MNIT Week: Learning, Collaboration and Recognition

Publish Date

Hundreds of information technology specialists participated in various courses and events over the past week as part of MNIT Week. MNIT Annual Awards for best projects, teams, employees and managers were also presented.

MNIT Services Meet and Confer Chair Jed Becher and other members staffed a MAPE booth in the Centennial Building. “It was a mini information sharing fair and it was an opportunity for MAPE to be visible and answer questions,” MNIT Meet and Confer Chair Jed Becher, Local 101, said.

MNIT employees taught 13 courses involving leadership, technical, User Experience/Human-Centered Design and safety tracks.

Nearly 20 women met to learn more about a new Employee Resource Group for women technologists, Women IT ChangeMakers. The group is being championed by women agency leaders and MAPE members. The goal is to build an influential and sustainable network of women leaders to increase the number of women in technology and leadership positions.

MNIT Week Women IT CHangeMakers

“Everything this group does has to be intentional. We’re here to redefine the culture of how technology is viewed. It’s important to have women’s voices,” MNIT Assistant Director of Human Resources Annie Porbeni.  

Photo at Right: (L-R) Local 701's Tanya Belanger, MNIT HR Assistant Dir. Annie Porbeni and Region 7 Director Ellena Schoop participate in a MNIT leadership training.

“The meeting was an effective starting point to engage more women in technology. We not only were able to share with them where we’re at but able to learn from other women in other agencies who, frankly, are at different stages in their careers: from the new employee to the middle-career person looking for that new growth opportunity to the later career employee hearing about management opportunities and the challenges that exist for women to break into management roles,” said Local 701’s Tanya Belanger,  panelist and MNIT policy analyst.

MAPE Region 7 Director and MNIT systems architect Ellena Schoop also served on the panel with Belanger and Porbeni.

Local 1002's Nick Johnson participates in MNIT Week

Photo at Left: Local 1002's Nick Johnson discusses a program he is working on at the Dept. of Education.

Local 1002’s Nick Johnson spoke about how his agency, the Dept. of Education (MDE), is in the process of “going from spreadsheets to web application” to support data-based decision-making in early childhood special education. MDE identified a need to collect and analyze data to understand how professional development efforts of the department can impact outcomes for young children with disabilities and their families.

MDE is working with MNIT to create a web app that will connect its professional development data with the rest of the data systems at the Department.

Local 901’s Derek Lee’s presentation on Building Business Intelligence and Analytics in the Cloud attracted a dozens of participants. Some of the other trainings included Putting User Experience and Human Leading and Navigating Through Complexity and Active Shooter: What Can You Do?  

On Friday, MNIT’s Annual Award Program also announced its 2019 winners. “MAPE is proud to represent MNIT members and congratulates Gabriella Tsurutani and all of our members who served on award-winning projects and teams,” MAPE Executive Director Lina Jamoul said.

Employee of the Year: MAPE member Gabriella Tsurutani for her exceptional work as a MNIT business analyst partnering with the Dept. of Transportation (MNDOT).

Project of the Year: Transportation Asset Management Systems (TAMS) Phase 2 for the team that created @MnDOT’s single source of data for managing and maintaining roadside infrastructure including the work, equipment, materials & staff needed to maintain the infrastructure.

Team of the Year: Major Application Support Team for the team members who provide support for over 360 applications for the Dept. of Human Services and MNsure. The team is awarded for their ability to understand, troubleshoot and navigate the infrastructure around those applications.

Manager of the Year: Hal Watson, who leads a team of Geographic Information Systems at the Dept. of Natural Resources that find geo-enabled solutions and technology for their agency partners.

Partner of the Year: The Governor’s Blue-Ribbon Council on Information Technology which has advised the agency on issues relating to cyber security, data management and privacy, and modernization projects.