This Is IT! Message from the CIO/Vice President The

This Is IT!
Volume 3, Issue 1, August 2006
Message from the
CIO/Vice President
In an institution as large as El Paso Community College…with multiple campuses and more
than 30,000 students (both credit and non-credit) at any given time, we must continuously plan
and provide the framework to achieve the College’s mission of providing the best possible learning and working environment for our students, faculty and staff. The Information Technology
Division continues to re-examine it’s mission and area goals in order to improve our ability to
make informed decisions about the College’s future.
As the start of a new academic year gets underway, we are excited about the successful
completion of major initiatives that we took on last fall, such as the Wireless Project and the
conversion to Microsoft Outlook. After much planning, we are ready to move forward with new
initiatives for the coming year. This will include revamping the Service Desk area to maximize
resources and improve the way we do business. We will also be enforcing security measures that
will not only protect the College’s resources, but the customers we serve. We are particularly
excited about totally restructuring the College’s website, which is already in progress to make it
more user friendly and in line with other colleges and universities when it comes to layout and
design. Last but not least, we’re moving forward with transforming our College to a “paperless”
institution. Records management and imaging will continue to be one of our highest priorities as
we look forward to the near future when we can process forms and documentation faster (which
will translate into taking care of student business faster) and storing everything electronically.
These are just a few of the initiatives that are in the forefront for Information Technology. In
summary, as we revisit and update our Master Plan this fall to enhance the College’s educational
excellence through a process of change and improvements to operations, we hope to count on
input and recommendations from not only the Division, but from throughout the District. I welcome comments, observations, or suggestions so that we can better serve your needs and those of
the District. Please feel free to email me at [email protected] or give me a call at 831-6392 if
you have any questions and/or feedback. Thank you in advance for your patience as we continue
to improve our information technology services and infrastructure for our students, faculty and
Have a great semester!
This is IT!
Message from the CIO/VP . . . . . . .
Enhancing Creative Minds at EPCC. . .
EPCC-TV Progress Report . . . . . . . . .
Coming Soon to a Desktop Near You . . .
Social Networking Site . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
New Video Conferencing Equipment . . . .
Adobe Acrobat Professional Is Here. . . . .
College Website New Look . . . . . . .
Smart Classrooms . . . . . . . . . . .
Welcome Newcomers. . . . . . . . . .
Auto Archiving E-Mail. . . . . . . . . .
Fabiola Rubio
CIO/Vice President
El Paso County Community College District does not discriminate on the basis
of race, color, national origin, religion, gender, age or disability.
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Enhancing Creative Minds
Rachel Viramontes
Adobe Creative Suite 2 (CS2) was a hot topic at
ASC on August 8. As part of the IT Staff Training
Plan, a hands-on workshop that covered InDesign,
Photoshop and Illustrator was the focus for the 2nd
Adobe workshop this year. Information Technology
recently invested in Adobe CS2 software licenses and
is now investing further to bring the latest training
to EPCC staff wanting to expand and express their
creative vision. Eighteen employees from across the
District participated and because EPCC is a “community partner,” YISD and EPISD staff were also invited to participate. It was great to see so much interest
from staff wanting to take advantage of professional
development opportunities and learn new skills that
they can take back to their office and apply to their job.
Adobe CS2 is the industry’s most complete suite of software applications designed to provide creative
professionals with the tools necessary for publications, reports, newsletters, brochures, presentations, image enhancement, artwork editing, and web design- to name a few. All applications can be easily integrated
to produce professional looking printed materials, photos, illustrations and so much more.
What’s coming in the future? With the
continued support of our President and Vice
President of Information Technology (and contingent upon available funds), Adobe CS2 intermediate and advanced training are the next
logical steps. For those of us needing to learn
the basics or polish our graphic design skills,
we are also looking at bringing in a professional
in the field who can provide us with the “do’s”
and “don’ts” of design, layout and composition of all types of projects. Learning how to
address designing challenges and approaches
will further expand our creative possibilities.
When we “design,” what we are really doing is
“communicating” a message in a visual way. Why not have fun learning new skills so we don’t “blur” the
messages we are trying to convey?
