Colleague and WebAdvisor Scheduled Maintenance Notice

PLEASE NOTE on your calendars that all Colleague, Informer, and WebAdvisor services will be unavailable from 6am Friday, November 23rd until 8am Monday, November 26th.

During this scheduled maintenance time we will be moving the Colleague environment to a new SQL database.  This update to the university’s technology infrastructure sets the stage for future improvements to many administrative services.

For the majority of students, faculty, and staff this transition should be a non-event.  For those who log in to Colleague every day please be on the lookout for a series of emails over the next several weeks that will inform you of changes to the Colleague environment that will be affecting you.

Colleague SQL Migration Project

Not everything we do in ITS is super interesting and fun.  (Shocker, I know!)  Some of our work is just takin’ care of business, and the SQL migration project for Colleague is one of those things.

Colleague is the primary Student, Financial, and Human Resources/Payroll information system for Widener University.  It is the system that handles most of our back-office administrative functions.  Some staff log directly into Colleague at their desktops every day.  Many other students, faculty, and staff access Colleague information from web services more commonly known as WebAdvisor and Student Planning.

Our Colleague environment is currently operating with an outdated database, which limits us from making many improvements. For two  years we have been progressing through silent phases of this project to move our data to a modern SQL server environment and SQL database.

We have completed the portion of the work that we can do without impacting others. Soon, we will make noticeable changes to the way some things are currently done at the University.

Our target Go Live date is Monday, November 26, 2018 and our intent is to make that day as non-eventful as possible.  Our very best outcome is that nobody even notices that we changed anything over the holiday weekend.  And to do that, we are going to begin enlisting the help of more of the administrative staff throughout the summer and fall to test, test, and test with us.

So stay tuned as we begin to announce upcoming changes.  And THANK YOU if you made it all the way to the end of this article.  Stop by the University Systems office in ACN and ask for your VIP gold star (while supplies last)!

New Faces in ITS: Ambria Smith & Anupama (Anu) Yalamanchi

We are excited to introduce to you the two newest members of the ITS team.  Please join us in welcoming Ambria Smith and Anu Yalamanchi to Widener.

Ambria Smith joined the Client Success team as a Customer Support Specialist.  She will be working at the Chester campus as well as the Widener Partnership Charter School.

She was previously employed as an IT Analyst at the PA Leadership Charter School for three years. Ambria has been accepted to the Computer Science and Legal Studies programs here at Widener and will begin taking classes this summer.

Outside of work Ambria has been playing the piano and singing for the past 15 years. She also enjoys learning about the law, doing community service work, and learning about programming.

Anu Yalamanchi

 Anupama (Anu) Yalamanchi joins ITS as a Programmer Analyst.  She is an experienced programmer and web developer whose most recent employment includes nine years as an Application Developer in higher education.

Anu holds a bachelor’s degree in math and chemistry from Nagarjuna University in India and a master’s degree in computer applications from Andhra University, also in India.

Anu prides herself on having a good sense of teamwork, quality, and integrity.  She is self-motivated to learn new things, and she will be working closely with the Enrollment Management areas of the university to understand and support their business needs.

Doylestown is home for Anu and her family, and, when she can find the time she enjoys painting–usually flowers on canvas.  She has some lovely pictures of her work on her phone.  Ask her to see them when you meet her!

New Faces in ITS: Steve Stratoti & Jessica Storey

We are thrilled to introduce two dynamic professionals to the Widener University community


Stephen Stratoti

Steve Stratoti joined ITS as a Sr. Programmer Analyst in October 2017 and has been quickly getting up-to-speed working with the University Systems team in ACN 105.

Steve is a graduate of Drexel University and has worked as an IT Developer and a Business Process Engineer for 11 years with a variety of educational institutions.  He is very familiar and comfortable working with university students, faculty and staff.  And he’s already proven a perfect fit for the new Client Success focus within ITS.

Steve LOVES learning new technologies and tinkering with home automation gadgets.  He’s into gaming of all kinds–including board games; sings tenor in a Semi-professional A Cappella group; and enjoys cooking and grilling.

Steve and his wife Arielle make their home in Philly along with their dog, Frankie, and cat, Ruka.  Thank you to all who have already made Steve feel like part of the Widener family.  And for those who haven’t met him yet, you are in for a real treat when you do!

Storey Picture

 Jessica Storey has relocated from Fredericksburg, VA to join Widener’s TLT team as an Instructional Designer. She looks forward to working with faculty on digital pedagogy best practices as well as creating course content. In addition, Jessica is excited to assist with the migration over to Canvas and help faculty take advantage of all the exciting features Canvas has to offer.  You can find Jessica holding training sessions and workshops in the FISHtank (Wolfgram Library, 1st floor) or working 1-on-1 with instructors or with department groups.

Jessica has spent the last eleven years in the education field, as both a classroom teacher and Instructional Technology Resource Specialist. She obtained a bachelor’s degree in Education from the State University of New York at Fredonia and a master’s degree in Instructional Design and Technology from the University of Mary Washington.

In her free time, Jessica enjoys chasing after her two-year-old daughter, traveling, and cycling. She looks forward to getting to know the local roads and continuing to ride in the MS Bike to the Bay each year.