Fall 2021 Communicator
Vol. 29, No. 4 [pdf version]
Rogers’ 36-year career brought many key
MTSU administrative systems initiatives
For the past nearly four decades, information technology has revolutionized the higher
At MTSU, Lisa Rogers was a key player in applying those advances to administrative operations.
Rogers retired on Sept. 9—her 36th anniversary of service at MTSU. Most of that time was spent planning and overseeing key MTSU administrative and enterprise IT initiatives such as Banner/PipelineMT and integration with Desire2Learn (D2L). Along the way she garnered numerous achievements and honors, but she is most proud of the relationships.
I have had the honor and privilege to serve as manager, director, and associate VP of an awesome group of people in ITD’s Enterprise Application Services area.
Since 2014 she was ITD senior associate vice president, serving as deputy chief information
officer for the University and on the division’s leadership team. That involved overseeing
ITD’s Database Administration Services and Administrative Information Systems Services
departments, mobile application development team, and MTSU’s Banner system, which
manages student, financial aid, human resources, finance, advancement, and other online
From 2008–2014, Rogers was assistant vice president of ERP Systems, providing leadership for the Administrative Information System Systems (AISS) department, which involved chairing Banner committees of the Tennessee Board of Regents (TBR).
In all these roles, Rogers has been a leader in researching and implementing the key information technology needed to help meet the University’s goals and objectives. The challenge has been putting the right tech in the right place at the right time to make everything work together.
“Because ITD is leanly staffed and many of our functional offices are leanly staffed, a major driving force in software selection is finding products that work well together, fitting as seamlessly together as possible, without requiring huge human capital to support long-term,” Rogers said. “PipelineMT, Banner, DegreeWorks, Banner Document Manager (BDM), Argos, and Dynamic Forms, for example, are all products that work well together. Of course, cost sometimes factors into the decision as well. But we also need a fairly robust set of functionality and longevity to a product, even if it isn’t the most expensive, primo product at the time.”
From 1994–2008, she was director and manager of AISS during a time of implementing major University systems including Banner and the Pipeline portal. She also was instrumental in helping the TBR take Banner statewide.
“Since it was a TBR systemwide initiative, the institutions were divided into three groups with staggered implementations,” she explained. “MTSU was in the initial group along with five other TBR institutions. We also served as a training site for the initial group, and I had to coordinate the information that was disseminated out to those other schools . . . There were many meetings with TBR and the other schools as we tried to work out data standards that fit everyone, which wasn’t easy.
“The Banner project was a group effort, and we had/have some phenomenal functional team leaders from various areas across campus and some phenomenal technical team leaders from my department who made the real magic happen with that project,” she added.
Rogers has received statewide honors including the Distinguished Service Award–Tennessee Higher Education Information Technology Symposium (2012) and the Outstanding Commitment to TBR Banner Implementation Project Award (2008), as well as the Tennessee 30-year Service Award (2015) at MTSU.
I’m especially proud of the Distinguished Service Award. The recipient is voted on by a committee of peers from various Tennessee universities and colleges. I felt very honored to have received this award knowing it was from my colleagues across Tennessee.
"Running a close second is the Outstanding Commitment to TBR Banner Implementation
Project Award that I received in 2008 after the first two TBR groups completed their
implementations,” she said.
At MTSU, she also led the effort to connect D2L with Banner for real-time data integration.
“When TBR acquired licensing for D2L, the only way to get student, faculty, and course data into D2L was through what they called the holding tank. It was basically a once-a-day batch upload of data,” she said. “But as you can imagine, students add and drop classes all the time for months before the semester starts and even a few days into the semester. Faculty assignments also can change as each day goes by. And new course sections open up or close or move to other section numbers.
“So we wanted a process that would keep those student, faculty, and course changes current throughout the day, not just once a day. TBR and D2L needed a school that was using Luminis, the underpinnings at the time of our PipelineMT system, to work with D2L and get real-time integration going. We at MTSU volunteered, and I helped lead that effort.”