Congratulations to Claire Buisson-Rodriguez (EPCC-TV) on winning the top door prize…an Adobe
CS2 Total Training DVD package valued at $130 and donated by the Adobe Corporation. Thanks to those
that made this training possible and thanks to everyone who participated. It was a great opportunity to meet
new people not only from the College, but also from the school districts.
If creating and designing is part of your job and you are an EPCC staff member, please call me if you
are interested in future training and in obtaining the Adobe CS2 software installation. I can be reached at
831-6542 or via email at rvir[email protected]
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EPCC-TV Progress Report
Pat Ebert
By September of 2006, the ten full-time and three part-time members of the EPCC-TV staff will have
relocated from their Valle Verde location to newly-constructed facilities at the Administrative Service Center. Currently personnel and operations use adapted
office spaces scattered among three separate locations on two floors at the Valle Verde C building.
The new facilities, with about 10,000 square
feet of space, will provide 172 per cent more
working space, all of it designed specifically for
the production and distribution of educational
and informative media materials. The concurrent
replacement of obsolete, analog equipment with
modern, digital components will enhance the
College’s television capabilities to match or exceed the quality of work being done at any school
in the U.S.
The plan is to explore new methods of distribution made possible by this digital conversion.
EPCC-TV Entrance
Handling content as digital files rather than linear
video in a tape library, enables the staff to provide programs on demand to any location throughout the
District using the College’s wired and wireless networks. And with video over IP, they can stream content
to any internet-connected computer.
Combining these improvements with the new availability of 70 per cent more office space consolidated
in the ASC facility, they hope to expand cooperation with Mass Communications and other instructional
departments in order to benefit students as well as the CIT. It’s expected to draw on their talents as researchers, writers, performers, technicians, and general production assistants. In turn, students can be confident
that the experience they gain with our digital systems will contribute directly to their future professional
Our new neighbor, KCOS Television,
offers further opportunities for cooperation. Already having completed the transition to digital
broadcasting, the KCOS engineering staff represents a valuable source of technical expertise and
assistance whenever we need it.
EPCC-TV has a long history with
KCOS. The station has broadcast the EPCC-produced Mature Living weekly program for more
than 13 years. Except for three half-hour units
made for our college-credit telecourses on KCOS
many years ago, Mature Living is the only production available to El Paso via free, over-the-air
broadcasting. Whenever more talent can be found
KCOS-TV Entrance
here at the College that are willing to work on local programming, it’s expected that KCOS will provide airtime so that EPCC-TV can reach the broadcast
audience in El Paso.
EPCC-TV sees many wonderful opportunities to serve the College and the community working together,
using new, more versatile tools in new, more accommodating facilities. The team feels newly energized and
optimistic, ready to move forward in this “best place” to continue.
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Coming Soon to a Desktop Near You……
Griffin Canak
As part of the IT Department’s efforts to improve Service, Security, and Reliability, the department is
deploying software that will allow us to automatically push updates to your computer’s operating system.
This software, called Microsoft Systems Management Server (SMS), will allow the IT Department to be
more efficient and proactive in managing the college’s computing resources. These updates have already
been installed at EPCC’s Administrative Service Center, and along with the changes listed below will be
coming automatically to the remaining computers across the district, in stages, over the next few months.
The IT Department is also deploying a software utility that will be used to improve the service offered
by the IT Help Desk. This utility will install a small icon in the computer’s “system tray” that will allow
the user to easily find their computer address simply by holding the mouse over the icon. In this way, when
a user makes a call to the IT Help Desk, they will be able to supply this information to the Help Desk
Attendant who will then be able to
quickly provide Remote Assistance
to the user. See Figure 1.
For many people, the installation of this utility will take place in
the background and the user should
be unaware of it. Some people will
see a notification that there is a program scheduled for installation in 5
minutes. After the program installation begins, it takes about a second
or two to complete. Once again, this
useful utility (called IPClip) will be
needed by the user to provide information to the Help Desk whenever a service call is made.
Finally, to increase awareness of the college’s Acceptable Use Policy, and to emphasize the importance
of network security, the college will be implementing an interactive “logon banner” as part of the computer
logon process. This screen is designed to remind computer users across the district of critical and important
considerations when using EPCC information resources and technology. See Figure 2.
There can never be enough emphasis on protecting the confidentiality, integrity, and availability of our
personal and institutional information and this new screen will help improve awareness and remind users
that help is always available from the IT Help Desk by calling us at 831-6440.
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Social Networking Site
Consumes Network Capacity
Richard Buller
MySpace, now the 2nd busiest domain next to Yahoo, claims 77 million users around the world and is
increasing at the rate of 280,000 new personal profiles each day. The popularity of this “social networking”
site is attracting a growing number of scam artists. In addition to being a primary hunting ground for pedophiles and con-artists, MySpace is a huge advertising billboard for all types of commercial Internet traffic.
Unaware users often divulge personal information to other subscribers and, of course, the scam artists.
MySpace traffic on our network seems to be averaging between 5 and 8 percent of our bandwidth during the slowest periods of the day and as high as 25 percent during mid-morning periods. MySpace sessions usually engage Windows Media or RealPlayer which also consume large amounts of
bandwidth. Preliminary estimates of the average “total” impact of MySpace and its associated
programs add up to a loss of 20 percent or more during primary (daytime) hours.
Future articles will report the abuse of our network capacity by illegal or non-educational
activities. As all of EPCC’s network capacity is allocated to the support of educational and
administrative purpose, any non-educational or illegal use negatively impacts the learning
experience of students and the ability of faculty and staff to efficiently and effectively serve
our students.
New Video Conferencing
Robert P. Jones
Video conferencing classrooms at Mission del Paso, Northwest, Rio Grande, Transmountain and Valle
Verde campuses received new equipment with joint funding from Distance Education and the Integrated
Technology committee.
EPCC has six video conferencing classrooms that are used to deliver live instruction to remote sites
in and out of the District via two-way audio/video technology. Students attend class closer to home or
business without having to commute. Students attend a live class with students at another site. Classes are
offered simultaneously between EPCC campuses and other remote sites.
The new equipment will enhance instruction by providing clearer and larger images for students and
faculty. Each classroom is receiving a 46” LCD monitor, a 21” LCD monitor, a 17” LCD monitor, a Digital Document camera, and a new video conferencing unit (codec). The Integrated Technology committee
additionally funded the purchase of new multifunction printer/fax/copiers for each video conferencing
The Integrated Technology committee provided funding to complete the addition of Wireless notebooks
and carts to the video conferencing classrooms at Valle Verde and Rio Grande. Additional notebook power
adapters were purchased to extend the notebooks operating time.
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Adobe Acrobat Professional
Is Here
Rachel Viramontes
The next time you need to complete an EPCC form (of any type), how would you like to be able to
open up the EPCC web page and find all the District’s forms in one place, at the click of your mouse?
Whether you need to fill out a timesheet, prepare a check authorization, fill out a travel request or mileage
reimbursement, apply for a staff scholarship, or even complete a property control form, the new EPCC web
site, to be unveiled early Fall 2006, will have a link where all these forms can be available to you. This is
where the Adobe Acrobat Professional software comes in. Information Technology recently purchased a
site license for the software that allows you to not only convert any document to Portable Document Format (PDF), you can also make it “fillable” online avoiding having to write in the information or worse yet,
using a typewriter!
As the College continues to move forward with the Records Management project, going paperless is one
of the goals. Converting all forms to PDF “fillable” format moves us toward that goal and provides faculty
and staff with great advantages. With Adobe Acrobat Professional, you can open up the PDF forms, complete them online and save them on your computer along with the data you just entered. If you only have
the Adobe Reader, you can still open up the PDF forms and print them, but you won’t be able to fill them in
or save your data. Having all forms online will also save the College on costs associated with reproducing
the forms via outside vendors. While some District Forms are already on the web, consolidating them all
in one place will eliminate searching for them by department.
In February 2006, IT brought in a consultant who provided a two-day, hands-on Adobe Acrobat Professional workshop for 40 staff from across the District. The workshop proved to be beneficial because several
departments have already taken the initiative to convert their forms to PDF. Since we were not able to accommodate everyone at the first workshop, IT will be scheduling a second workshop this Fall. If anyone
would be interested in learning how Adobe Acrobat works and how you can create PDF “fillable” forms,
please email your name, department and phone number to Rachel Viramontes at [email protected]
In the meantime, get your copy of Adobe Acrobat Professional installed on your computer by calling the
Help Desk at 831-6440. If you have any questions, I can be reached at 831-6542.
