About the Award

All ITS personnel

Nomination accepted from:
Classified staff and administrative/professional faculty, wage employees, and students

Selection process:
Nominations will be reviewed by ITS Communications & Marketing.

Ribbon with "Caught in the Act" imprinted for display in recipient's workspace; card describing the actions recognized; name put into the annual raffle for a prize (not to exceed $100)

CITA Nomination Form

  • Please select one or more of the following options.

2019 CITA Awardees

2018 Awardees | 2017 Awardees | 2016 Awardees | 2015 Awardees
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Teresa Gibbons

Operation Cheese

Today, in solidarity of Tony Houdek’s and my initiative “Operation Cheese”, Teresa turned her camera on. Their intentions were clear, help us create a video-centric culture. Even Marilyn has voiced reservations about not having people in physical locations, but turning cameras on really does bring personality to meetings. Thanks Teresa!

Matt Berlejung

Christina Crockett & Lauren Reese

Operation Cheese

Today, in solidarity of Tony Houdek’s and my initiative “Operation Cheese”, Christina and Lauren turned their cameras on. Their intentions were clear, help us create a video-centric culture. Even Marilyn has voiced reservations about not having people in physical locations, but turning cameras on really does bring personality to meetings. Thanks Christina and Lauren!

Matt Berlejung

Lisa Carr

A brand new employee in the GEO office inside the Johnson Center had started work on Monday the 12th of August however her Net ID hadn't been fully enabled yet. Her office manager told me that some of her paperwork had been submitted late to HR which may have impacted her account creation.

As their office manager wanted me to provision a MacBook Pro for their new employee even though her NetID wasn't active I did as she asked and created a local account on the user's new mac. I then reached out to Lisa for assistance with the NetID since desktop technicians can't see the individual Net ID status as credentials are proliferating through our systems.

Lisa was extremely quick to reply to my request for help and immediately began helping with the issue. She did so calmly and kindly even though I had asked her directly for assistance. I feel like she truly always goes above and beyond to help especially when fellow ITS employees have questions or concerns. Lisa was able to get the user's Net ID issues sorted within hours and not only helped the new mason employee by getting them operational she helped ITS maintain a good relationship with the GEO office.

She's proven so many times over why she is a vital part of the ITS team, and I just want to make sure she continues to get recognized for her exceptional attitude, consistent attention to detail, and her ability to consistently deliver great service to users and co-workers.

Thank you Lisa!

Paul Damasco

Ghalib (Gray) Samman

Gray is committed to helping faculty with their course issues with blackboard, and goes above and beyond to assist them with issues, and will even teach himself a new skill on the spot to assist a customer.

Sid Yi

Ahmed Elgazar

I am very very far from being computer literate, but Ahmed was freaking amazing when it came to walking me through why my Outlook email wasn't working correctly. He was extremely patient with me, he didn't make me feel stupid, he answered every question I had (even though I'm sure some of them were probably things most people would know), and overall he made my phone call a very pleasant experience. I actually hope the next time I need IT help that I'll be able to request him!!!

Heather Sullivan

Jed Frye, Scott Rendin, Ahmad Shaker

Operation Cheese

In an attempt to create a video-centric culture, I have been turning my webcam on in Webex meetings. Before the launch of Webex, almost all meetings were in-person. The few that were not, were on Blackboard Collaborate. Now that we are asking people to flex their use of remote meetings software and other collaborative technology, A LOT of meetings are now online where they used to be in-person. With this, it is nice when fellow colleagues help me to push for organizational change, from the grassroots level. Today, in solidarity of Tony Houdek’s and my initiative “Operation Cheese”, Ahmad, Jed and Scott turned their cameras on. Their intentions were clear, help us create a video-centric culture. Thanks Ahmad, Jed and Scott!

Matt Berlejung

Valeria Verastegui & Sayf Turkomani

GMU Career Services emailed to thank the STAR Lab Staff for their help.

We met a few months ago after I did a presentation to Star Lab staff. I wanted to thank you for connecting me with the Mason Club. It is a great resource and I have started to record my podcast there.

The reason I am writing this email is to give a shout out to your amazing student staff. Today my colleagues and I came to STAR Lab to learn more about what equipment was available for rent and Valeria and Safy did an excellent job of answering all our questions. I was so impressed with their knowledge of the types of cameras and what they do as well as all the procedures that is required to rent equipment. They clearly are well-trained and component film makers.

I hope everyone has a great weekend! Take care!

Irem Dogancali

Tony Houdek

Operation Cheese

In an attempt to create a video-centric culture, I have been turning my webcam on in Webex meetings. Before the launch of Webex, almost all meetings were in-person. The few that were not, were on Blackboard Collaborate. Now that we are asking people to flex their use of remote meetings software and other collaborative technology, it is nice when fellow colleagues help me to push for organizational change, from the grassroots level. Today, in solidarity of my initiative Operation Cheese, Tony turned his camera on. His intentions were clear, help us create a video-centric culture. Thanks Tony!

Matt Berlejung


ITS Support Center

I may have to come in again and give your staff more headaches. Hopefully. My visit today will work and I will not bother the staff again. Your young men who assist those of us who are computer challenged have always been most polite, patient and very very kind. My computer skills are only to blame. I hope not to have to come in again this week or you can award me “pain of the week”. Thank you for always being there for those of us who are aging and give your staff extra explanation drills. The student working force is excellent..I am to blame for not progressing as fast as I should in this technological space. Thank your staff for forever being kind, patient and thoughtful.

