IT Newsletter: Winter 2022

Infographic: CyberSecurity Awareness Heroes

Four different levels of our Cyber Security Awareness game with how many students got to each level: CyberSecurity Recruit 22, CyberSecurity Fighter 18, CyberSecurity Warrior 8, Cyber Security Hero 11.

Infographic created by Nrupaja Vartak, IT Marketing and Communication student assistant

During Cybersecurity Awareness Month this October, the Division of Information Technology hosted a game in the Otter Student Union for students.

The ultimate goal was to engage students in conversations revolving around various Cybersecurity-related topics including passwords, student privacy, physical security, phishing, malware, mobile security, and a wild-card category about our Division. Students spun a wheel to get their topic and if they answered correctly won "cyberstrips" that they could turn in for various prizes.

The prizes included level buttons deeming them: 

  • CyberSecurity Recruit (2 strips)
  • CyberSecurity Fighter (4 strips) 
  • CyberSecurity Warrior (6 strips)
  • CyberSecurity Hero (8 strips).

Depending on level reached they were also earned entries into a drawing for one of two $25.00 Starbucks gift cards.

The Technology Help Desk made several buttons for each level, and were surprised that 11 achieved our ultimate CyberSecurity Hero status. We also crowned 8 CyberSecurity Warriors, 18 CyberSecurity Fighters and 22 CyberSecurity Recruits.

One of our gift card drawing winners told us she had fun, learned a lot, and hopes our division does something like that next semester!

Recent project: Client Portal by TeamDynamix Update

Banner graphic states California State University Monterey Bay Sand Box

Prior to November there were two paths into TeamDynamix, each with a different endpoint. Half of our visits came from the IT page directly into the Service Catalog; the other half came from the CSUMB Dashboard and end up on the TeamDynamix home page, now called the Tech Support Client Portal.

We've already changed it so that there is now a single entry point into TeamDynamix, the Tech Support Client Portal. As part of a bigger TeamDynamix Redesign project, we're now working to improve the Client Portal so it's mobile- friendly and better serves the information you’re looking for. Here's a preview of the changes we want to make.

Get to know: Luz Española

Luz, a female with shoulder-length brown wavy hair and brown eyes, smiles.

Get to know Luz Española, CalState Monterey alum and accessibility specialist in the Center For Academic Technologies in the Division of Information Technology!

Q: What is your position here at CalState Monterey Bay? 

A: Not too long ago, I landed the Accessibility Specialist position on our campus. I previously served as an Instructional Designer collaborating with faculty on their online course designs, and I have held various additional roles on our campus, serving students and staff as well.

Q: How did you become interested in digital accessibility?

A: As a graduate student at CSUMB in the Master of Instructional Science and Technology program, I took a CST course that focused on learning HTML code to build on the web. It introduced me to accessibility principles, like adding alternative text to images so that assistive technology like a screen reader could provide the context of the image to someone who is visually impaired, as well as using headers and creating descriptive links for easier navigation of web pages. The idea of being able to create something universally available to most people with different abilities really intrigued me. 

In the midst of my graduate program, I landed a role with CSUMB’s student disabilities resource office, and this gave me the opportunity to learn what student accommodations are and how they are fulfilled on our campus. I led various projects that introduced technology and created efficiency in services to students, as well as led alternative media production, which gave me hands-on experience converting non-accessible course content into accessible formats for specific learner needs. Combining my work experience with my Master's degree, I was interested in growing my career towards creating and supporting quality and accessible course design with the hopes of continuing to learn more about the intersections of learning, teaching, accessibility, and technology.  

Q: What are common accessibility issues that we can easily avoid? 

A: Below is a quick overview, but if you want to know more, use the links provided to follow examples of  Do’s and Don'ts for each one of these items.

  • Provide descriptive links. Avoid using raw URL links. Close your eyes and imagine how annoying it would be to hear this link read out loud, letter by letter: 
  • Describe images with an alternative text. Avoid using overly simplified descriptions or file names, as these do not fully convey the meaning of the image.
  • Use headings to build structure for navigation. Avoid using headings out of order. 
  • Use lists to convey order and organize information linearly.
  • Appropriately use contrast. Avoid using color to emphasize or show differences.
  • Use tables to display data. Avoid using empty cells. Users may wonder if data was omitted by mistake, and screen readers may skip empty cells, mismatching the proper reading of the data in the table.  
  • Review your video for captions. Don’t assume they have captions. Find an alternative video or ask the creator to add captions.

Editor’s note: We worked with Luz to create Tech Tip Tuesday episode 28: Learn About Digital Accessibility earlier this semester.

Q: How can a faculty or staff here on campus get assistance with making their content digitally accessible? Is there help for students who want their work to be digitally accessible as well?

A: Faculty, staff, and students can access our knowledge base article, Getting Started with Digital Accessibility, to learn basic accessibility principles, how to apply them, and to find resources for those curious to know more. 

Faculty can also submit a ticket with the Center for Academic Technologies (CAT) for support in reviewing their course and course materials for accessibility. The ticket is called Accessibility for Instruction.

CAT also has a new email address called, where inquiries are welcomed.

Q: What is your favorite part of working at CSUMB? 

