District recognized for advances in information technology

April 16, 2024 | San Diego Community College District

The San Diego Community College District has been honored for breakthroughs in leading the SDCCD’s information technology apparatus into a state-of-the-art system. The recognitions underscore SDCCD's dedication to IT modernization that is resulting in more efficient – and secure – educational and administrative services to better support students, employees and the public.

Two men holding glass awards at the award ceremony
Benjamin St. Germain, left, received the Rising Star Award from the Chief Information Systems Officers Association. He is photographed here with SDCCD’s Associate Vice Chancellor for Information Technology, Peter Maharaj, who was awarded the California State Chancellor Technology Operations Excellence award for 2024.

The SDCCD earned CENIC’s 2024 Innovations in Networking Award for Network Enabled Cloud Applications: Education and Administration. Led by Peter Maharaj, SDCCD’s Associate Vice Chancellor for Information Technology, and supported by the California Community Colleges Technology Center, the project involved a complex upgrade that began with migrating the PeopleSoft/Oracle ERP to the Oracle Cloud Infrastructure (OCI) to ensure a robust network with heightened security and improved connectivity. The project also upgraded the SDCCD’s WiFi system, called SDCCD-Campus-Connect, to cover all campuses, including outdoor areas, with a uniform and more secure wireless system. Also on the SDCCD’s award-winning team were Director of Information Technology Operations Areeluck Parnsoonthorn, Director of Applications Antoine Andari, along with Jason Wigen, Jon Ambrosia, George Wildberger, Jordan Sage, Justin Janger, Benjamin St. Germain, Paul Palomares, Tony Lo and Patrick Plagens. 
“This project promises to enhance operational efficiencies for the district and pave the way for advanced data analytics, ultimately fostering more data-driven teaching and learning,” said Louis Fox, CENIC’s Chief Executive Officer. “We’re delighted to honor what may become an excellent model for other community college districts in California and beyond.” 
CENIC, an acronym for the Corporation for Education Network Initiatives in California, is a nonprofit providing high-performance, high-bandwidth networking services to California universities and research institutions. Awards were presented March 26 at CENIC’s Biennial Conference in Monterey, Calif. 
A week earlier, the Chief Information Systems Officers Association awarded Maharaj with the state Chancellor’s Office 2024 Technology Operations Excellence Award in recognition of the SDCCD’s overall improvement of technology, enhancements that have yielded enhanced digital security and modernized functionality. Also honored was St. Germain, who was presented with the Rising Star, Technology Excellence Award for his work integrating the Rave Emergency Notification system and improvements in the district’s ERP. ERP, an acronym for Enterprise Resource Planning, is organization-wide software that centralizes data from otherwise disconnected systems. 


A close up of the award. It is round and glass with several names carved into it.

Areeluck Parnsoonthorn stands in front of a bright blue background and holds her award

Areeluck Parnsoonthorn - Director, Information Technology Services

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