Louise Murray
Former GMU Faculty/staff

Toni Mehrman

Toni provides excellent customer services. She is not only very responsive but also extremely thoughtful. For example, we requested to place an order for the engineers before July 4th. She took into consideration the long July 4th weekend such that no one would be at the office to receive these items then arranged for the delivery to take place immediately after we returned to work. Her attention to such detail is greatly appreciated.

Yu Kuo

Cheng Cheu


Many thanks, Cheng. You ITS folks never let me down.

My best,
Anne Reynolds

Lisa Carr, Richard Jackson

There was an event in the middle of the night on July 3rd that triggered alerts on more than 60 servers/services, managed by ITS staff across many teams. Lisa Carr and Richard Jackson immediately went into action by investigating possible causes, identifying impacted services (such as AWS services, EasyVista) then notifying the service owners, and constantly updating all on the status. Their effort helped to reduce the outage time and kept our customers informed.

Yu Kuo

Peter Duong, Rashid Hashem, and Larry Marca

It goes without saying, the Networking team is an amazing group of people. Every time I reach out to them for help I receive “the white glove treatment.”

They recognize that the network is a critical service that affects EVERY ITS service.

Recently I was having trouble with slow speeds from our Apple Content Caching server inside our VRF. While this might sound like a trivial issue, I assure you it is not trivial. Having content download at gigabit speeds is literally 10 times faster, which saves a lot of time and allows for quicker turn around time on repairs and reinstalls. When conducting a speed test and gathering more data, I learned that PXE boot for imaging PCs was also having issues.

I reached out to Larry Marca, who got Peter and Rashid involved. Peter and Rashid came over Wednesday, July 3rd to help troubleshoot what was going wrong. We started in the ADT office, testing our VRF, then using the same port and cable Peter was able to switch me over to the backbone, which worked just fine. This was a critical troubleshooting step that helped isolate the issue. We were also able to go to a different floor of the building that has a different model switch when that also exhibited the same behavior we went to a different building with a different core, which worked fine. We then went to a different building that was using the Innovation core, and we were able to replicate the issue.

All this troubleshooting helped isolate the issue to a faulty fiber link, which would have taken a lot longer to find had we not put in the leg work. Turns out it also fixed a problem GMU TV was having with pixelation on a video stream, and who knows what other issues.

I really appreciate that they’re willing and eager to come and work with me and take ownership of the issue and have a fast turn around on a solution.

I always enjoy working with them and wanted to make sure they were caught in the act.

Thanks again guys,
-Jed Frye

Dmitri Chebotarov

I can’t stress enough how important the hiring process is to an organization. That being said I was asked to be the hiring committee chair for an engineering level position. This is an extremely important position for the future growth of the organization in the CUI environment. I was a little nervous, but after learning Dmitri was on the committee I was immediately put at ease. This hiring process was not easy because we were looking for such a specific person with the right set of skills… not easy to find when the job market is so competitive. Unfortunately, we did have to close and reopen the position three times, but Dmitri stuck by my side through it all.

I really appreciated his patience and him taking time out of his insanely busy workload to do the hiring committee meetings and matrices. During the interviews, I appreciated him there to be able to shed light on some technologies that I was not familiar with (Puppet and Ansible). I’ve worked with Dmitri before and really appreciated being able to work with him in this capacity.

We were finally able to send a candidate to the second round of interviews. He is such a patient and very smart individual.

Thanks again Dmitri!
Jed Frye


Stephanie Klare

Thank you for your time, patience and detailed communication to get me through my IT difficulties with your ticket response on 6/23/19 at 3:04 PM. Following your instructions step-by-step fixed everything. Keep up the great work, IT Superhero!

Karunanidhi "Dennis" Naidu

Marques Wilson

Marques went above and beyond the call of duty by not only bringing our lab computer back onto MESA, but also upgrading the system to Windows 10, and creating unique administrator accounts that were tailored to our lab's needs. We are truly grateful for all the computers Marques has helped bring back into function in the lab, and hope to continue working with such stellar employees.

Mrinalini Ramanan

Marques Wilson

Marques Wilson has consistently provided helpful and timely IT support to Hylton Center admin staff. He always demonstrates an affable demeanor, efficiency, prompt response time, patience, and takes the time to help staff understand the technical issue at hand. He is 100% reliable and is always a pleasure to work with!

Carol DeVany

Tony Houdek

Tony was at the ready when my computer faced near certain death. He, no questions asked, came to help when I was distressed. He shared his knowledge to help me understand the issue and got me all squared away to resume business as usual. He even showed me some tricks that will help me work better in the future. Thanks, Tony!

Lauren Reese

Kristen Jennette

Kristen worked with Telecom Administration on moving a major application from a standalone pc to a virtual machine, as well as upgrading the application to its latest version. She worked diligently with our product vendor for an understanding of the application and worked tirelessly with Telecom until everyone had access and the application was working properly. We really appreciate her hard work, communication, and diligence in these tasks. We really do appreciate her effort!

