Whitman College is one of two recipients of the Hugi Excellence Award for 2007 from the NorthWest Academic Computing Consortium. The annual award honors research and higher education institutions in the Northwest for innovative applications of information technology.

Whitman’s Technology Services team directed by Chief Technology Officer Keiko Pitter was honored for its implementation of the Collaboration and Learning Environment (online). CLEo is the college’s adaptation of the Sakai Collaboration and Learning Environment, a course management and collaborative learning tool.

Pacific Northwest National Laboratory also received a Hugi award for its outdoor campus safety camera system and “cyber-security” awareness training. Last year’s winner — only one Excellence Award was given in 2006 — was the University of Washington for its Catalyst Web Q for research.

“The Hugi Excellence Award is meant to raise awareness of the best technology practices developed by research and higher education institutions in the Pacific Northwest,” said NWACC President Martin Ringle. “The practices submitted by Whitman College and Pacific Northwest National Laboratory are superb examples of the technological ingenuity thriving in our region.”

Whitman is the first college in the country to migrate successfully from a commercial vendor to the Sakai platform. “It is an incredible honor to receive recognition for the hard work of everyone who has been involved with CLEo,” said Mike Osterman, WCTS middleware analyst. “A lot of the credit goes to the faculty who have invested their time and energy in guiding the process.

“The CLEo Pilot group, in particular, worked closely and candidly with Technology Services and took a chance on an unknown quantity in an open source learning system, actively using it in their courses.”

Nearly all of the WCTS team contributed to the CLEo project. Osterman cited Rich Hinz, Kyle Singer and Daniel Worthington in particular for their efforts.

Founded in 1987, the NWACC comprises more than 30 colleges, universities, research organizations and nonprofit groups in the Pacific Northwest. The aim of the consortium is to foster collaboration that supports the development and use of advanced technology in instruction, research and administration.

The Hugi Excellence Award is named in honor of Joanne Hugi, former associate vice president for information services at the University of Oregon. Hugi, who now serves as chair of the NWACC’s board of directors, contributed substantially to initiatives in technology throughout the Pacific Northwest during her 35-year term at the school.

For more information about the Hugi Excellence Awards, visit: