An Internal UTO IT Professional Development Event


Engage, UTO’s second annual all-UTO gathering will be held on August 15, 2019!

Dave & Busters at Tempe Marketplace

2000 E Rio Salado Pkwy, Tempe, AZ 85281

9:15am - 5pm (Programming concludes at 3:30pm, with games and fun to follow til 5pm.) 

Deadline to register is August 5, 2019

This year we will continue to build on the momentum of our ideas constructed at Empower. This is an exciting opportunity for the UTO family to lend its voice, share its passions, and participate in a short hackathon that will help us plan our future strategic efforts. Multiple big ideas will be identified and pitched by their proposers, gathering groups to define concrete outputs. Engage will help UTO reimagine how it can more fully serve Arizona State University in the months and years ahead. 

Lunch will be provided: 

  • Souvlaki Grilled Chicken Breasts (Gluten-Free)
  • Hawaiian Glazed Beef Satay Tenders (Contains Soy)
  • Grilled Vegetables (Gluten-Free, Vegetarian, Contains Dairy & Soy)
  • Citrus Rice (Gluten-Free, Vegetarian, Contains Dairy)
  • Classic Hummus (Gluten-Free, Vegetarian, Vegan)
  • Greek Garden Salad (Gluten-Free, Vegetarian, Contains Dairy)
  • Greek Dressing (Vegetarian, Vegan, Contains Soy)
  • Balsamic Dressing (Gluten-Free, Vegetarian, Vegan, Contains Soy)
  • Pita Bread & Pita Chips (Vegetarian, Vegan)
  • Raw Vegetable Platter (Gluten-Free, Vegetarian, Vegan)
  • Ranch Dressing (Contains Dairy)
  • Unlimited Coffee, Tea, Soft Drinks & Water


Parking is available around the Dave & Busters building at Tempe Marketplace. Please see the map below. 

 Tempe Marketplace Map

For Tempe-based staff we strongly encourage the following:

  • Carpool
  • Lightrail
  • Tempe Orbit
  • Consider using a rideshare program such as Lyft or Uber.
    • Lyft has provided a code which is good for new and existing Lyft users to receive 10% their rides to and from Dave & Busters on August 15th. Code: ASUUTO19 



An internal UTO IT Professional Development Event

9:15 - 9:45 amRegistration
9:45  - 10:15 amWelcome and opening remarks from UTO Leadership
10:15 - 11:00 amIdea Hackathon pitches
11:00 - 11:30 amBreak into idea hackathon working sessions (your choice!)
11:30 - 12:30 pmFree-flowing lunch and networking
12:30 - 2:45 pmIdea Hackathon working sessions continue
2:45 - 3:30 pm

Progress pitches -- what did each working session accomplish?

To be followed by voting on a winner

3:30 - 5:00 pmGames, fun, and major hang-time with your UTO family


1. Co-Design the Next Working Space at USB
Co-facilitators: Lev Gonick* and Eric Dover
UTO has a cross-functional workstream thinking about our working spaces and how it contributes to our productivity and our culture. Help us conceive and lay out the design aspirations of UTO’s next big space project.

2. Collaborative Work Space for IT Scripters, Code Ninjas and HTML Geeks
Co-facilitators: Chelsey Ingersoll* and Bonnie LeBlanc
Many IT teams across the university have that one PowerShell guru, JavaScript genius or BASH wizard. The awesome tools they use are built in silos, however, and rarely shared outside the team they were made for. Let's celebrate and encourage our IT code ninjas by providing them with somewhere they can share their innovations, micro-optimizations or pet projects.

3. Creating a Data Mindset Among All of UTO
Co-facilitators: Kristin Kennedy* and Bobby Gray
How can we get everyone in UTO to think about data in all that they do? If everyone in UTO began to think about the collection, organization and storage of data in all that they do, KPIs would be much easier to create, and we improve a culture of knowledge and understanding as well.