Carolyn Combs

Tahisha Mayfield

Tahisha was given an impossible task—project managing a group of project managers on the IT Project Management Framework project. Her ability to step up to get the project to the finish-line by coordinating our tasks for a 2-month sprint to the finish. T put together the plan, tasks, and even created a life-size board for us to track our tasks as we worked to finish all the deliverables. We aren't always the easiest group to work with, but she kept us on task, herding the ITS "cats" into training sessions, delivering a strong product to be used by ITS. Thank you, T!

John Prette

Sean Stevens

With little advance notice about a facilities project, we were under a tight timeline to remove everything from a room in Arlington. I was prepared to roll up my sleeves and get the job done alone and get dirty doing it. Sean met me out there, got half the work done before I arrived and put in some hard labor moving furniture and preparing everything for their final destination. I did not want to impose on anyone and ask for help so I was prepared to do the work alone but because of Sean I didn't have to AND the effort took less than an hour (I'd planned for 3)!! Thanks, Sean!!

Joy Taylor

Chris Galvan

With little advance notice about a facilities project, we were under a tight timeline to remove everything from a room in Arlington. I was prepared to roll up my sleeves and get the job done alone and get dirty doing it. Chris, who is based in Fairfax but is providing an extra set of hands in Arlington for the month of June, knew I would be there and dug right in, moving furniture, equipment, anything that needed to be done. Unlike me, who was dressed for the work, he didn't hesitate to step right in. Thanks, Chris! I'd probably still be working on it if not for you!

Joy Taylor

Chloe Turnbull

She inventoried and organized a very large surplus order following classroom decommissioning.

Troy Powers

Janice Hatfield

She inventoried and organized a very large surplus order following classroom decommissioning.

Troy Powers


Toni Mehrman

While trying to finish some end of the year purchasing, we had a difficult time finding several needed items. Toni not only found the items in stock, but drove to the store to pick them up for us! Toni, thanks for making ITS purchasing so easy for us!!!

Joseph Balducci

Christine Cho, Teresa Gibbons, Owura Gyamfi, Brett Henry, Stephanie Klare, Bobby Maan, Zane Phipps, Nakiyah Wright & Sid Yi

Due to all the snow days we had, we had to move the Orientation Registration Site to the JC. Nakiyah, Bobby, and Brett were all hands on deck at the Transfer Orientation Registration Site to help people with their Patriot Pass logins. Your cheerful attitudes and help are always greatly appreciated by everyone! Thank you a million times over for doing this! Thank you also to Teresa, Stephanie, and Owura for coordinating the support. Thanks to Christine Cho and Sid Yi for helping out with the spaces. Zane, thanks for your wonderful suggestion about logging in correctly. The Orientation Office was able to put a plan in place to implement your suggestions. Thanks again to everyone for making this a great event and providing a wonderful student experience! You are truly One ITS!

Christina Crockett

Joy Taylor

The other day I stopped in the CLUB. While I was there, I thought to ask a general question to Sidney. When she did not know, she asked Joy, who took it upon herself to walk me through the CLUB and highlighted the forthcoming changes to her space. I appreciate that ANOTHER executive director is able to take the time to interface with me in her otherwise busy day.

Matthew Berlejung

Jed Frye

Jed is the best workstation admin I know. Whenever he sees a deficiency (or room to grow) when it comes to JAMF (Apple administration) and Webex (our office's services) he is quick to be of help. From administering the newest version of Meetings app on Self-Service to documenting thoughtful questions to our Cisco reps, Jed is sure to submit 100%. This clearly helps our office but also helps the faculty and staff be more productive. This directly helps the students that we are here to support.

Matthew Berlejung


Ben Allen

What is this? An Executive Director receiving a Caught In The Act? Yes.

Enterprise Collaboration (the VC arm at least) has recently required Ben to sound off quickly on multiple items in regards to our Webex Teams deployment. He has responded even faster than most non-Director coworkers. In recent examples, he has responded in a faster-than-ASAP-speed. Since Ben is a busy person, I don't believe this could be easily done, but it is really appreciated by our ENTIRE team. This has enabled us to do our jobs more efficiently and therefore serve our clients better. Thank you from Christina and Matthew!

Matthew Berlejung and Christina Frasson

Tracy Holt

Tracy has been integral to our Webex in the Classroom Project. Most recently, he has enabled the use of Shibboleth to authenticate users for Webex Teams. On many occasions, Tracy made himself available so that we could tirelessly test and tweak changes made to both Cisco's and Mason's environments. On one occasion (March 29th), we set aside 15 minutes with him. He spent the next 2 hours helping us with no complaints. Tracy is a really amazing employee and a really awesome person. I am glad to know Tracy and be able to work with him.

Matthew Berlejung

Mike Rothgeb

This morning Mike reached out to me letting me know that he had updated the Dev instance of ADFS and wanted me to test the Dev instance of Jamf. When I tried it, I did indeed get a Single Sign-On error, so I asked him for the updated metadata file. With much haste Mike provided it, I uploaded it, and it was working. This whole interaction took less than four minutes and was really good practice for what we can expect in production when the certificate is updated.

This situation may not seem like a big deal to some people, but I recognize the significance of this interaction... Mike was proactive and tested a mission-critical service in the dev environment so that when it comes to production we'll have little to no downtime. He's also really great to work with, which makes it enjoyable and not seem like work.

As always, thanks to Mike for the awesome support.


