via phone with dial-in numbers
  • Screen-sharing
  • Chat
  • Meeting scheduling features
  • Recording with ability for meeting host to download and/or share recordings
  • Strong meeting analytics (administrative use)
  • Secure encryption

Potential Uses

  • Meetings and collaboration
  • Remote teaching (global programs, snow days, guest lecturers)
  • Student office hours
  • Student group use
  • Interviews

Request an Account

Visit the BlueJeans sign-up to create your account now.

Please note that accounts require a Harvard Chan email address.  All accounts will be deactivated when your affiliation with the school ends.


Virtual computer laboratories via VDI now available for students!

Dear Students of the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health,

The Department of Information Technology is pleased to announce a new service offering that will greatly benefit our student community: access to Instructional Computing Facility software from your personal PC or Mac.

We have implemented a product called “Virtual Desktop Infrastructure” (VDI) that allows students to connect from their own computer to a virtual desktop PC that has all the same software as the physical machines located in our various student computing rooms, such as Kresge LL-19.

This means you can use SAS, Stata, and all the other software available in the lab on your own laptop, whether onsite at the Chan School or at home.


  • When using VDI at the Chan School, your print jobs can be sent to the onsite print release stations (where they remain available for 30 minutes)
  • When using VDI from home, your print jobs can either be sent to the onsite print release stations, OR to your locally installed printers (e.g. USB connected or Wi-Fi printers – though some models may not be recognized by VDI)
  • You should continue to save all work to your P: drive.
  • Idle sessions will be automatically disconnected after 15 minutes of inactivity

You will need to download and install a piece of software called “VMWare Horizon Client” in order to use VDI on your PC or Mac. Please visit the following website to obtain the download and find our instructions:

If you encounter any issues or require assistance, please contact our Helpdesk at

ALICE and myHarvardChan maintenance on October 10 – 12

The Department of Information Technology is writing to inform you of a system outage scheduled for the ALICE and myHarvardChan Student Information System (SIS) that will start Saturday, October 10th at 9:00am and end Monday, October 12th at 5:00pm.

During this maintenance window, we will install vendor-supplied software updates to our SIS.  Continued updates allow us to keep features, functionality and security up to date.

The following systems are affected:

  • myHarvardChan portal
  • ALICE Self Service for Students and Faculty
  • Internet Native Banner (Administrative users)

You will still be able to access unaffected services such as email, course sites, the School Events calendar, NetStorage, and more by visiting the current portal address:

If we complete the work sooner than anticipated, we will notify all users when the systems are again available. We appreciate your patience during this very important upgrade process.

Continue reading

Server and Network Maintenance: Thursday Night, July 16

Update: All updates were successful.

To All Harvard Chan School users:

On Thursday, July 16, we will be performing our normal monthly system maintenance to all servers and network gear. 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)
– File and Print services
– ICF File services
– ICF Print services
– NetStorage
– Kanaka
– Powerfaids and NetPartner
– Accellion File Transfer service
– Wasabi

There will be a single, 15 minute outage between 7:00PM and 1:00AM to the Virtual Desktop System:
– ICF Physical machines and ICF VDI/Virtual Desktop System
– Staff VDI/Virtual Desktop System

The following services will be unavailable from 7pm – 10:30pm:
– myHarvardChan Portal

The following services will be unaffected during the maintenance window:
– Web Server (main site)
– HUIT ICEmail/O365 (Outlook) system
– ALICE Development/Testing systems

Please contact our I/T Helpdesk at (617)432-4357 or email for any questions or concerns you may have regarding this information.

Upcoming maintenance dates:

  • 8/16/2015 – Moved to Sunday, to accommodate Academic Calendar
  • 9/10/2015
  • 10/15/2015
  • 11/12/2015
  • 12/10/2015

Email Upgrade to O365 Update

We have successfully upgraded nearly 2000 email accounts to Office 365 from February 12, 2015 to March 19, 2015.

The following groups are scheduled this week:

  • Tuesday 3/24: Genetics and Complex Diseases
  • Wednesday 3/25: Environmental and Occupational Medicine and Epidemiology Program (EOME) —originally scheduled for 2/26
  • Thursday 3/26: Biostatistics

After March 26, 2015 and after a final audit of the old email system, we will schedule an additional day(s) to upgrade any remaining accounts.

If you have not been migrated, please contact

We would like to thank everyone in the community for their flexibility and cooperation during this major project.