Indiana University of Pennsylvania is the sole higher education finalist for the “Top COVID Pivot” award from the Pittsburgh Technology Council and is the sole higher education finalist for the Pittsburgh Technology Council's 2020 Tech 50 Awards in the Non-Profit-Education-Community category.

“In our nomination paperwork this year (for the Tech 50 Awards), we received such impressive stories of local companies' responses to the COVID-19 pandemic. Their resilience and innovation throughout this year of uncertainty could not go unnoticed for the 2020 Tech 50 Awards. With that in mind, we created a new category—Top COVID Pivot—that includes representatives from each of the existing nine categories,” Pittsburgh Technology Council leadership said.

IUP joins Top COVID Pivot award finalists, including BirdBrain Technologies; Cognistx; Ethical Intruder; Locomation; Mitsubishi Electric Power Products, Inc. – Diamond Vision Division; Piper Creative; PittMoss; and Sentact.

The Pittsburgh Technology Council will honor the finalists and select recipients of the awards at its annual Tech 50 Awards (virtual) event, which will be held November 12. The awards program is in its twenty-third year.
As part of the nomination process, institutions were asked to provide information about the impact and successful management of issues created by the COVID-19 pandemic.

“These two designations are a very impressive—and well-deserved—recognition of IUP's outstanding Information Technology Services team and their efforts to keep IUP moving forward during the pandemic and the changes required to keep our community safe and healthy,” IUP Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs Timothy Moerland said.

“We are fortunate to have a group of extremely dedicated and talented individuals working to meet the demands of an environment that changes constantly and presents new challenges on a daily basis. No one predicted the necessity to respond to a global health crisis, but our team stepped up in every way possible, and did what was necessary to keep us moving forward,” he said.

“In our current hybrid course delivery mode, IT Services continues to go the extra mile, including recommending and maintaining the right equipment for faculty to deliver courses remotely and for important student-centered events to continue on a virtual basis. We could not have made the pivot to distance education and events that were required for the health and safety of our community without this dedicated and talented group,” he said.

IUP migrated more than 1,500 courses taught by nearly 650 different faculty members in 10 days in March when State System of Higher Education universities were required to switch all coursework to remote delivery. The university was able to deliver 3,300 synchronous sessions in the first week of online learning.

In addition to coursework, the university held a highly successful virtual orientation for the first time in university history, with some 1,750 students and families being oriented and tested in a fully online modality.

IUP's information technology program and team has a strong reputation for excellence.

In 2019, Paul Grieggs, executive director of information technology security at IUP, was selected as a finalist for the 2019 Pittsburgh Chief IT Security Officer of the Year award, sponsored by the Pittsburgh Technology Council.

rieggs was one of only five professionals in the region selected as a nominee for this recognition and joined individuals from both academia and private industry as a finalist for this award.

Bill Balint, IUP's chief technology officer with more than a quarter-century of service to his alma mater, was the winner of the 2016 Pittsburgh Chief Information Officer of the Year Award (education division) sponsored by the Pittsburgh Technology Council.

Five IUP graduates, including Balint, have won the CIO of the Year award: Ron Beckman of Black Box (2018); Steven Agnoli, Reed Smith LLP (2017 and 2005); Scott Angelo of Fragoman, formerly of K&L Gates, (2015); and John Miller, American Textile Company (2011).