Joshua Grant

We had a misplaced piece of equipment. It was a part of two work order sets. In one visit, Josh identified the problem, the blocks to communication and completion, and resolved the issue with getting the equipment from its misplaced location (a small hunt through installed equipment after a hunt through excess equipment), activated the jack, programmed the phone, and ensured that we knew what happened and were well satisfied.

Charles Thilking

Whitney Sublett

Mason's Victim's Rights Race/Walk is more than "just" a great cause. In Whitney's hands, it's also an ITS team building/community building event.

Thank you, Whitney, for working wonders to create One ITS!

Susan Kehoe

Whitney Sublett

Whitney has once again outdone herself in rallying One ITS to participate in the 23rd annual Victims Right Walk/Run! Year after year, she continues to raise the bar informing awareness and support of such a wonderful cause here at George Mason. This strongly highlights her commitment to Our Shared Values of Communication by getting everyone involved from the outset. Innovation in getting our organization to be such a committed and well-represented part of such an important cause. Integrity and Respect by integrating our organization with the Mason and larger Fairfax community and making us accountable by getting us involved. All of this results in Teamwork and a stronger One ITS. This isn't a requirement or anything anyone asked her to do. This is who she is, and the character she exhibits. We are incredibly fortunate to have such a wonderful steward inside our organization. A tip of the cap and big thank you for all your efforts!!!

Tony Houdek

Whitney Sublett

Whitney is a steadfast champion of ITS and the Victim's Rights walk/run. Every year she manages all the moving parts to get ITS staff signed up and excited to do something as a team. Her enthusiasm for the cause and efforts to unite her colleagues are awesome and appreciated well beyond the day of the event. Thanks, Whitney, for your spirit and dedication.

We love (heart) Whitney!

Lauren Reese

The AMAZING Whitney Sublett

Team One ITS won the largest group two years in a row. I owe that honor solely to Whitney. Without her motivating and reminding we would be pretty lost. Also, she is the one to thank for the badass One ITS tattoos that were such a hit. As soon as I put it on my arm I swear forearm grew twice its size. With Whitney's magic tattoos not only did we show up in force, but we looked great while doing so.

Whitney is just an amazing person and everyone knows it so I'm just putting it in writing to make it super official.

Thank you, Whitney, for everything you do for us!


Whitney Sublett

Thank you so much, Whitney, for organizing One ITS participation in the annual Victims' Rights 5K Run/Walk. Your unwavering spirit and commitment to this cause and One ITS are an inspiration and example for all! I know it was challenging and extra work for you to submit us as a group. Thank you for your dedication, hard work, and perseverance to help us win the largest group award again! "Together we can!"

Christina Crockett

Whitney Sublett

Whitney went above and beyond once again in coordinating the ONE ITS team for the 2019 Victims Rights Run and Walk. Whitney's efforts to not only share information about signing up, but coordinating the team, gathering and handing out the team materials, and even preparing instructions for those of us who are clueless about the application of temporary tattoos, led to yet another event going off without a hitch. Congratulations to Whitney for once again leading ITS to the Biggest Team Award at the 2019 VRRW.

John Prette

Juan Laguna

Juan consistently goes out of his way to help our department in every we he can. He is always efficient and problem solves quickly to ensure our operating systems are operable and ready to go! Juan brings a positive approach to frustrating situations when our computers are down/need updating etc. He comes with a solution and quickly develops a plan and a backup plan to assist.

Amanda Meiklejohn

Cherie Galantis & Christina Frasson

Christina Frasson and Cherie Galantis came to my rescue this week when I found out at the last minute (about 1 hour before a meeting) that I needed to make the meeting a Webex because some people couldn't be there in person. I called Cherie and the room I had reserved had no set up for that. Christina remembered this new fangled thing they just got, called the Owl. They arrived ahead of me to the meeting, set it up, and stayed to make sure it was working well for us. They really saved the day! Totally unexpected by me, but so well appreciated!! They really went above and beyond to make sure we had a successful meeting. THANK YOU, Christina and Cherie!

Kathy Adcock

Juan Laguna

Juan always carries out his duties as if all requests are priorities and gives them his utmost attention.

Tim Hinzman

Juan Laguna

Juan always is personable and explains problems and solutions in a clear manner. He has also gone a step beyond by recommending things like expanding the memory on a machine with low RAM.

Amanda Westenberger

Juan Laguna

Juan stuck with an effort that was very time-consuming. I appreciated him staying in the office after hooking everything back up again to make sure everything I expected to be there was there—including my second monitor and access to printers!

Kathy Stewart

Lakshmi Maruwada, Karen Lalicker, Boniface Ntawutarama, Judy A Fortin & Francesca Brunner-Kennedy

Lakshmi, Karen, Boniface, Judy, and Francesca (BI Team) are always responsive, professional, friendly, and easy to work with. They had training scheduled in a room on the same day that I needed it for a summer Orientation session. They gracefully rescheduled their training so we could use the room for summer orientation. They not only represent One ITS but also are a wonderful example of how ITS works with the greater Mason community to provide the best student experience possible! Thank you so very much BI Team! You guys are awesome and amazing!