A: My favorite part about working at CSUMB is our genuine and authentic community that holds opportunities to grow, learn and serve students, staff, and faculty. In my time at CSUMB, I can’t recall a dull moment. All of this is keeping me excited to continue my career trajectory on our campus!

New Enterprise & Engagement Applications team and other personnel news

Enterprise & Engagement Applications is excited to announce the creation of a team tasked with focusing on the President’s priority of supporting data integrations for our campus. The team will accomplish this by collaborating with the Chancellor’s Office on determining progressive steps towards innovative cloud solutions. 

Starting on December 19, newly-hired Associate Director Jill Ostrie will lead the Data Integration Services team. The new team also includes Trupti Dave, Jennings Leek, Kelly Naylor, Giselle Gutierrez and a position not yet filled. You may recognize Jill from her work in the Project Management office of our division. 

More Personnel News:

A round life preserver reading Welcome Aboard hands from a tree with waves crashing onto a sandy beach in the background.

Photo by Nick Fewings on Unsplash

Welcome to our new Division staff:

  • Ismael (Issy) Loza, Instructional Technologies Technician. Issy has previously served Center for Academic Technologies in a temp position supporting classroom technologies and is also a CSUMB alum and former Audio Visual student assistant.
  • Johnathan Munz, Telecommunications Engineering Analyst. Jonathan comes to us with 4 years of experience the telecommunications field and is a CSUMB alum.

What is Digital Transformation?


Photo by Rick Rothenberg on Unsplash

What does Digital Transformation mean for CSUMB?

Educause defines digital transformation as “a series of deep and coordinated culture, workforce, and technology shifts that enable new educational and operating models and transform an institution's business model, strategic directions, and value proposition.”

They identify three stages in its development:

  1. Digitizing information: The transition from analog to digital solution.
  2. Digitalizing processes: Using that digitized solution to transform our operations.
  3. Transforming institutions: Transforming the strategic direction or value proposition.

Ultimately, it’s not enough to just move from analog to digital; we have to improve our processes as well. Then we can use them to define what we do as an institution.

How that applies to CSUMB

In a lot of ways, we digitally transformed during the Pandemic.

We digitized teaching. We moved an analog process (lecturing to students in physical classrooms) to an entirely digital modality (online audio and web conferencing platform).

The university actually had that in place in 2014, but for obvious reasons it was underutilized for years. Meaning, the digitization had occurred, but we didn’t have a good use case for digitalization. The Pandemic created that use case for higher education, whether we were ready or not. And most would argue that because of the speed of our transition we did not digitalize that process as well as we could have.

Paperless forms

Another example is paperless forms. We began moving to DocuSign in 2018 and transitioned to AdobeSign in January 2020 as part of a system-wide contract. The issue we face now is that despite those two attempts to digitize, many of those forms still didn’t transfer well from paper to digital because they were built for us to fill out individually and sign in-person. In addition, we’re still not using templates or data integrations effectively to eliminate repetitive tasks. 

The work begins

The real work we need to do before adopting a “transformation” culture at our university is in digitalization. We need to revisit these digitized solutions and ask:

  1. Is this technology the right solution? 
  2. Can I gain efficiencies by reviewing and updating my business processes? 
  3. Can I afford to continue to digitalize?

For example, if we know we have the right software and can gain efficiencies, we still have to consider whether we as a work force can afford to improve with our existing staffing levels. To that end, it takes changing our strategic direction to meet the needs of our transformation.

Tech Tip: Five Tips for Wrapping up the Semester

Intro screen for tech tip tuesday video graphic contains the words tech tip tuesdays.

To assist the CSUMB community with transitioning away from campus during the holiday break, we've created a new knowledge base article Five Tips for Wrapping up the Semester along with our last Tech Tip Tuesday video of the semester, which releases on December 13, 2022.

CyberSecurity Tip: Smishing and the President

Screenshot of dashboard message titled Text message phishing. Body of message: A recent smishing (text message phishing) communication on mobile phones is using the guise of President Vanya Quiñones)

Text messages recently went out claiming to be from our new president, Vanya Quiñonez, but were really smishing messages or phishing attempts via text message. Keep vigilant against smishing attempts:

  • Do not answer texts from numbers you don't recognize.
  • Search the entire phone number online to see if it has been reported as a scam.
  • Block the sender to prevent further communication.
  • Forward suspicious SMS messages to 7726

It's also important to realize that texts are not encrypted and personal information should not be shared over text messaging.

You can read more about phishing via text message in our Smishing Knowledge Base article.

Meme with meaning

Have you deleted your cookies today?

Picture shows two dogs, one short hair, one long hair salivating over a plate of cookies. Text on meme says: We are from tech support. We are here to delete your cookies."

Tech Fun Fact: While often located in the same area of the browser settings and used interchangeably: cache, cookies and browser history are not the same thing. The browsing history is exactly what it states- a history of websites visited. The cache is a collection of common pieces of often-visited web pages stored in the browser's memory to improve load time and site speed, while cookies store information about about user preferences and track their activity on a page.

Learn more about IT

Chief Information Officer
Chip Lenno

Greg Pool
Director of Digital Transformation

Amy Marbach
User Services Communications Specialist

Amy Marbach
Cecelia Colchico
Greg Pool

Graphic design
Nrupaja Vartak

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Article ID: 152819
Tue 12/6/22 10:30 AM
Mon 5/1/23 10:33 AM