Rogers also has served as project manager for smaller enterprise projects including the Education Advisory Board Student Success Collaborative (now known at MTSU as Navigate), DegreeWorks, and Dynamic Forms. She helped write several policies including those dealing with computer and acceptable use and privacy, made numerous conference presentations, and continued her professional development over the years.
In addition to her official duties, Rogers served on the University Leadership Council, Administrative Computing Committee, and Computer Science Advisory Board. She served on several search committees including for assistant vice provost of Institutional Effectiveness, Planning, and Research; director of Institutional Research; and Registrar. She even served on the University Traffic Appeals Committee.
“It was often hilarious and sometimes shocking to hear the lame stories that some folks would use in their defense of a parking or traffic violation,” she said.
Retirement has taken Rogers and her husband, Jeff, full circle back to their home state of North Carolina. They met in high school but didn’t date during that time. They began dating later at NC State and graduated the same year. The couple moved to middle Tennessee, where Jeff had been hired as an aerospace engineer at Arnold Air Force Base in Tullahoma.
“I stopped interviewing in the Research Triangle Park area and started looking for a job in Middle Tennessee,” she said. “I actually thought I’d just stay at MTSU for a couple of years and then move on. I did get a few job offers in later years, but always ultimately decided to stay with MTSU.”
Rogers had earned a bachelor’s degree in Computer Science from NC State in 1985. She was hired at MTSU as a programmer in the Computer Services Academic Programming Department and worked there from 1985–90. It was during this time she saw the potential of improving academic and administrative operations through the latest and best tech resources.
“Even though I was in Academic Services, part of my job was to also run administrative data reports using what was known back then as Report Generator, in which we coded the logic on paper and handed it off to keypunch operators to put on punch cards,” Rogers said.
“Then I’d ask Operations to run the punch cards through the Honeywell CP-6 computer system, and I’d have to indicate the particular magnetic tapes to use, as that was where the data was stored. Running those Report Generator reports piqued my interest in the Administrative Applications side of Computer Services. So when an opening came about in that area, I applied and got the job.”
Rogers earned a Master of Science in Computer Science at MTSU in 1993 while working full time in the Computer Services department.
I thoroughly enjoyed pursuing my master’s degree. I had some great professors at MTSU. That opened up an opportunity for a management position in Computer Services, which contributed to my decision to stay at MTSU.
Although the Rogerses retired to North Carolina, it is a different part of the state.
She was born and raised in southeastern North Carolina not far from the coast.
“We will be living in the Blue Ridge Mountains,” said Rogers. “We want to walk every reasonable trail we can find and see some of the sites along the Blue Ridge. We also want to travel the country and see sites we’ve never had the opportunity to see before.”
She enjoys working outside and raising Shelties.
“I always loved working in my yard, trimming and watering and weeding,” she said. “But more than that I loved my Shelties. Over the years we had three and I took them all through obedience school and also took one of them through agility training, which he absolutely loved. He was quite the little showoff.”
Rogers thanked ITD Vice President for Information Technology and Chief Information Officer Bruce Petryshak for being a great “mentor and friend.”
Lisa is one of the best IT leaders I have had the privilege to work with. MTSU has been very fortunate to have her serve and provide leadership, Petryshak said.
Rogers also praised ITD staff members for implementing and maintaining the systems
that keep the University on mission, especially during the challenge of COVID-19 over
the past year and a half.
“These dedicated folks work hard, often on weekends and at night, tirelessly behind the scenes keeping the University’s administrative systems running in a constantly evolving world.
They are a great group, and I will sorely miss them.
“Students and faculty have so many tools at their fingertips now. Things that used
to be done physically visiting campus or reading a college catalog can be learned
about or completed online now. Saving time on administrative University tasks ultimately
gives more time to focus on learning and teaching. I can only imagine where higher
education will be technologically in just a few years.
"So much has already changed during my career.”
Award winner: Distance learning tech
can improve classroom teaching too
Professor Frank Lambert, coordinator of MTSU’s Master of Library Science Program, said the intensive focus
on instructional technology that took place during the COVID-19 distance learning
period was long overdue.