Christina Crockett

Habtuwold Mesfen

Habtu is always about the happiness of the "client, customer, user, staff/faculty, and contractors." This week, our contractor was met with many unforeseen complications on the fiber project that was not from their lack, but very frustrating to them. I found out that Habtu took it on himself and bought lunch for the crew working on this project. Seeing Habtu reach from himself, offering a token of appreciation by purchasing lunch for the workers out of his own pocket, was an inspiration on the value of real human interaction over digital. He made a personal connection. Building relationships that are strong are one of the cornerstones of success. Well Done Habtu!

David Bellinghoven

Juan Laguna

Juan always responds quickly to all of our issues at the Freedom Center. He is always quick to get the problem resolved. He recently got all of the staff computers upgraded to Windows 10 in record time. Juan is fantastic!!

Michael Wharton

Juan Laguna

Juan has helped our office at the Freedom Fitness Center Migrate to Windows 10 in a timely manner. He has accomplished this in less than 2 weeks, taking time to explain the procedure and giving an estimate of how long it will take. We appreciate his professionalism and his attention to this matter.

Mia Ruggles

Patrick Tam

My Mason desktop computer was running slower because of its age and limited resources. Patrick was able to replace the drive with a Solid State Drive (SSD) and upgrade the memory. Patrick was very efficient cloning my old drive, upgrading the computer memory, and installing the new drive. Patrick explained the whole process to me and stayed to make sure that my computer was functioning properly before leaving. Patrick delivered excellent customer service from scheduling the appointment to closure. Patrick is a skilled professional desktop engineer who is also an excellent representative for ITS!

John Kettlewell

Brian Davidson & Sandy Winter

I wanted to thank you both for the plan to eliminate Yesterday's Backup. I'm excited to sunset this service and I look forward to any additional ideas from you and your teams to eliminate duplicate capability in our and simplify our operations.

Ben Allen

Juan Laguna

He's all ways helped out. He's a very professional worker.

Dina Lozano

Juan Laguna

Always goes above and beyond to help me resolve any IT problems that occur. He responds right away.

Olga O'Brien

Juan Laguna

Juan is always prompt with order requests, does a thorough job and is very personable. he is always willing to assist and answer questions while working on our computers, and most often stops back in to check to make certain all is running as it should be.
Without him, our office would not function!!!

Robin Frey

Juan Laguna

Juan Laguna has always been our IT staple for the Freedom Center. Always ensures our equipment is working as it should and we are 100% happy before he leaves. If we have a quick question he is happy to help and does it in such a positive manner.

Karla Balk

Stephanie Klare

Following the ITS website launch, Stephanie notified the team that the customer experience of the Password Reset process had been disrupted. She took it upon herself to identify areas that needed to be updated to rectify this. She immediately connected with the service owner and set a plan to make all the necessary changes. Her communication was exceptional and even after the work had been done, Stephanie was diligent in identifying additional areas for improvement.

Lauren Reese


Jordan Firaben & Christian Yeganeh

Thank you both for adding the Duo Admin tool to the Support Center Wage Manual, it was/is a huge help.

Stephanie Klare

Matthew Tran

ITS Support in the JC kiosks: I would like to nominate Matthew, last name unknown to me, for any and all kinds of award you have available.

I met Matthew a couple of weeks ago when I was having a terrible day. I’m a professor. I teach classes, I write books, and my computer is perhaps the single most important tool in my professional life.

From the end of January for 16 days, until February 10, 2019, my MacBook Pro was in the custody of Apple computers for a variety of problem. When my MacBook was returned to my care on February 10, it had a new screen, a new keyboard, and trackpad, a new logic board. I think the only part not replaced was the battery. I arrived on campus on Monday, February 11, excited to get back to work.

That’s when my trouble began.

Apparently, the operating system was installed incorrectly and after 1 hour and 45 minutes on the phone with Apple Care, I was getting nowhere. Part of the problem in reinstalling the OS was difficulty getting on Secure-Mason. My office is on the second floor of the JC and I roamed around trying to get a better connection so that I could complete the reinstall. I remembered that sometimes IT has a kiosk in the JC, so I went down there and as luck would have it, I found Matthew.

I was very distraught. I was mad, frustrated and ready to pull my hair out. Matthew very calmly listened to my rant, and then he helped me. Even though his shift was over, and I think he had to go to class, Matthew waited, patiently, even setting up his own hotspot so that we could get my computer on the internet and get the OS downloaded and installed.

It’s been a couple of weeks and I’m more productive than ever and much of that is due to Matthew’s hard work and persistence.

Just minutes ago, when I went down to Panera, I saw Matthew sitting at the kiosk. I approached him and asked if he remembered me (he did, probably because I had been so distraught). I thanked him, he asked me how I was, and I asked if I could send in a letter of support. He handed me the enclosed card, which I felt was insufficient for me to truly express the difference that his commitment and skills have made in my life.

I’m not sure what rewards or awards are available, but Matthew is most deserving. And, I'm more than happy to submit a nomination or supply a letter.

Matthew is the best!

Angie Hattery

Debbie Penny

Although I filled out the survey, I wanted to take the extra moment to compliment DEBBIE for her help today. She was absolutely outstanding...and "angel" helping me through some IT hiccups!

Thanks for employing someone like her.

