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WU TechDay Conference 2024

February 20, 2024 at the University Center, Salem Campus

Willamette University's Salem Campus (aerial photo)

Date and Time

February 20, 2024
8:30 a.m. – 3:30 p.m.


Putnam University Center
Salem Campus

About WU TechDay

We are excited to invite students, faculty, and staff to join us at this no-cost event, a vibrant convergence of ideas, innovation, and insight. This conference is a unique opportunity for our academic community to explore the dynamic intersection of technology and higher education. Our theme this year, "Empowering Learning through Technology," reflects our commitment to embracing the transformative power of digital tools and platforms. As we gather to share knowledge and experiences, our aim is to foster a culture of continuous learning and adaptation, essential in the ever-evolving landscape of technology.

At the heart of this conference are workshops designed to enlighten and engage. From understanding the nuances of campus safety technologies to mastering the latest digital tools for education, each session is crafted to enhance your skills and expand your perspectives. Alongside these practical workshops, our distinguished keynote speaker, the CTO of WorkDay, will delve into the future of technology in the professional sphere, offering invaluable insights into emerging trends and strategies. Moreover, the conference will feature interactive sessions, including a Women in Technology discussion Willamette's own Dr. Kristen Gore, and a unique opportunity to network, ensuring a well-rounded experience that combines learning, collaboration, and innovation.

This event was made possible by our sponsors of this event: Workday, Presidio, TechHeads, and OculusIT, as well as the WU Tech Day Planning Committee.

Hosted by
Office of the Chief Information Officer

Program Schedule

Check out the various sessions being held at WU TechDay as well as their program times and locations.

  • Registration & Networking | 8:30–9 a.m.
    • Location: Putnam University Center, Salem Campus
  • Opening Remarks | 9–9:30 a.m.
    • Introduction: Jeremy Lovato, Willamette University Chief Information Officer
    • Presidential Welcome: Steve Thorsett, Willamette University President
  • Keynote | 9:40–10:25 a.m.

    The Next Wave: Envisioning Technology's Future in the Professional Sphere

    • Presenter: Dave Sohighian, Workday Chief Technology Officer
    • Location: Cat Cavern

    Embark on an exhilarating journey into the future with the CTO of WorkDay in this dynamic keynote presentation. Moving beyond the confines of higher education, we'll dive into the vast potential of emerging technologies in the professional realm. This talk will showcase groundbreaking innovations and predict transformative trends that are set to redefine how we work, communicate, and solve complex challenges in various industries. Attendees will get a glimpse into a future where technology seamlessly integrates into the fabric of professional life, creating new opportunities, enhancing efficiency, and reshaping the landscape of the modern workplace.

  • Session 1 Workshops | 10:30–11:15 a.m.

    AI is Society's Mirror: We Need You in It's Development

    • Presenter: Justus Eaglesmith, Data Scientist and Willamette University Alum Masters in Data Science (MSDS) Masters in Business Administration (MBA)
    • Location: Autzen Conference Room, Putnam University Center, 3rd floor

    This breakout explores the indispensable role of the humanities and social sciences in creating AI that upholds our societal values. As we push towards a future interwoven with AI, challenges in bias, privacy, and ethical decision-making emerge, requiring the insights and guidance that only non-technical perspectives can provide. This presentation invites university students, faculty, and staff from all disciplines to engage in a critical dialogue on how they can contribute to the responsible evolution of AI technologies, ensuring they serve as a mirror to the best of human intentions, rather than our inadvertent prejudices.

    Securing Our Campus: Best Practices and Technology Systems

    • Presenter: Andrew Fresh, Willamette University Director of Campus Safety
    • Location: Harrison Conference Room, Putnam University Center, 3rd floor

    This workshop will introduce the key technology systems in place that ensure a safe learning environment. The session will cover strategies for using these technologies effectively, including surveillance, emergency communication, and access control systems.

    Augmented Reality (AR) in Higher Education

    • Presenter: Chris Vieira, Guest Speaker
    • Location: Cat Cavern, Putnam University Center, 2nd floor

    This presentation highlights how instructors can easily bring augmented reality app into their existing lessons to enhance student engagement and motivation across subject areas, from mathematics and science to history and the arts.

    Essentials of Colleague Finance: Key Insights for Effective Management

    • Presenters:
      • Megan Mannenbach, Willamette University Director of Budgets
      • Scott Schaefer, Willamette University Controller
    • Location: Alumni Lounge, Putnam University Center, 3rd floor

    Dive into the essentials of Colleague Finance with a focus on understanding the chart of accounts, adhering to key financial policies, and grasping the fundamentals of the budgeting process. This workshop aims to equip attendees with the necessary knowledge to navigate financial management tools and processes efficiently within an academic environment.