Years before the pandemic forced nearly all instruction to be done digitally, Lambert, along with former and current MLS faculty, had developed 100% online and completely asynchronous courses for the University’s MLS, relying heavily on MTSU’s Desire2Learn (D2L) learning management system. So when the direction came in March 2020 to move teaching to either a Zoom or online environment, or some combination, he said, “It was just business as usual.”
“And so, as everybody else was rushing to try to figure out some different options for how to teach online, we were good to go,” Lambert said.
Lambert strongly believes that students don’t miss out on quality education by taking a fully online course, if it is set up correctly.
“I wanted students to feel comfortable with their online studies, and especially with my lectures,” said Lambert, who has taught at the University since August 2016. “Students can actually see me lecturing in a little screen at the bottom. Then in the background, I have my PowerPoint slides."
So they get the full experience, short of them being able to raise their hand and ask a question . . . If there’s a particularly complex concept, I try and present it in different ways so if one way I explain it isn’t quite well-absorbed by the student, then hopefully, the other way I will explain it will be.
The most important instructional technology he uses is Screencast-o-Matic, video recording
software that captures whatever is displayed on the screen, along with audio and video
of him speaking. He also incorporates subscription-based library science technologies
such as Cataloger’s Desktop, RDA Toolkit, Classification Web, and OCLC’s Connexion.
The print versions of these resources can be hundreds of pages long, so accessing
them digitally is a huge advantage in time and expense. Other important components
in the online course are apps freely available through MTSU—primarily Excel, Access,
Adobe, and Word.
Another key tool is a web camera that he uses like a classroom “document camera,” allowing him to explain the parts of a book for library resource descriptions without having to do all the course setup in advance. Lambert’s LIBS 6020 Organization of Information course and under-development LIBS 6820 Advanced Metadata Management of Library Resources course require this type of description of print materials, so the doc cam allows him to demonstrate a book’s attributes as he would in-person.
“There are a lot of different attributes that make up an information resource such as a book, things like title, who published it, if it’s a new edition, the author, physical description,” he said. “What the camera allows me to do is show these very specific parts. For example, one of the things that is recorded in a bibliographic record is the extent of the item, how many pages, an index, and also a bibliography.
“In class I could pass this or other similar resources around to them. That’s not possible in an online environment. So I do what I think is the best way to show them short of them having it physically in their hands.”
Lambert said online teaching should never mean out of touch—he takes pride in being quickly accessible to students in virtual office hours by phone, email, or video chat, or even in person if that is preferred.
“There are two big things about online education: No. 1, students need to commit to it. They need to be self-disciplined to go online, log in, and actually engage in the activities. And then the second big thing is communication from the professor to the student and back, as well,” Lambert said.
I can’t just disappear. And my office hours are pretty much 24/7. If you’re not willing to be that committed to that level of communication, then you really should not be engaging in online education.
As the University moves back to mostly traditional in-person teaching, Lambert encourages
colleagues to not forget the lessons learned during the pandemic and continue incorporating
whatever technology will help students, especially nontraditional and graduate students.
“Our asynchronous method is a definite competitive advantage for our program,” he said. “And since the majority of our students are working parents, they really appreciate being able to go into detail and, after the kids have been put to bed, watch the lectures and engage in whatever assessment activities they need to complete for their grades.”
With indications that the pandemic has not completely gone away, Lambert said higher ed instructors should stay up on the latest available distance learning technology “to err on the side of caution and be prepared.” But even if the return to mostly traditional in-person education mode continues, these technologies can be a great supplement.
“When going back into the classroom, definitely consider recording your videos. Also, maybe consider actually creating an online class now that you’ve had some experience with it for a year.
If you’d like to, make a proposal to your program coordinator or chair of your department, and see if you can actually create an online course. MTSU is very generous with course creation.
Lambert was hired by MTSU in 2016 as an assistant professor in the MLS program and
took the leadership position after the retirement of Kathy Boudreau-Henry in 2017.