Most sincerely,
Tina D'Ercole

Stephanie Klare

I recently made a call to Stephanie to help better understand MESA Tools and provision and de-provisioning access based on rolls for MESA shares. Not only did she happily answer all my questions promptly; she also dove deeper to help uncover an even better path forward that will ultimately help improve our customers' interaction with ITS. This creates a win-win for everyone and is greatly appreciated. One ITS!

Tony Houdek

Gary Lee

CVT Datacenter Rack Cleanup

CVT was working on cleaning up our rack in the datacenter when Gary came out to assist us. He didn't have to do anything but we were grateful for his assistance. He helped advise on how neat we could make our rack to be tidy and clean. He provided us additional tools and gave us additional resources (velcro and zip ties) to make our rack proper. He also provided our empty space some rack space covering to make the rack appear sleek. He truly showed an act of kindness while showing us the proper method for ownership of our data rack space in the data center.

Douglas Hallock

Juan Laguna

There have been numerous occasions where we have had equipment go down at Science & Tech and Juan is ALWAYS willing to go above and beyond to help out his colleagues in Network Engineering.

Today specifically, we had a network device go down at Science & Tech after hours and needed to get someone on-site ASAP to investigate. After having just arrived home, Juan heard about the issue and headed straight back to campus to help us out.

Our group is extremely thankful for Juan and all that he does for NET.


Devin Bist

Cherie Galantis/ Matt Berlejung

Prior to a recording of our newest series, "Pathbreakers" our guest camera (via Webex) was displaying icons that would not go away! With 5 minutes left in our countdown, Cherie called up Matt who came running from his office and resolved the problem within 1 minute.

Many thanks for a quick response from the Enterprise Collaboration team!
Heather Bailey

Brendan Nary

Apple Content Caching

I would first like to say that I am so glad we hired Brendan full time! Every time I have the opportunity to work with him it proves we made the right decision.

I came to Brendan with a request of an Apple Content Caching server and he liked the idea of it. After a few meetings of me showing him and us looking at the traffic produced we were able to properly secure the server with only a few minor tweaks and fine-tuning.

What I love about working with Brendan is that he’s always attentive and it never feels like I’m wasting his time with my request. He’s always able to answer my question or research it to provide me with an answer or workaround.

Thanks to Brendan’s help, we now have an Apple Content Caching server that provides extremely fast content to all Apple devices on Mason’s network.

Jed Frye

Larry Marca

Apple Content Caching

I always love working with Larry because he’s always very helpful and super thorough.

From the bringing of this mini-project, Larry has been helping me build the network to host the Apple Content Caching server on.

From decommissioning an unused network, creating a new data center network, activating a 10Gb connection, and providing me with all the necessary details, Larry has been amazing.

Larry is always able to answer my questions or get me pointed in the right direction. Since it was my first time installing a brand new server in the data center I had many questions, but Larry was there to walk me through every step of the way and really made everything a lot easier.

Thanks to Larry’s help, we now have an Apple Content Caching server that provides extremely fast content to all Apple devices on Mason’s network.

Jed Frye

John Hanks (AKA DNS Master)

Apple Content Caching

I always love talking to John Hanks because he has a really fun sense of humor and he is basically a networking wizard so pretty much any question I have he’s able to answer or if he doesn’t know off the top of his head is able to come up with at least two different other solutions.

On Friday, February 22 I went over to John’s office and we were able to do some DNS magic. He gave me Mason’s public IP addresses, which I was able to add to the Apple Content Caching server, which it is to serve. Once that was done I gave John the DNS text record to add, and with a little bit of tweaking, we got it working. During the whole process, John made sure that I understood what he was doing and that we were on the same page every step of the way, which I appreciated because I was able to learn a few things in the process. I also really appreciated him taking the time out of his day to help me achieve this, which brings great benefit not only to the network but to Mason and all the Apple devices in use.

Thanks to John’s help, we now have an Apple Content Caching server that provides extremely fast content to all Apple devices on Mason’s network.

Jed Frye

Juan Laguna

Juan has a great personality and is always willing to help out whenever the Network & Security Team called. Be it restarting a switch, checking on the UPS's, or accessing an electrical issue, Juan is very easy to talk to and always interested in what needs to be done.

Without Juan's help, we would have to drive out to the Science&Tech campus for every minor issue. Juan's help has been invaluable to us and is greatly appreciated.

Tommy Dang


Umer Shahzad

Umer took the time to follow up and fixed my issue quickly.

Umer demonstrated technical know-how and solid communication skills while working with me to fix the issue.

Even after the issue has been fixed, Umer took time to share the technical document highlighted the steps to correct the issue should it recurs.

Tommy Dang

AJ Gambino

AJ stepped up and helped conduct testing on our 2FA system, including allowing us to delete his account so it could be recreated from scratch. He did this in the service of making sure our customers have as smooth an experience as possible while signing up. Thanks, AJ!

Elizabeth Redwine

Emily Pho

Emily stepped up and helped conduct testing on our 2FA system, including allowing us to delete her account so it could be recreated from scratch. She did this in the service of making sure our customers have as smooth an experience as possible while signing up. Thanks, Emily!

Elizabeth Redwine

Bobby Maan

Bobby stepped up and helped conduct testing on our 2FA system, including allowing us to delete his account so it could be recreated from scratch. He did this in the service of making sure our customers have as smooth an experience as possible while signing up. Thanks, Bobby!

