Illinois State University Information Technology (IT) professionals assembled in the State Farm Hall of Business on August 6 for the Continuous Improvement in Technology (CIT) conference. 2019 marked the seventh year for the annual event.

The University employs more than 200 staff who support the University’s IT infrastructure. CIT brings IT staff together to learn about upcoming projects outside their area and to identify opportunities to collaborate even more effectively.

This year’s keynote address was presented by Leroy Jenkins and Roger Murff from Amazon Web Services (AWS). Their talk investigated how Smart Campus solutions have the potential to transform student living environments, digital classroom experiences, and the campus itself. Examples of smart campus solutions include students checking in as they arrive safely at their destination, displaying room or parking space availability, monitoring temperature and lighting in unused spaces, and virtual concierge services that connect visitors to events.

After the keynote address, the CIT MVP Award was presented to Systems Administrator Ben Wyman. In its second year, the award recognizes a full-time IT staff member who has made outstanding contributions to the support of faculty, staff, students, and operations over the previous fiscal year. Wyman had the award presented to him by last year’s winner, Chris Johnson. Nominations for the CIT Student MVP Award are now open through December. The winner will be announced at the Spring 2020 CITx conference.

After the presentation of the award, campus leaders shared several project updates during IT News:

  • will see further improvements with the launch of the new student engagement portal, Redbird Life. The portal will allow students to learn more about campus organizations.
  • WEB announced the development of the Illinois State Digital Design System, a style guide created to craft a unified and intuitive experience for campus web users.
  • Tech Alerts 2.0 will go live on August 12. The new system is powered by, which has many customers in the higher education space.
  • The Technology Support Center has a new location, Julian Hall 115. The move puts the center closer to a centralized campus location and hosts an expanded waiting area to accommodate more people.
  • Milner Library announced they have purchased a second 3D printer that is ready for job requests.

Throughout the day attendees chose from 16 sessions presented by their peers, including information about DevOps, Identity Management, Cherwell, career advancement, how data impacts the student experience, and more. A full list of sessions and presentations can be found at the CIT website.

”CIT is always a positive experience as the ISU IT community comes together to collaborate and share their expertise. It’s a great way to get energized and ready for the new academic year,” said Carla Birckelbaw, chair of the CIT Planning Committee.

CIT is co-sponsored by Administrative Technologies, Student Affairs IT, and the Office of Academic Technologies. It’s hosted by the College of Business.