He has helped the MLS program achieve pre-candidacy for accreditation by the American
Library Association with a goal of full accreditation in the next few years.
Originally from western Canada, Lambert earned a Bachelor of Arts in History with a minor in Political Science from King’s University College, a liberal arts college affiliated with the University of Western Ontario (UWO). He returned to UWO to earn a master’s and Ph.D. in Library Science. He taught from 2005 to 2008 at UWO, now called Western University, before moving to Kent State University, where he taught from 2008-2015.
Lambert is married to his actor-wife Keri. His two children, Daevlynne and Reggie, attend high school at Central Magnet while playing travel volleyball and soccer, respectively, in their “free” time. Lambert enjoys home improvement projects and is an avid student of fitness, healthy living, and life extension. Like most librarians, he enjoys reading all sorts of material and staying up to date on current affairs.
Lambert received an Outstanding Achievement in Instructional Technology award. More information on the OAIT can be found at mtsu.edu/ait/faculty.php.
Tech Tips & Tricks:
Understand the NAC Agent and MAC address for Wi-Fi access
Accessing the internet on the MTSU campus is a bit more complicated than connecting
to a home network or even a public hotspot. The process is divided into two steps:
registration and assessment.
When seeking to connect to the Wi-Fi on campus, you will see one of two networks available to you—WLANMTSU and RESNETMT. In classrooms and public areas, you will see WLANMTSU. In dorm rooms you will see RESNETMT. Both will prompt you to register.
When registering, type in your PipelineMT username (the first part of your email address) and your password. After your password is accepted, you will be prompted to type in your name and an email address. Guest access is available, but it limits access to MTSU sites and is only good for 24 hours.
For some devices, such as smart phones and tablets, that is when the process ends. However, when setting up Windows-based laptops another step takes place. This leads us to assessment and remediation.
Windows computers are a target of hackers and a lot of bad software. To keep individuals and our network safe, we use the NAC Agent assess the computers that connect to the Wi-Fi. When Windows computers attempt network access, they are prompted to download the NAC Agent. The NAC Agent works like a watchdog that makes certain a computer meets a minimum-security profile.
What that means in layman's terms is that it checks to see if anti-virus software is installed, and that you have recently downloaded Windows updates.
After the NAC agent is installed, it will scan your computer, and if your computer is safe, it will let you onto the network. It is that simple. If the computer fails to meet the minimum security your computer will go into remediation and a pop-up will tell you to install anti-virus software or update your version of Windows.
Apple computer owners and people running the Linux operating system will not be asked to download the NAC Agent and are held to a different standard.
Access to Wi-Fi is available in classrooms, most buildings, and some courtyards. Students living on campus are able to connect their smart devices to the network in their dorm rooms.
If you have problems accessing Wi-Fi, contact the ITD Help Desk at 615-898-5345 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Finding MAC addresses
To connect to the campus Wi-Fi network, it is important to know how to get to the network settings on your devices and perhaps most importantly, how to find your device’s MAC address:
- Click on the Start button and select Settings.
- Select Network and Internet.
- Dependent on your connection type, choose Ethernet or Wi-Fi.
- Select the connection.
- Under the Properties section, look for the Physical Address (MAC) of the device.
- Open the Windows Command Prompt by clicking on the start menu and typing "cmd" in the search box and pressing enter.
- In Command Prompt, type “getmac” and press enter.
- The MAC address will be listed under Physical Address.
- Open System Preferences from the Apple menu.
- Click on Network.
- Select your currently active network connection from the left menu (Wi-Fi, Ethernet, etc.) and then click on Advanced in the lower right corner.
- Look at the bottom of the window for Wi-Fi Address. This is the machine’s MAC address.
- If you haven’t yet, sign in to your Chromebook.
- At the bottom right, select the time.
- Select the Wi-Fi network.
- At the top of the box, select Information.
- You’ll see your Chromebook’s IP address and IPv6 address. Your MAC address is labeled Wi-Fi.
