Exemplary Practice Award Winners

2021: University of Oregon COVID Testing

Melody Riley, Associate CIO for Applications and Middleware, receives a plaque from NWACC President Marty Ringle.

The Challenge

The university needed to collect and process test samples on a large scale for asymptomatic county residents, students living on and off campus in group or apartment living settings, faculty, and employees whose work requires them to be on campus, and underserved communities disproportionately impacted by COVID-19. The COVID-19 Monitoring and Assessment Program (MAP) was created in spring 2020 to develop a clinical laboratory and expand the university’s testing capacity for the coronavirus that causes COVID-19. This capacity was a part of the Oregon Testing Initiative designed to increase testing capacity across the state to minimize the negative health and economic impact of the pandemic.

The university had to build a non-existent function from scratch in a very short timeframe, which required teams from university housing, health services, administrative leadership, labs, data science, research, legal, procurement, information security, application development, end-user support, network and infrastructure, state and local government plus multiple vendors coming together to scope business requirements, data sharing agreements, regulatory compliance needs, solutions architecture, and design.

The Project/Solution

The university partners and solution participants came together to formulate a vision, identified the customer journey, and progressed through an iterative development process during a highly uncertain time, while operating remotely. The result was a mobile-friendly Clinical Intake Solution which included an online method for individuals to register for testing events, be checked-in at static and mobile testing locations on campus and across the state by testing staff, record successful specimen collection, transfer specimens to the lab for processing with a high-throughput, and provide results to the individual. Daily results were also shared with the university health services, the state and county health departments for monitoring COVID statistics and trends. The University of Oregon COVID Testing practice used the following technologies: MazikCare built on top of Microsoft Dynamics, PowerApps and Power Automate; Microsoft PowerBI; Twilio for SMS; and HL7 Laboratory Management System.


This certified lab has processed approximately 90,000 SARS-CoV-2 samples from its creation in fall 2020 through August 2021. The collections team and laboratory are now postured, using these systems to process and result nearly 10,000 samples per day. These results are regularly tracked within the solution and shared with the Oregon Health Authority for monitoring COVID impacts in the communities we are serving. This system is now being leveraged to provide free take-home screening testing to K-12 students across Oregon Health Authority Regions 3 and 5 (Lane, Douglas, Curry, Coos, Jackson, and Josephine Counties) through a U.S. Dept of Health and Human Services grant. Monitoring and Assessment Program (MAP) | COVID-19 Safety Resources (uoregon.edu)

Relevance for Other Institutions

The result has application at peer organizations who are addressing COVID response and testing across multiple populations and agencies with data insights relative to public health. As a highly efficient and effective solution for campus and community users, this effort highlights the importance of collaboration across multiple IT and non-IT teams.


2012: iGFU Mobile Portal, George Fox University

Brian McLaughlin (via video) and Tim Goodfellow receive a plaque from NWACC Board Chair Dave Tindall.

The Challenge

A mobile portal is an expectation for navigating higher education today. Creating innovative uses for a mobile portal requires a proper technical foundation and tool kit in the hands of creative developers. The iGFU mobile portal has all the normal lookups and event listings, it taps into enterprise applications like the LMS and ERP to extract faculty, staff and student information. But iGFU’s creator, Brian McLaughlin, knew it could do more, so he started soliciting requests for what the user base wanted. A basic rule to follow for mobile development: does a service provide useful information that one might request while walking across campus. Of course this focus tended to lead to a web based design that was mobile ready but could be accessed most anywhere. Because data access for mobile presentation had to be efficient and presentation had to be simple, requests started surfacing for business activity that was in desperate need of simplification. The first was the presentation of real time budget data to managers at the university. Another was simplifying the process of offering student advising and the list kept growing.

The Project/Solution

Some of the more challenging mobile service requests were based on access to the PeopleSoft ERP system with access control requirements, especially the observance of commitment control for working with budgetary reports. Brian McLaughlin is the mobile presentation guru as well as the holder of the keys to the data since he is the Database Administrator. But it was Tim Goodfellow who had perfected the use of data extraction efficiencies by using the PeopleTools Web Services technique. So to answer the plea from our new CFO for a more effective quick view for budget managers, Brian and Tim designed, developed, secured and validated a platform independent mobile application scaled to what ever screen size one’s mobile device had.


