Skip to McMaster Navigation Skip to Site Navigation Skip to main content
McMaster logo

Office of the AVP & CTO


Annual IT Forum

Join us at Connectivity 2024:
McMaster’s 7th IT Forum.

Hosted by the Office of the AVP and CTO, this event promises to be an engaging opportunity for McMaster’s IT professionals and business partners to come together as One IT Community.

Connectivity 2024 will focus on the theme of resilience through human connection, providing an engaging setting to connect with peers and grow together.

Don’t miss this opportunity to learn, network, and even win prizes!

Detailed Agenda

Day #1

February 21, 2024

In-Person at the Peter George Centre for Living and Learning Room 127.
McMaster University, 1280 Main Street, Hamilton, ON, L8S 4L8.

8:30 a.m. Doors Open
9:00 a.m. – 9:15 a.m. Opening Remarks
Gayleen Gray, AVP and CTO 
9:15 a.m. – 10:15 a.m. Keynote #1 – The Power of Human Connection
Pete Bombaci, Founder, The Genwell Project
10:15 a.m. – 10:30 a.m. Break
10:30 a.m. – 11:00 a.m. Keynote #2 – Coordinated Decentralization at McMaster
Matheus Grasselli, Deputy Provost, McMaster University 
11:00 a.m. – 12:15 p.m. Artificial Intelligence at McMaster: A community dialogue 
12:15 p.m. – 1:30 p.m. Lunch & Networking
1:30 p.m. – 2:00 p.m. Showcase Session #1
Concurrent sessions.
[See accordion tab below for full session descriptions]
2:00 p.m. – 2:15 p.m. Break
2:15 p.m. – 2:45 p.m. Showcase Session #2
Concurrent sessions.
[See accordion tab below for full session descriptions]
2:45 p.m. – 3:00 p.m. Break
3:00 p.m. – 3:30 p.m Showcase Session #3
Concurrent sessions.
[See accordion tab below for full session descriptions]
3:30 p.m. – 3:45 p.m. Closing

Day #2

February 27, 2024

Virtual via Microsoft Teams.

9:30 a.m. –
9:45 a.m.
Opening remarks
9:45 a.m. –
10:45 a.m.
Keynote Speaker – Cassidy Bereskin
Cassidy Bereskin, Director & Founder,
Oxford Generate AI Summit (’21)
10:45 a.m. –
11:00 a.m.
11:00 a.m. –
11:45 a.m.
Engagement Sessions
Concurrent sessions.1) Campus Relationship Management Project2) User Testing for Digital Accessibility[See accordion tab below for full session descriptions]
11:45 a.m. –
12:00 p.m.
Closing Remarks



Learn about some of the speakers at this year’s Forum.

Showcase Sessions

Click the plus below for a complete list of the in-person Showcase Sessions presented at the Peter George Centre for Living and Learning on February 21, 2024.

February 21:
1:30pm – 2:00pm

Presenter Session Title Description Room
Lily Lau The Power of Automation:
Transforming How We Manage Our Schedules.
This session shares how Records of the Registrar’s Office has transformed the way we manage our processing dates by using Power Automate and Microsoft Applications. PGCLL M12
Amanda Baldwin,
Hamza Olabi,
Jason Brodeur,
David Arnold
Optimizing Data Quality and API Integrity through Comprehensive Data Governance. In this session, participants will explore how robust Data Governance practices contribute to both enhanced data quality and the seamless management of APIs.

Attendees can expect to gain insights into effective strategies for maintaining data integrity, optimizing API performance.

Tanya Reid,
Gayleen Gray
Getting to Governance 2.0. Learn about proposed enhancements to the McMaster IT Governance framework and what that means for the McMaster community. PGCLL B131
Danica Evering,
Debbie Lawlor
TOOLS! Build Things to Make End Users’ Lives Better, Together!
RDM Services has created several tools that respond to the needs and questions of our user groups. We’ll discuss Research Data Storage Finder Tool and Data Management Plan Database and discuss how to identify needs, find existing open-source tools we can adapt, and collaborate across IT groups.
Andrea Oliver How the Solutions Review Board (SRB) Ensures Alignment with Goals and Industry Standards. Learn how the Solutions Review Board (SRB) and Architecture Review Board (ARB) provides stakeholders with support for reviewing, selecting and optimizing technology solutions for meeting their needs.

Both boards are designed to complement existing processes for project intake and governance reviews, serving as proactive measures to improve decision-making efficiency.


