About the Award

Dimensions of Teamwork:

  • Demonstrates ownership and accountability for achieving project/committee goals/tasks
  • Demonstrates resourcefulness when faced with challenging problems and/or constrained resources
  • Works to do what is best for all stakeholders
  • Develops innovative solutions to business challenges and embraces change as an opportunity for growth
  • Exhibits an openness to new ideas and partnerships
  • Participates in collaborative problem-solving, breaking down boundaries and/or create new relationships to improve the way work gets done
  • Inspires a high level of commitment from others when taking on new initiatives

ITS project teams of any kind including, but not exclusively, teams working on PPMO managed projects, as well as members of committees and groups working on significant tasks that reduce cost, or enhance the effectiveness, or efficiency of ITS.

Nomination accepted from:
Especially ITS managers in support of the recognition of work of their teams, but any member of ITS or Mason may nominate a team.

Selection process:
The selection process is coordinated by the ITS Operations Team. Once the submissions are collected and packaged, the Ops Team will submit the nomination packages to the ITS Senior Leadership Team who review the nominations and recommend a winner.


  • Formal recognition at the Semiannual All-Staff meeting
  • Team name engraved on the ITS Extraordinary Achievement plaque that will be displayed outside the CIO's office
  • CIO sponsored/hosted luncheon with the team members and project/committee sponsor(s)

Extraordinary Achievement Award Nomination Form

EA Awardees

Previous EA Awardees
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Spring 2019: Banner 9 Admin Upgrade Team
Team Members:

Kathy Adcock, Jeanette Blanchard, Liz Boyen, Brian Davidson, Nikki Dinh, Mary Lulis, Nian Ma, Khoi Nguyen, Lori Polnow (lead), Abdur Razzak, Allen Santora, Belinda Taylor, Tian Wang


This project focused on implementing the Banner 9 Administrative Applications to replace Banner INB. These are mission critical back office applications used to run the university, including the management of Financial Aid, Student Records, Payroll, Accounts Payable and Receivable, Student Accounts, and Human Resources. The team had a deadline of December 31, 2018 to implement the upgrade or Mason would have been out of the compliance for regulatory patches for a number of functions including Financial Aid and Payroll. The upgrade was also needed to keep Banner on a supported version of underlying Oracle software. All Mason functional units (Registrar, HR/Payroll, Financial Aid, Finance, etc.) were involved in testing the upgrade. New servers were required along with extensive integration with the central authentication service (CAS) and other applications.

The team made extensive use of the Enterprise Project Management Online (EPMO) tools, the Banner Governance committees (PEC and PCS) to manage ITS project-related tasks, and Mason unit coordination and related activities.

Communications with Mason business units during testing was crucial to the success of the project along with timely coordination with Ellucian (vendor) to assess and fix problems. The Database Support team worked extensively with Systems Engineering to develop solutions that were Mason specific, most notably for CAS. The Banner support team kept the project moving while simultaneously supporting the Banner 8 application to provide users with the ability to readily fall back to the previous release as needed while the Banner support team and Ellucian worked various issues.

The upgrade to Banner 9 Admin along with upgrades to underlying Oracle and operating system software kept Mason compliant with the regulatory needs of the functional office. The upgrade also kept Mason up to date on software (Banner) that is at the core of Mason's business.

Fall 2018: Peterson Hall ITS Move Team

Peterson Hall ITS Move Team

Team Members:

Rodrigo Alva, David Bellinghoven, Mike Benedict, Devin Bist, Mohammed Boukhira, Shawn Blackwell, Cassie Carter, Crystal Clemons, Matt Cloutier, Tommy Dang, Tom Deike, Rob Faber, Kevin Gibson, John Hanks, Aly Lo, Greg Luce, Sophia Luu, Michael Mauck, Habtu Mesfen, Leann Pittman, Alex Seals, Rebecca Stone, Patrick Tam, Leon Truong, Tuan Vu, Anthony Wilson, Andrew Witham


The ITS move team is involved in every major relocation and in the IT infrastructure design of new spaces. In the case of Peterson Hall, this team has been working for years planning and overseeing the implementation of technology in this building. The culmination of these efforts involved the setup and testing of all computers, phones, and technology, both new and any equipment brought over with the new tenants. Ultimately, it is the responsibility of this team to plan, oversee, execute and ensure the IT components are installed and meet the IT requirements and policies.

An integral piece of the Move team is the ITS Move Coordinator. This role coordinates all the ITS departments involved and ensures integration and coordination with other groups involved (Facilities and the Tenants in particular). When long time ITS Move Coordinator Jean Callahan retired from Mason, a great deal of experience and knowledge about moves (particularly to new buildings) was lost. Rob Faber took over as ITS move coordinator very late in the Peterson Hall project and was overwhelmed with the complexity and coordination already taking place. The team, particularly the principal members (Mike Mauck, Tom Deike, Cassie Carter, John Hanks, and Kevin Gibson), had already stepped up and taken on the responsibility of coordination. This involved crossing over lines to understand more than just their part of the process. The team worked with Rob, focusing him on where he could be of most use, continuing to shoulder coordination activities until he could come up to speed and wrap his head around this immense undertaking. Moreover, as the team came together to understand what needed to be done, they went further and re-evaluated traditional processes and procedures. This effort lead to changes that resulted in a more efficient process.

The move into Peterson Hall was smooth and without major incident. The extraordinary efforts of the ITS Move Team facilitated an opportunity to show the College of Health and Human Services and others how, despite the loss of a valued resource, the skills, experience, and dedication of the ITS teams involved came together and accomplished the mission and improved the overall process.