College Website
New Look
Debbie Aguilera
IT has formed a task force under the direction of Jenny Girón
which includes students, staff, and faculty to create a new look to
our College Website Home Page and to
review the content.
With the Committee’s recommendation and our web team which consists
of Griffin Canak, Miguel Alvarez, AJ
Navarro,Virginia Bustillos, Fernando
Mares and Jacqueline Nugent, you will
soon see a more user friendly Web Page.
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Smart Classrooms
Nancy Gamez
Instructional Media Services collected research on various smart classroom models, and presented this
information to the Integrated Technology Committee in the early spring semester. Based on a previous
faculty survey, the consensus was that they were interested in delivering instruction in “technology ready”
As a result of the presentation, the IT Committee formed a Smart Classroom Subcommittee that included
faculty, IMS staff, Student Services staff, Facilities and Information Technology representatives, one Dean
and the AVP of Instructional Resources and Technology. This subcommittee defined a “Smart Classroom”
and identified the required hardware and software components. Faculty input provided specific classroom
needs with potential for additional future components. Ideally the overall set-up will allow for the installation of future technologies. The specific equipment identified is in the purchasing process, and the Facilities and IT staff are working on renovation and networking of the classrooms.
The following lists the components to be included in the proposed Smart Classrooms:
1. Computer
6. Sound system
2. LCD ceiling mounted projector
7. Media Manager podium/instructor workstation
3. DVD/VHS combination player/recorder 8. Control/touch panel
4. Document Camera
9. Lighting panel
5. Electronic screen 10. Asset Management Software
The Document camera will replace overhead projectors, the Control/touch panel is the control system
to operate all the equipment with a push of a button, the lighting panel controls the lights in front of the
screen, and the Asset Management Software allows the IMS staff to troubleshoot from remote sites. The
software also includes a security system to prevent theft of all equipment installed in the classroom, and it
produces equipment usage reports to ensure preventive maintenance of the equipment.
Thirty-two classrooms throughout the district have been identified for conversion into Smart Classrooms in the next year. The pilot phase will include four classrooms to be fully operational by this fall
semester of 2006.
IMS staff will be trained on the operation of the equipment and Help Desk functionality. They will
become trainers and train faculty on the operation of the equipment and all of the features and accessories.
Jointly working with the IMS staff, the Technology Resource Center will train faculty on how to effectively integrate technology with the curriculum.
Welcome Newcomers
IT welcomes the following new employees to our team:
Ingrid Italia Aguirre. . . . . . . . . . . . NMSU Graduate Intern
Margarita Carreno. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .Programmer/Analyst
Dolores M. Pavia. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .Programmer/Analyst
Maggie Salazar. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .Clerk II
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Auto-Archiving E-mail
Cheryl Bowman
Why archive? One major reason is efficiency. Your Outlook will load faster since archives are stored
separately. For those with overflowing mailboxes, archiving is mandatory to prevent the loss of important
Here’s how:
1) On your file menu, click
Tools> Options> Other. In
the middle of the Options
screen, find the AutoArchive
2) On the Auto Archive screen, change the
default settings to your personal preferences.
You can override these for specific folders if
necessary. If you want the archive folders to
appear on your navigation pane, be sure to
place a checkmark in “Show archive folders in
folder list”.
3) Click Apply these settings to all folders
4) Click OK.
5) To override the default settings for a specific
folder, right-click the folder name, select Properties and the Auto-Archive tab. These changes
will affect that folder only.
6) To view the archives, simply click on the
folder labeled Archive in your Navigation
Pane on the left.
Important archiving information:
• Archiving is intended for maintaining copies of important e-mails that are infrequently
used. Archiving unimportant e-mails will clutter your archives and cause them to be slow.
The archive file can hold no more than 2 gigabytes of information.
• Archive files will not be available from any
other computer unless you manually copy them to that computer. Messages archived at work will usually
not be accessible from your home computer. We recommend you archive on your work computer.
• Calendar items will be archived unless you override the settings for that folder.
• The Contacts folder is not affected by the archive program.
If you need assistance with archiving, please call the Technology Resource Center at Rio Grande
(Doroteo, 831-4631) or Valle Verde, (Kimberly 831-3362 or Cheryl, 831-2767).
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