Michigan IT Symposium creates connections and showcases innovation

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Two women standing near a poster display.

(Christopher Gardner, ITS)

More than 500 IT professionals, administrators, and other community members gathered to create

connections and showcase innovation occurring across all U-M campuses by participating in the third annual Michigan IT Symposium, held at the Michigan League November 21-22.

This year, the event showcased 59 posters categorized by how they advance U-M IT Strategic Plan goals: Easily leveraged information, minimal administrative overhead, learning health system, learning laboratory, and unified research ecosystem. It also offered several new features:

Man and woman seated at table, smiling and talking.

(Christopher Gardner, ITS)

  • Hands-on training session topics including Hadoop, Docker, Amazon Web Services, and Getting the Most Out of the Symposium.
  • “Birds of a Feather” sessions were designed to encourage facilitated discussions around ideas like safeguarding research, communicating IT changes, and preparing for future student technology needs.
  • We screened our first-ever feature film, CODE: Debugging the Gender Gap, which was followed by a panel discussion with DEI representatives from the College of Engineering, LSA, and the Office of the Provost.

Keynote panel

The morning keynote was a panel discussion moderated by Professor Tim McKay (LSA physics and astronomy and School of Education) and included faculty members Aaron Ridley (College of Engineering, Climate and Space Sciences and Engineering), Brenda Gunderson (LSA statistics), C. Alberto Figueroa (Michigan Institute for Computational Discovery and Engineering), and Richard Tolman (School of Social Work). Each shared information about their work and the resources they use from Michigan IT. They also provided a wish list of the future of IT in their areas.

Video: Mike Stork, ITS

Closing remarks

For the closing session, Cathy Curley, executive director of strategy & planning for the Office of the CIO, facilitated a chat with Kelli Trosvig, U-M’s new vice president for information technology and chief information officer. Trosvig shared some of her background story, why she made the move to U-M, and gave an overview of her approach to IT management. After answering a few pre-submitted questions, Trosvig participated in a short Q&A session with the audience.

Video: Mike Stork, ITS

Behind the scenes

The IT Symposium was made possible due to the efforts of the 2016 Michigan IT Symposium Planning Committee and many volunteers, from set-up and wayfinding, room hosts, graphic design, social media, and video and photography.

Get involved

The IT Symposium is one of several activities organized by the Michigan IT Steering Committee to build community and encourage collaboration among U-M’s 2,400 IT professionals. Planning for next year’s event has already begun. If you’d like to participate on the planning committee for the 2017 Michigan IT Symposium, email michigan-it-symposium@umich.edu. Come help frame and take part in our future conversations!


Nancy Herlocher, LSA Technology Services Stefanie Horvath, ITS Communications
Nancy Herlocher (LSA IT) and Stefanie Horvath (ITS Communications) contributed to this story.