2:15pm – 2:45pm

Presenter Session Title Description Room
Carmalita Larkin,
Deridor Collier,
Peter Draksler
How to Manage Your Future Electronic Distribution Lists. Share strategy and plan for moving identified Electronic Distribution Lists to M365 Distribution lists or other available solutions. We are going to be introducing a decision matrix to provide guidance for selecting the best option. PGCLL M25
Greg Atkinson Identity is the New Perimeter. Identity is the common denominator across devices, and networks, and access points. It enables us to holistically authenticate, authorize, and manage users, ensuring that the right person gets access to what they need, when they need it. This talk showcases current and upcoming projects that will strengthen and demystify our identity system (MacID). PGCLL M24
Ratika Sharma,
Kat Williams,
Matthew Burns
Coordinating Digital Research Support and Teams with MS Project for the Web. This breakout session highlights how members of the Digital Research Commons Pilot (DRCP) use MS Project for the Web to coordinate multiple stakeholders across the Pilot, balance conceptual and technological approaches to project management, and integrate MS Project for the Web effectively with additional Office 365 planning tools. PGCLL B131
Jessica Blackwood,
Clark Cipryk
Using McMaster Tools to Improve and Monitor Website Accessibility. This showcase session introduces the web accessibility tools available to the McMaster community. Join Clark Cipryk, Web Accessibility Specialist from UTS, and Jessica Blackwood, Accessible Digital Media Specialist Supervisor from the Faculty of Science, while they review available resources and demonstrate how to use them through specific examples. PGCLL M22
Jeannie An,
Neera Bhatnagar
New in LinkedIn Learning: AI-Powered Coaching Tips and More. Learn more about the new features in LinkedIn Learning such as the AI-powered coaching tool. This coaching tool is a chatbot that uses generative AI to help learners navigate LinkedIn Learning content and develop critical skills like leadership and management. The chatbot can answer learners’ questions in real-time, referencing the entire LinkedIn Learning library of resources. PGCLL M12

3:00pm – 3:30pm

Presenter Session Title Description Room
Tanya Reid MacITGO:
A new service to intake and navigate McMaster IT projects.
Let’s go! Come preview MacITGO…a new space and service to support navigating your IT project from ideation through to implementation. Learn about the NEW tools, resources and navigation support available to the McMaster community. PGCLL B131
Randall Walinga,
John Bell,
Elliot Jeyaseelan
Indoor Digital Wayfinding. The ESRI indoor digital wayfinding solution was part of the Cisco Innovation Smart Campus Project. Currently implemented for all external areas and points of interest on main campus, as well as indoor location services and routing in several buildings, this solution helps students get from A to B, or to find their classroom, study space, or even the nearest coffee shop. PGCLL M12
Mark Rumbles Mosaic Lifecycle Roadmap. This session will provide attendees with an overview of the current state of Mosaic and the plans to “get current.” We will discuss order of operations, some new functionality and changes coming. PGCLL M24
Zeerak Khurshid Shift Happens:
Fresh Minds, Diverse Finds.
In this session, participants will grasp the theoretical aspects of perspective thinking and actively engage in exercises that build this skill. Designed to be fun, interactive, and immediately applicable, attendees will leave with practical tools to reshape their thinking and elevate their success in the dynamic world of technology at McMaster. PGCLL M22
David Arnold McMaster API Service General Availability.
McMaster’s API service is opening to the campus IT community with three initial APIs:
  • Academic Calendar
  • Publications
  • Chart of Accounts

Find out how this new service can help you develop applications and integrate your software systems. Discover how to access this new service and learn about the support resources that are available. The API service road map will also be presented.


Engagement Sessions

Click the plus below for a complete list of the virtual Engagement Sessions presented on Microsoft Teams on February 27, 2024.

February 27:
11:00 am – 11:45 am

Presenter(s) Session Title Description Teams Room

Salah Abuzaid,
Rauhan Farrukh,
Valerie Leaist

Campus Relationship Management. This session will cover Campus Relationship Management (CRM) and MacHub, including MacHub’s functionality, how students can submit cases to their advisors, how the triage system works, how MacHub integrates with other McMaster systems, and future plans for feedback and continual improvement.” Join the Teams Session Here.
Kate Brown,
Jessica Blackwood,
Sarah-Williams Habibi,
Ryan Joslin,
Aditi Pathengay
Piloting User Testing for Digital Accessibility at McMaster. This session will discuss the development of a user testing team at McMaster University and the integration of Disabled Knowledge and community-engaged campus relationships throughout the process. Plus, the importance of disability-centered partnerships in web accessibility and integrating assistive technology user testing in quality assurance. Join the Teams Session Here.

Information Box Group