4. Crowdsource Work/Project Priority
Co-facilitators: Warick Pond* and Tina Thorstenson
There are a multitude of voices that UTO needs to capture as to what is important to the student, faculty, staff and community. The best way to determine these priorities is through a crowd source approach. This will also assist in providing the community transparency in what projects are being worked and reduction of duplicitous work efforts across ASU.

5. Design a Realistic DevSecOps Model for UTO
Co-facilitators: Eunice Henderson*, Chris Richardson & Noel Thiesing
DevSecOps is the combination of cultural philosophies, practices and tools that increase an organization’s ability to deliver applications and services at high velocity. Let's get together and establish the cultural philosophies, practices, tools, and approaches needed.

6. Generating Culture Ripples
Co-facilitators: Christine Whitney Sanchez*, Zella Muro & Chuck Kazilek
Help us draft the architecture for elevating our culture work at UTO while generating ripples for a conscious, collaborative culture for all ASU IT professionals. We will ask why we should engage in this work, who might be involved, what the unifying focus could be, how we can take our first steps… and the ones after that, when we should launch, and where we should begin.

7. Greening Up UTO: Taking It to the Next Level
Co-facilitators: Sandy Johnson*, Bryan Roseberry* & Kelly Mukherjee*
Does UTO make a green difference? It's got to be way more than bins and blue bags. Let's benchmark our current sustainability practices and then take it to the next level. Let's make UTO the example of what it means to be green and spread the effects.

8. Preparing ASU for the Next Gen Network
Co-facilitators: Genevieve Vega* and Timothy Summers
How do we create awareness and a positive perception of the network for UTO's customers? We can discuss methods for university-wide communication to targeted users regarding: definitions of outages vs. slowness, the difference between a request, problem, incident, etc., future plans for development/new program releases, and gathering ideas for the NextGen Network among other top-of-mind topics.

9. Service Web Chart
Co-facilitators: Joshua Ivanov* and Casey Davis
A more detailed visual chart of all the amazing people and teams within UTO will allow us to assist our customers at a higher level, more effectively connecting and communicating on a matter of projects and services.

10. User-Friendly AWS Cost Calculator
Co-facilitators: Mike Sharkey* and Jess Evans
Internal UTO project teams and external (non-UTO) potential customers need to know how much it would cost to implement their tech solution. A human-friendly, well-designed cost calculator would give folks an idea of how much/little a project would cost so they can make an informed decision.

11. Utilize a Cloud Identity Provider for Authentication on macOS Devices
Co-facilitators: Zachary Thompson* and John Rome
A Cloud Identity Provider for authentication on macOS Devices utilizing Jamf Connect will allow a seamless single sign-on experience for Apple users. This will provide a high quality user experience, similar to that of a domain-joined Windows system.

12. UTO Student Worker Digital Credential Pilot
Co-facilitators: Christopher Sheehan*, Heather Haseley & Dan Munnerley
The goal of this pilot is for UTO student workers to earn digital credentials based on evidence related to 21st century skills and competencies gained in their student worker role. Some participation of their supervisor will be needed.

* =  Big Idea Originator

“Collaboration” was among the watchwords during Engage 2019, UTO’s Internal IT Professional Development Event. On Thursday, August 15, the UTO family gathered for a day of productivity and fun, strengthening partnerships and forming new ones while developing innovations together. Engage 2019, held at Dave & Buster’s, focused on opening new modes and channels of communication as we worked on 12 big ideas, submitted by UTO employees, for UTO’s first idea hackathon.

As CIO Lev Gonick put it, another watchword of the day was “celebratory.” UTO celebrated our impressive accomplishments and their connection to our annual goals. In fact, each of the 12 big ideas brought to the day represented at least one of those key goals, if not more. As part of their initial pitches to entice participants to work on their concepts, the idea originators and their co-facilitators passionately delivered reasons why their proposals could form into projects that fuel those goals and UTO’s vision for advancing the New American University.