Relevance for Other Institutions
Most institutions of higher education today have or are working on some form of a mobile application presence for their campuses. The design strategy used by Brian and Tim can be replicated for any data access and manipulation from today’s enterprise systems. It is not just about owning your own mobile strategy, it is about controlling it.


Creation of a Campus Culture of Stewardship for Administrative Information | Administrative Information Environment Group and Information & Technology Services, Pacific Lutheran University

Administrative Information Environment (AIE) Group: Steven Starkovich, Provost; Sheri Tonn, VP/Finance; Karl Stumo, VP/Admissions; Laura Majovski, VP/Student Life; Steven Olson, VP/Development; Kristin Plaehn, Registrar; Greg Brewis, Executive Director/University Communications; Deirdre McGoldrick, Systems & Data Analyst/Institutional Planning

I&TS Leadership Council: David Allen, Director/Systems & Communications; Susan Jennings, Director/Information Systems; Fran Lane Rasmus, Director/Library Services; Layne Nordgren, Director/User Services & Instructional Technologies; Chris Ferguson, Associate Provost/I&TS

The Challenge
Creating a dynamic, well-maintained, and effective administrative information environment (AIE) requires that many individuals and groups across the institution understand their key roles in providing stewardship for institutional data.  Development and maintenance of an effective AIE is not solely the responsibility of the administrative computing group or the IT department; a commitment to stewardship is required from multiple institutional levels and partners, starting with executive leadership, flowing through systems managers and data custodians, and extending to nearly all members of the community.

Over the decade following initial deployment of the Banner administrative information system in 1997, ownership of data and participation of personnel in the functional areas (e.g., Admissions, Office of the Registrar, Financial Aid) waned even as expectations of executive leadership increased for I&TS management of projects, deployment of new enterprise systems, and support for functional area data managers.

The Project/Solution
A high-level group, including campus executive leadership, was formed in 2008 to foster a campus-wide commitment to an excellent AIE.  The group established ownership of & leadership for the existing AIE by setting project priorities and considering new technologies and functions that it wanted to deploy, but came to understand the limitations of the institution’s stewardship model.  Through a thoughtful and sustained effort guided by consultants G. Spencer and B. Hoyt, this high-level group developed its planning and leadership role more fully, acquired greater understanding of the stewardship required for the AIE at all levels, and formed a multi-year strategic plan.  Under the plan, PLU has to date accomplished considerable foundational work in cultivating a campus-wide culture of stewardship, restructured the academic computing unit, completed a series of business process analyses, and is currently building a series of data marts while beginning the acquisition process for a constituent relationship management system (CRMS). As I&TS restructured in partial response to this initiative, it engaged in extensive organization development with one of the consultants.


Relevance for Other Institutions

Every higher education institution needs to find the right balance in providing stewardship for its AIE.  Campus leadership, individual departments, staff within those departments, and members of the IT staff all play critical roles.  If these roles and responsibilities are or become misaligned, or commitments are not kept, the information environment will decrease in benefit to the institution.  A sustained effort by all parties to maintain a high-quality administrative information environment is in the best interest of the institution and is essential for institutional effectiveness and competitiveness.

Program Revision

The scope of the Hugi Award Program was expanded in 2010. Prior to 2010, Hugi Excellence Awards recognized and raised awareness of outstanding IT practices among higher education institutions of the Pacific Northwest that provided useful models for improving technology resources throughout the region. Awards were made in the following categories:

Honorees from 2009 and earlier were selected within these parameters.


In the category of Academic Technologies | Technology Across the Curriculum GEMS Oregon State University

Oregon State University’s Technology Across the Curriculum (TAC) creates online tutorials called GEMS (Generating Educational Mastery System) to provide faculty and students quick training and solutions to specific technology-related questions. GEMS provide “just-in-time” online training for faculty seeking information on specific functions in applications they work with on a daily basis. GEMS allow TAC staff time to engage faculty in broader questions and strategies to improve educational quality without bypassing the critical role of providing how-to instructions to meet immediate training needs.