    Maximizing Handshake: A Guide for Employers and Students

    • Presenters:
      • Anne Lapour,Willamette University Career Development Director
      • Sal Chapell, Willamette University Student
    • Location: Parents Conference Room, Putnam University Center, 3rd floor

    This workshop offers a comprehensive look at the university's student employment portal, with a special focus on Handshake from both the employer and student/applicant viewpoints. Attendees will learn how to effectively use the platform for job postings, applications, and networking.

  • Lunch | 11:30 a.m. – 1 p.m.

    Lunch Presentation by WorkDay: Innovations in Student and Financial Management

    Join us for a special lunch presentation by WorkDay, our esteemed sponsor, highlighting their cutting-edge Student Information System (SIS) and Finance platforms. This session will offer insights into how WorkDay's solutions can revolutionize university administration and financial management. Discover the benefits of an integrated, user friendly system that enhances operational efficiency, data management, and strategic decision-making in higher education.

  • Interactive Session | 1–2:00 p.m.

    Art of the Possible Financials demo

    • Location: Cat Cavern

    Finance staff, budget managers, and finance enthusiasts are invited to remain in Cat Cavern for a deeper dive into Workday Finance. This session is designed to unveil the full potential of Workday Finance and will demonstrate how Workday's innovative features can streamline financial processes, enhance data-driven decision-making, and improve overall financial management. This workshop is a must-attend for those looking to optimize financial operations and embrace the future of financial management technology.

  • Session 2 Workshops | 1:10–1:55 p.m.

    Introducing MyWillamette: Transforming Campus Connectivity

    • Presenter: Jason Redcedar, Director of Web Applications
    • Location: Parents Conference Room, Putnam University Center, 3rd floor

    MyWillamette revolutionizes access to campus resources and internal communication with just a few clicks. Find everything from WITS service requests to policy information easily, and customize your landing page with favorites. Plus, stay up-to-date with campus news, announcements, and events all in one dedicated space. Discover how MyWillamette enhances your daily campus life, making it more connected and efficient.

    Unlocking Accessibility: Crafting an Inclusive Digital Experience

    • Presenter: Laura Levin, Frontend Web Developer and Web Accessibility Specialist
    • Location: Alumni Lounge, Putnam University Center, 3rd floor

    Embark on a transformative exploration into the world of digital accessibility in our presentation, 'Unlocking Accessibility: Crafting an Inclusive Digital Experience.' Tailored for all participants, this session will unravel the essence of digital accessibility, demystifying the why, what, and how behind creating online content that's inclusive for everyone. Discover how simple yet impactful changes to your practices can transform the online experience, fostering a more inclusive digital world – where every click is an invitation to knowledge and community.

    Enhancing Our Experience with WorkDay HR: A Collaborative Session

    • Presenter: Kelly Rose Lavery, Willamette University Employment & HRIS Manager
    • Location: Autzen Conference Room, Putnam University, Center 3rd floor

    Join us for a constructive session dedicated to the WorkDay HR System. This workshop aims to highlight the positive aspects. We'll explore successful use cases, address challenges, and discuss how we can collaboratively enhance our experience with this essential tool.

    Cyber Savvy: Elevating Your Security Awareness

    • Presenter: Dan Lohrmann, Presidio Field CISO (Prior MI CISO)
    • Location: Harrison Conference Room, Putnam University Center, 3rd floor

    Join us for an insightful exploration of the key cybersecurity and AI trends anticipated to impact higher education in 2024. This workshop is designed for the entire campus community, from students to faculty and staff. It will provide a comprehensive overview of emerging digital threats and advancements, discussing their implications for personal and institutional safety.

    Google Workspace Unleashed: Unlock Your Full Potential

    • Presenter: Jeremy Lovato, Willamette University Chief Information Officer
    • Location: Cat Cavern, Putnam University Center, 2nd floor

    Many of us are only scratching the surface of what these tools can offer. This session is designed to take your Google Workspace skills to the next level, showcasing advanced features and productivity hacks. Whether you're handling collaborative projects, managing classwork, or organizing administrative tasks, you'll learn techniques to work smarter, not harder.

  • Closing Session | 2–2:45 p.m.

    Women in Tech: Shaping the Future

    • Presenter: Dr. Kristen Gore, Willamette University Assistant Professor of Data Science
    • Location: Cat Cavern

    This special presentation shines a light on the crucial role and impact of women in the technology sector. Our presenter will explore the journey of women in tech, highlighting both the challenges they face and the remarkable achievements they have made. The session will delve into strategies for fostering diversity and inclusion, empowering more women to pursue and excel in technology careers. Attendees will gain insights into how nurturing female talent can drive innovation and create a more equitable tech industry.

  • Closing Remarks & Door Prizes | 3–3:30 p.m.

    Closing Remarks

    • Presenter: Daniel Valles, Willamette University SVP & Chief Operations Officer
    • Location: Cat Cavern

    Door Prize Give Away

    • Host: Jeremy Lovato, Willamette University Chief Information Officer
    • Location: Cat Cavern
Willamette University
Willamette University
900 State Street
Salem Oregon 97301 U.S.A.