Breaking Down Silos

Some key themes emerged from Engage. Many of the ideas involved breaking down silos, most notably the winning one for the day. Titled “Collaborative Work Space for IT Scripters, Code Ninjas and HTML Geeks,” the concept rested on the premise that a digital storage option is necessary for university-wide programmers to access. There’s no need for solutions to be redundantly created across ASU, and individuals and teams sharing their resources and work with everyone would make many processes and developments more efficient.

Idea originator and ServiceNow developer Chelsey Ingersoll proposed the collaborative work space. “When all you have is an idea, getting the attention of the right people to make it happen can feel insurmountable,” Chelsey said. “Engage gave this little idea the attention of nearly everyone within UTO. This idea now has the attention of an entire organization, and can leverage that mind share to deliver something awesome.” Since the idea was selected by the UTO community as the winner of the prize package, real resources and time will now be devoted to it.

As mentioned, the winning idea represented the key goal of breaking down silos. But in a larger sense, it represented a sense of open collaboration. Engage’s hackathon brought leadership figures into direct and equal contact across the 12 working groups, and UTO’s collective voice decided the direction of a new project. 

Another exciting aspect of a more open culture was that the 11 other big ideas not selected during the final prize pitches still will be in consideration for UTO going forward. New Slack channels were created to continue the conversations and work.

The “Generating Culture Ripples” idea, for example, was centered on elevating a conscious, collaborative culture for all ASU IT professionals. And the “Crowdsource/Work Priority” idea takes collaboration outside of UTO; this idea’s thesis was that the best and most transparent way to determine UTO’s priorities is through a crowdsourced approach, addressing the needs of students, faculty and staff.

Focusing more on internal growth, on the other hand, the layout and design aspirations of the next open space for UTO HQ in the University Services Building was also a big topic for “Co-Design the Next Working Space at USB” as we explore how best to collaborate and innovate.

Developing New Technology

Of course, in a tech-focused organization, several big ideas were more technical. “Design of a Realistic DevSecOps Model,” for example, picked up steam as a cross-disciplinary method of fusing culture, project management practices, and technical tools to establish more effective approaches. 

For the “Creating a Data Mindset Among All of UTO” idea, the collection, organization and storage of data in all that we do is crucial to creating a data mindset among all of UTO, another hot topic of discussion at Engage. 

Further, a “User-friendly AWS Cost Calculator” for customers across the university was almost fully designed in just a few short hours at the event.

Serving ASU...

Speaking of user-friendly, a couple other ideas were about making it easier for everyone to more effectively do their jobs and access ASU resources. One group developed an idea for a “Service Web Chart” that leverages various platforms to connect UTO employees that could be needed for assistance on a project, but aren’t necessarily known personally to those working on said project. And another, “Utilize a Cloud Identity Provider for Authentication on macOS Devices,” addressed the need for a single sign-on solution for macOS devices, as Windows users have been able to do.

...and Beyond

Some ideas also took UTO’s impact beyond ASU staff -- and even students. “Preparing ASU for the NextGen Network” has the potential to impact people within ten miles of an ASU campus. Additionally, UTO’s “Green Weavers” are trying to lessen the negative impact on our environment with creative solutions to e-waste. Finally, a “UTO Student Worker Digital Credential Pilot,” potentially in partnership with local, national, and global industries, could enrich and empower a new segment of the workforce.

Whether they invigorated UTO and ASU culture, developed future technologies, refined the tools we use every day, or broadened the scope of our work to impact the places and communities ASU touches, Engage’s big ideas demonstrated the creativity and drive of the UTO family. They represented our underlying beliefs, assumptions, and values, which were all...engaged (!) and challenged in interesting ways. We look forward to Engage 2020 and all future events where UTO and the ASU IT community work together to evolve the ASU experience.


Word cloud

We asked and you answered! Describe Engage in three words or less.


Engage Decorative Logo For Event

UTO Twitter

Follow us on Twitter @ASU_UTO

Follow us on Instagram @asu_uto

LinkedIn UTO

Connect with us on LinkedIn

UTO YouTube

Subscribe to us on YouTube

Use the hashtag #forksupUTO

Previous Events