Elizabeth Redwine

Anthony Wilson

Mathy House Culverts Project: I would like to nominate Anthony for the Caught in the Act recognition for his support with a utility strike during a construction project for Dr. Cabrera and Dr. Wu, which disrupted their communications utilities.

Anthony took on my request to coordinate a repair ticket for the various communications lines, as I had no information on how to go about this, especially related to residential work and who "owns" the utilities. He stayed with me during the whole process and pushed the utility companies to assess and make the repairs expeditiously. The high profile residents were satisfied.

Many thanks to Anthony for jumping in and becoming a capillary member of my construction team, during a period of "crisis".

Anthony's follow up was outstanding.

Erich A Miller

Tom Deike

Often times I feel like I'm constantly asking Tom for stuff like software to package and high-quality patch cables, and of course, Tom always delivers with a smile.

Tom understands that we (TSS) need certain things in order to do our jobs, he’s the support for the support and I want to make sure he’s recognized for what he does that makes our success possible.

Tom is and has always been there for anything I/we need... today it was a simple request for a long enough patch cable to active a server in the data center, but really it’s all the time and anytime I need him that he’s there.

Even with my countless asks of new/updated software Tom always checks to see if we have the latest version available to us and if not follows up in a week and puts it where I can access so that I can package and deploy it to our customers, which I know they appreciate.

Seriously, he’s better than the Key Master on Ghostbusters.

I love that Tom gets excited about technology like I do and has an understanding of the technology so he knows what is needed to support it.

I always enjoy engaging with Tom because he’s always reasonable and level headed and able to see things with multiple perspectives. When he gives his opinion it’s never forceful, but always very rational, well thought out, well spoken, and in a respectful way.

Thank you, Tom!
-Jed Frye

Heather Bailey, Glori Wills, Stacey Rathburn, Susan Kehoe, Michael Kurec

Michael, Glori, Stacey, Susan, and Heather (of GMU-TV) assisted the Mason Police Department in making the Innovation 4th Floor a safer place. Without these team players and miniature McGruff crime dogs, Mason would be a different place. Likely, a less safe place.

Matt Berlejung

Gloriana Wills, Stacey Rathbun, Michael Kurec, Heather Bailey, Susan Kehoe

I would like to nominate GMU-TV staff for being Mason Ready, and reporting suspicious activity occurring near the fourth-floor restrooms in Innovation Hall. I would especially like to single out Mike and Gloriana for observing the signs of illegal activity, capturing a picture of the suspect, and alerting Mason Police. Because of their bravery and reporting, the suspect was arrested; and Innovation Hall is a safer place today.

Don't mess with the fourth-floor restrooms!

Brian Gantt

Brandon Lancaster

Brandon recently was thrown into a situation where he absolutely excelled. We were short-staffed because of several meetings. Mason Admissions was scheduled to receive a primer on how to use Webex and their videoconference equipment. Brandon volunteered to go, taught them the ins-and-outs of the two technologies. I commend Brandon for filling that gap and fulfilling the need. Thank you, Brandon!

Matt Berlejung

Carrie Stewart

Carrie was instrumental and an absolute rock star in helping to get the ITSO office rebuild complete! She worked diligently with our office, Facilities, Networking, and external contractors to get the exact design we wanted. On top that, she made sure we got everything as requested. I am 100% convinced it would not have happened without her and for sure not as fast as it did take place.

Carrie was mindful to be on top of all the stakeholders involved in making this rebuild happen. That encompassed numerous on-site visits, phone calls, emails that enabled everyone to be on the same page. If something was not right or we changed plans mid game and needed something new, Carrie just made it happen.

Carrie was there every step of the way. She was a steward for our office and for ITS in maximizing our relationship with everyone involved in such a rebuild project. Any concerns we had, she effectively communicated back to the appropriate parties and made sure we got answers and results. It was a wonderful experience working with her and we are forever grateful for her efforts!!

Tony Houdek

Sarah Aljoumari

Sarah is an incredible asset to ITS and to Enterprise Collaboration for when we are setting up videoconferencing. We only wish that Sarah could be cloned and each clone given raises, as she deserves it! Thank you, Sarah, for being another dependable person in Classroom and Lab Technologies!

signed- the WHOLE videoconference team.

Matt Berlejung


Mukarram Shahzad

I’m writing a letter that is very long overdue, on behalf of an IT Support assistant, Mukarram. I have been assisted by him for a number of years, and want to commend him on his outstanding service that he has provided me on a consistent basis. He is not only very knowledgeable but if he does not know will take an inordinate amount of time and I dare say extreme patience in resolving my many issues that I have particularly due to old outdated technology. He is has been consistent over the years.

To be truthful, this letter was spurred by having an interaction with Mukarram, just yesterday and realized that it would be amiss on my part if I delayed any longer to share give him credit where credit is dearly due.

I do want to commend you, on a whole, especially lately for the consistent level of excellent support that has been provided. Mukarram stands out due to his level of maturity and professionalism and unwavering capacity to so consistent is his assistance over the years!

Mary Del Popolo

Cole Shifflett

Cole was awesome! He commits to deliverables and delivers on commitments, identified customer problems and maintains ownership until the issue is fully resolved, asks questions to clearly understand the customers' needs, and shares information with customers to build understanding.

