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Advocacy Report - Fall 2015

Below are examples of advocacy work done in units during Fall 2015. These are pulled from a variety of requests received and represent the types of work you can request from your advocate.

Onsite Walk up Help

A special advocacy reintroduction event was hosted in Political Science: This included an afternoon of help from all the technology providers who normally are called upon by faculty staff and students including stations for Canvas and BlueJeans by LSA ISS, Faculty Websites by LSA CMS, Campus Computing SITES and Computer Showcase by ITS, Advocacy and Service Desk by LSA IT, and the department Subject Specialist from the U-M Library. If you would like to have an event like this in your unit, contact

Advocates regularly host office hours as requested by units.

Coordinating Tech and Teaching

Museums 301 3D virtual art exhibits and speed grading in canvas to save GSI time: In 2013, Professor Brad Taylor was working with an online tool for 75 students to create virtual gallery exhibits . The tool was failing in campus computing sites and he reached out to advocacy for support. Advocacy partnered with the vendor, LSA Instructional Support (ISS) and ITS to get a work around for that year. In 2014, we made our first attempt in coordination with ISS and an outside expert to move the project to SketchUp. However, there was still a pain point for grading 75 projects with 12 images/student and 75 {exhibit signs/student} through an arduous process of download and upload in Ctools. In 2015 with the assistance of ITS, ISS and our outside consultant, we made the final enhancements of the tool, moved to a license for SketchUp compliant for university machines, and introduced the use of Canvas with speedgrader to save countless hours of the GSI and Brad’s time in grading the assignments leading up to the final project. Advocacy took ownership of this process over the course of these years with the final project completed this fall.

Cafe Culture and GIS based class projects: It was an unusual topic, with a lot of geographic material, and Shachar Pinsker was looking for an effective way to teach it. Pinsker turned to Justin Joque, a visualization librarian at U-M’s Clark Library, who began scanning and geo-referencing maps from the time period that Pinsker was teaching. Joque ultimately connected him with Peter Knoop, a research computing consultant for LSA Information Technology, for a high-tech solution. Read more.

Interactive syllabus in canvas: Professor Carol Bardenstein was started 3 years ago on a quest for a syllabus that would immerse her students in her Arab Cultures class. Beginning in 2013, she reached out to advocate Nancy Herlocher who helped her GSI get started with shared accounts and the setup of a graphical timeline in Time Mapper. That map was linked in a CTools web page that became the interactive syllabus that year. In 2015, a visiting instructor carried on the syllabus. Beginning that summer, Nancy coordinated the move of the syllabus through the use of the Language Resource Center and the class is now running with linked sites in Canvas that keep that launch point and enhance graduate education by allowing section GSIs to create their own section assignments.

New class funding from Blavatnik Archive: When Jeff Veidlinger and Zvi Gitelman wanted to approach the Blavatnik Archive for funding and access to their repository to create a series of new courses to teach at UM and beyond. They reached out to advocacy who gathered a group of experts from ITS, LSA and the U-M Library to work out the details for the proposal. This funding was awarded and Advocacy will continue to help guide this project as it has needs.

Research Advocacy

Support of research assistants: When Brian Min added new research staff to his satellite data project advocacy and research support staff were available to help onboard them with information retained from helping previous assistants. Additionally they linked up with ARC-TS consulting to add on to previous coding support.

A new restricted HPC machine: When Elizabeth Bruch needed a new compute server to work with restricted access data and to enhance the speed of her existing server, she reached out to advocacy for help. Advocacy worked with their internal server team to get the right equipment and parts to launch this new work.

OCR Scanning to unknow Russian Font: When Zvi Gitelman found he had some word 2.0 files that he needed to work on now and that they would not translate properly into modern word’s Russian fonts, he reached out to advocacy. They researched and provided two options for scanning pdf versions of the printed documents to word format with the fonts intact.

Qualtrics cleaning and collecting data: When researcher Elizabeth Armstrong needed a way to collect data on various universities policies relating to Title 9 she reached out to advocacy to explore options for having so many students working on collecting and cleaning data at once. Advocacy helped them get underway with shared accounts and a qualtrics process for collecting and verifying the data.

Services and Solutions Uncovered via Advocacy Requests

New Discoveries

Book Printing Station for classes is available at discounted costs: When Sara Ahbel-Rappe was exploring options for binding books produced in her class, she asked her advocate. What that advocate discovered was that you can contact and request information about your needs for classes. Cost will depend on page count. Books 100 pages or less are $8.00, 101–300 pages are $12.00, 301–500 pages are $16.00, etc. A permissions form needs to be filled out by the the students. If this is their own content, then they would check the box that says they own the copyright and are giving the library permission to print a copy for them.

CrashPlan is allowable on personal devices (not mobile): Advocacy staff were approached in Astronomy about CrashPlan for personal devices. This is allowable but only supported by LSA IT. For more details visit:

3D lab works with classes and faculty to scan items in 3D and more: This fall advocates took a tour of the 3D facility on North Campus. There are all kinds of ways they can help faculty and students scan and print 3D objects. Visit their website for more details.

Service Gotchas

CrashPlan and the ISR network: When Rob Franzese was having discrepancy in the backup reports of the freely provided LSA Backup tool CrashPlan, he reached out to his advocate. The advocate coordinated with ITS and ISR to locate the network problems that caused Crashplan to stop working when the machine was in the ISR building.