In the category of Technology Infrastructure | Effective Support of Classroom Technology Systems via Control, Monitoring and Preventive Maintenance • University of Idaho

High daytime utilization of technology-enhanced classrooms, along with a high ratio of rooms to technicians, generally precludes Classroom Technology support personnel from making first-hand observations of every room throughout the day. However, a well-planned system utilizing control and monitoring elements enables a small group of technicians to receive up-to-the-minute status of all classrooms at a glance. Control and monitoring systems help make it possible for personnel to rapidly take action to assist users, spot trends, and develop preventive maintenance strategies to ensure that classroom technology systems are effectively supported and reliable.

In the category of Business Processes & Systems | Academic Planner University of Montana

The Academic Planner improves student retention by making it easier for students to plan their academic careers. A student can use this single tool to search for courses, using intuitive and robust search capabilities, read the course description, add the course to the plan, view/print the resulting schedule, and save to a database for future use. Once the plan is completed the student can email the results to an advisor for electronic or in-person comments facilitating early advising when the student is not yet on campus. Alternative plans can be created to assess the feasibility of changing majors or rearranging classes. Storage of the plan in a secure database makes it accessible anytime from on or off campus.


In the category of Academic Technology | Teaching with Digital Images in Classics & Humanities Reed College

Through a collaboration involving Computing, the Library, Visual Resources staff, and Classics faculty, Reed launched a pilot project to develop and customize a CONTENTdm-based image collection for teaching in Classics and Humanities. The success of this project results from a multi-faceted approach that integrates systems, content, metadata and web interfaces to build a comprehensive, full-featured teaching resource.

In the category of Technology Infrastructure | Managing P2P File Sharing on a Residential Campus • Central Washington University

CWU successfully implemented a two-pronged P2P file sharing management stratgey, which consists of a multi-faceted training and awareness program to educate students on the illegality of file sharing copyrighted material, and on the purposes of Intellectual Property, and implementation of technologies designed to stop/eliminate illegal P2P file sharing, while providing resources necessary for legal P2P.

In the category of Business Process & Systems | Map Information Tool Pacific Northwest National Laboratory

Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (PNNL) developed the Map Information Tool (MIT), a one-stop, GIS-based, web-accessible system that provides facility and space information to PNNL’s visitors and staff, including safeguards and security personnel and first responders.


In the category of Academic Technology | CLEo - Implementing the Sakai Collaboration and Learning Environment Office of Technology, Whitman College

CLEo (Collaboration and Learning Environment [online]) is Whitman College's successful implementation of the community source Sakai Project. Whitman is the first U.S. institution to completely and successfully migrate from a commercial vendor to the Sakai platform, and was recognized in a "Sakai Spotlight"by the Sakai Community.

In the category of Technology Infrastructure | Outdoor Campus Public Safety Camera System • Pacific Northwest National Laboratory

The Campus Camera and Emergency Call Station system enhances the safety and security of staff and visitors to the Pacific Northwest National Laboratory. Their implementation leverages both state-of-the-art wireless mesh technology and commodity wireless technologies.

In the category of IT Management and Administration | Unclassified Cyber Security Awareness Training Pacific Northwest National Laboratory

Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (PNNL) has endeavored through a number of initiatives to raise the awareness of cyber security issues and challenges both at work and at home. Elements of the multi-faceted awareness and education program include on-line training (mandatory for all staff and extended-stay visitors), posters, postcards, and newsletters.

View Press Release

Other Notable Practices (2007)


Catalyst WebQ for Research The Office of Learning Technologies at the University of Washington

Catalyst provides tools and services to help faculty, students, researchers, and staff achieve their teaching, learning, and research goals.  Technology is viewed as a means to this end--specifically through WebQ, a collaboration and communication tool designed by the Catalyst group and available to the whole UW community.

View the press release here.


Orbis Cascade Alliance
The Orbis Cascade Alliance is a library consortium composed of 31 public and private colleges, community colleges, and universities in Oregon and Washington. The Alliance provides a range of services to member libraries, and to other libraries in the region. Chief among these are the Summit union catalog, Summit Borrowing, electronic resource purchasing (ejournals, ebooks, databases), and courier service.