Carryl Baldwin

Rob Faber

Never have I served on a hiring committee that went so smoothly and had the level of service Rob provided for the committee members in his role as the Committee Chair. From the start of the process with providing a clear matrix for candidate evaluation to the scheduling of the interviews around five complex schedules of the committee members to the fact that his preparation for each interview was impeccable. He brought us printed candidate packets that included the resume, application, cover letter, interview questions - already designated with who would ask each question, and, get this, PENCILS. He even thought of bringing writing instruments for us to make sure we were prepared for taking notes. As for the candidates, there was bottled water available on the table for each candidate has they walked in the room for the interview. All of his preparation made it incredibly easy for us to focus on the candidates so we could be effective in our interviews. And most importantly, it painted Mason in a great light for our candidates being interviewed. THANKS, ROB!

John Prette

Richard “BA” Jackson, Tracy Holt, Larry Song, Dmitri Chebotarov

Right before the break, it was identified by Tracy that a certificate that was generated a while ago was set to expire in mid-January. This is a pretty critical certificate that allows Jamf Cloud to communicate super securely with our Active Directory via the F5.

The problem was that the certificate contained an underscore “_” and should have been dash “-“ So the certificate had to be renamed and replaced as not to break any business function. Richard offered to do the work over the holiday break, which I really appreciated but postponed since we would have time once we returned from break.

Sure enough first thing back Richard called me to schedule the change out of certificates. It was an awesome demonstration of teamwork and collaboration involving multiple systems and people and everything with flawlessly with zero outages. While the exchange was happening, I learned a few things from Richard, as I always do when working with him.

Exchanges like this make me happy I work for ITS and that we have such good people that work in ITS.

Thanks again guys for all your help! It never goes unnoticed.

Jed Frye

Lisa Carr

Lisa went above and beyond in assisting with the account creation of incoming adjunct faculty. She took time out of her more-than-busy workday to help me with this. She single-handedly makes our lives easier. Lisa is the light; we would be lost in a sea of darkness without her.

Mukarram Shahzad

Carolyn Combs

I would just like to say Carolyn Combs does an AMAZING job updating the telephone ACD system when there is an unplanned closure. Whether the call comes at 5 a.m. or 10 a.m., as soon as the university announces a delayed opening or early closing, Carolyn updates the ACD system and sends notifications that it has been done. Consistently great service!

Teresa Gibbons

Pray Timalsina

Pray is a great dude! He commits to deliverables and delivers on commitments, identified customer problems and maintains ownership until the issue is fully resolved, asks questions to clearly understand the customers' needs, and shares information with customers to build understanding.

Evan Schrembs

Ahmad Shaker

Ahmad has been a huge lifesaver for me. Last semester we hired the largest incoming group of wage employees in my career. I am tasked with the training of these new hires and I was overwhelmed with updating documentation as well as creating a new training program. Ahmad was irreplaceable! He was right there beside me (literally) anytime I needed someone to bounce ideas off of or to review any documentation. At least once a week, he even went back to his roots and worked the wage task covering the front walk-in to ensure that our new guys had a good understanding of the job and to provide any immediate support, which was very frequent. He was and is amazing and I wouldn't have been able to do it without him.

I'd also just like to note that he also did all his regular duties while this was happening. He's a multi-tasking llama king! Thanks!

Stephanie Klare

Matt Berlejung, Christina Frasson

Previously we were on an older version of Cisco Webex Meetings that was locked down. This meant that we were no receiving updates in a timely manner and were having issues with the newer operating systems and the older version of Cisco Webex Meeting; more specifically the desktop app integrating with Outlook.

I reported this to Matt & Christina and the response was amazing and exactly what I have come to expect of the A-Team players in ITS. They immediately took action and investigated why we were on the locked down version, and once it was found that it didn’t make business sense we upgraded to the latest.

I can’t express in words how much I appreciate this. The upgrade means better user experience and fewer problems on the user’s end. Problems the users will never see because the problems were prevented.

Being proactive really is an underrated trait and I want to acknowledge this with the CTV group. Great people that I always enjoy working with.

Thanks again!
Jed Frye

Carrie Stewart

Carrie is such a valued asset to ITS. I only recently met Carrie when I was told to talk to her about moving my team. She was initially very cheerful and willing to help in any way that she could. She eagerly accepted a number of tasks in order to reduce my workload and get everyone moved quickly and efficiently. Once the moves began, she visited my office and noticed a number of outstanding tasks that I intended to complete. Well, it wasn't necessary at all because Carrie took 90% of those tasks away from me and completed them that day! In addition, she went out of her way to obtain requested items for the team just because she wanted to! I am awed by her enthusiasm and desire to assist the team. WOW! She is an AMAZING lady and I look forward to working with her in the near future. GO CARRIE!!

Crystal Clemons

Carrie Stewart

Carrie was instrumental in getting the PMO and Communications Suite in Aquia updated to handle our growing staff. She worked with us and with the space planners to find furniture that fits, a layout that works, and most importantly followed through with EVERYTHING throughout the process. She made sure that we didn't miss a step from coordinating the move out of old furniture, surplus, network setup, ordering of chairs, nameplates, and more. And, she always checked in with us and kept us in the loop through the entire process. I lost track of the number of times she stopped in to see if we needed anything and if all the work that was supposed to happen happened. THANK YOU, Carrie!

John Prette