- Locate and tap the Settings app.
- Scroll to find, then tap About Device (on some phones it will say About Phone).
- Tap Status.
- The MAC address is listed under WiFi Address.
- From a Home screen on your Apple® iPhone®, navigate: Settings > General.
- (If an app isn’t available on your Home screen, swipe left to access the App Library.)
- Tap About.
- View the MAC address (displays in the Wi-Fi Address field).
Refocus on familiar this fall as we head back into classrooms
What’s new for fall?
That question is often asked this time of year. But as the University moves back toward
traditional in-class learning, the better question is "What's still most important?"
The Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) made a free, appropriate education available to all students, and it’s been a law since 1975.
The Rehabilitation Act of 1973, Section 504, requires that any program or activity which receives federal funding provide protections for students with disabilities. Learn more at https://sites.ed.gov/idea/about-idea/#Rehab-Act.
In addition, the Americans with Disabilities Act protects those with special needs from discrimination, and it’s been a law since 1990.
Middle Tennessee State University has been required to make our services available and accessible to all eligible students for years.
To help our campus community adhere to these laws, MTSU has a director of ADA Compliance, Lance Alexis, as well as the Disability and Access Center, which provides accommodations for students that can help level the academic playing field.
For more info visit mtsu.edu/ada/or mtsu.edu/dac/.
We also have the Adaptive Technology Center, which can provide alternative formats for print or other media, special hardware or software, and other necessary services.
MTSU now has the following assistive/adaptive technology applications available for free to eligible students:
- Kurzweil 3000 reading/writing software
- TextHelp’s Read&Write Software
- Sonocent’s Audio Notetaker software
- JAWS (Job Access with Speech) screen reading software
- ZoomText screen magnification software
- LiveScribe smart notetaking pens
MTSU’s Faculty Instructional Technology Center also offers workshops that focus on
making your online course content accessible; these classes include tips for using
the accessibility features in Microsoft Word and PowerPoint, accessibility with D2L,
the campus’ learning management system, and instructions for captioning your instructional
videos. More info at mtsu.edu/ait/.
Check out the workshop calendar for upcoming classes at mtsu.edu/itd/workshops/calendar. For help with all these topics, you can contact us at email@example.com.
ITD Staff Profile: Justin Foster
From Legos to classroom tech, he enjoys building challenges
Justin Foster finds similarity between his job providing instructional technology in the classroom
and his longtime hobby—Lego building.
“A life lesson that I could take away from building Lego sets would be ‘haste makes waste’—if you don’t pay attention to what you are doing and go too fast, you will put a piece in the wrong place and the whole structure could get off by a simple mistake,” said Foster, who has worked as an ITD Specialist Desktop/Classroom tech since 2017.
“I am a tinkerer. I like to take things apart and see how they work. When I get the general idea of how it works, I’ll move on to the next random thing.”
Foster is a 2004 graduate of MTSU with a major in Recording Industry with a double minor in Entrepreneurship and Entertainment Technology.
"Pretty much BAS (Business and Aerospace) and the library were the newest buildings on campus when I started college," he recalled. "There was pretty much nothing from those buildings to Rutherford Boulevard. I remember having softball class in an open field where the Student Union now sits."
In his ITD role, he works as part of the team that provides instructional technology to the University’s 423 classrooms, maintaining, upgrading, and replacing it as needed.
Foster has worked for the University nearly 15 years now, first at the Walker Library as a library assistant for five years, then as a Local Service Provider for six years before coming to ITD. But there were a few odd jobs off campus before he started at MTSU.
“Immediately after I graduated, I worked as a stocker at Toys R Us. After that I started working at Patterson Park Community Center doing all sorts of things, from being the front desk assistant to weight room assistant and everything in between,” Foster said.
“I then got a job at the MGL Library, which is inside of Patterson Park, as a desk clerk. After that is when I started working part time at Walker Library as the Circulation Night Supervisor.”
Growing up in McMinnville, Foster was involved in sports such as basketball and baseball and outdoor activities such as hiking. He said he was “a late bloomer when it came to technology.”
And some of the first tech he experienced is another hobby that continues to this day—Nintendo gaming.
When I was young, I lived in the middle of nowhere in the country. They still do not have internet or cable services where I grew up. We could catch channel 5 on the antenna solid, but any other channel was up in the air.
“I liked to play my Nintendo Entertainment System, but I never really had a computer
or a whole lot of technology around. Later on, my school had Apple II's, and in high
school I took some computer CAD and coding classes, which is when I started to gain
interest in computers.”
As for Legos, Foster said he remains an AFOL (Adult Fan of Lego), and his favorite build ever was the 3,263-piece Grand Carousel.
“I like it because it is a large mechanical set and has a motor that actually makes it function. It also plays circus music while the set is running—just overall great design, challenging build,” said Foster.
He still collects classic Nintendo games.
“I enjoy playing painstakingly hard NES games. I don’t play as much as I used to because I have beaten most of the games that are considered the hardest on the system. Also, my friends sometimes visit and we still play Tecmo Super Bowl pretty competitively between us. Friendships have almost been lost over that game,” he joked.
His wife, Aurora, teaches violin and recently graduated from MTSU with a teaching degree. They have two German shepherds.
Employees are responsible for updating their directory information
Have you recently moved to a new office? Has your campus phone number recently changed?
Don’t forget to update your personal and campus directory information by logging into PipelineMT. From the Home screen in PipelineMT, click on Addresses and Phones in the right margin under Personal Information.
Under Campus Location, click Current to open an edit menu. Format the information as follows:
Address Line 1: MTSU Box: <Campus Box Number>
Address Line 2: <Building Abbreviation> <Room Number>
ZIP or Postal Code: 37132
Primary Phone Number for This Address:
Primary Area Code: 615
Phone Number: <xxxxxxx> where xxxxxxx is the 3-digit prefix and 4-digit extension
Refer to mtsu.edu/maps/docs/CampusMap.pdf for a list of official building abbreviations for campus buildings.
Once you have entered the correct information, click Submit. Information supplied under “Campus Location” is available via the electronic directory on the MTSU website, campus operators, and the automated directory system.
You also can click into other categories of work/personal information to update it as needed.
MTSU Tech Briefs
Equipment loans continuing for faculty, staff
Last year, in response to the increased demand for distance learning due to COVID-19,
ITD instituted an equipment checkout program.
The program is intended to provide a computer and/or a hot spot (mobile internet connection) to people who need reliable access. The service is free, and loans can last from as long as a semester to as short as a week or two.
Accessing the program is easy. Go to mtsu.edu/itd, click on Request Equipment, and fill out the online form. Once the online form is received, ITD Help Desk staff members find and set aside the requested equipment and the client is notified by email or phone.
Depending on the time of the year there can be a variety of computers available, ranging from MacBook Airs to Dell Precisions to HP Chromebooks. If you don’t see what you need, you can use the notes option to make a request and you will be contacted when one is returned.
The hot spots ITD provides are T-Mobile Alcatel products. Once charged up, these devices can provide internet access anywhere T-Mobile service is available.
They are capable of providing internet access for up to 15 devices and unlimited data to those who have no internet access or unreliable access.
Initially designed to support students, the equipment loan program was expanded to allow staff or faculty members to take advantage of it as well.
Help us help you relocate your phone
Moving to a new location on campus? Remember to email firstname.lastname@example.org before you start packing.
A Unified Communications technician will be happy to assist you with reconnecting your phone, as well as ensuring your phone connects properly to the network to eliminate potential issues in the future.
Also, it provides an opportunity for us to update your location record for E911. In your email, be sure to
include the following:
- Campus telephone number
- New location, including building and room number
- Date of move
We request a two-week notice on work order requests. Should you have additional questions, feel free to contact Unified Communications at 615-898-2991.
When your move is complete, you must update your campus location on PipelineMT so that the online directory has the most current information.