NYSERNet Announces Jeanne Casares as New President and CEO April 21, 2022

Syracuse, NY (April 21, 2022) — NYSERNet (New York State Education and Research Network) is pleased to announce that Jeanne Casares has been named the organization’s new president and CEO, effective June 2, 2022. Casares will succeed Stephen Kankus after 28 years with the organization, including four years as president. Casares’s hire comes after an extensive national search that drew outstanding candidates from across the nation.

“We are thrilled to welcome Jeanne as the next president of NYSERNet,” said John Kolb, chair of the board of directors and vice president of information services and technology and chief information officer at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute. “Her demonstrated leadership expertise and entrepreneurial experience in critical areas such as technology strategies and organizational development made her a standout hire to embrace the organization’s core value of operational excellence, as we continue to expand the innovative contributions that NYSERNet has provided to the research and education community.”

“This was an extensive, five-month national search that required us to evaluate a strong, diverse pool of candidates. It was no easy task, as there is a lot of talent out there,” added board member Sharon Pitt, vice president of information technology and chief information officer at the University of Delaware, who was a part of the recruitment committee. “Jeanne’s deep understanding of research and education networks combined with her proven leadership ability made her an exceptional choice who will undoubtedly advance NYSERNet’s mission.”

Casares will take on the role of NYSERNet president after serving as the chief information officer and associate vice president of information technology services at Rochester Institute of Technology since 2008. Prior to working at R.I.T., she held a variety of operations and IT senior leadership positions in information technologies at Paychex Corporation, where she led the creation of a web technologies division, customer support and service level management for 15 years. Casares holds a Bachelor of Arts in history with a minor in business and a Master’s in Education in student personnel and college administration from the College of New Jersey, as well as a Certificate in New Leadership Designs for Higher Education from Arizona State/Georgetown University and a Certificate of Leadership for Extraordinary Performance from the Darden School of Business. She is currently a trustee of Our Lady of Mercy School for Young Women; a member of the board of directors of Coordinated Care Services, Inc. (CCSI); recipient of the Rochester IT Woman of the Year; and previously served as event chair of the Rochester CIO Roundtable; chair of the Association of Women in Computing and a member of Digital Rochester. [Read full announcement at NYSERNet | News]

The Quilt recognizes UETN’s Jim Stewart for distinguished service March 09, 2022

Technology leaders throughout United States celebrate career of Utah innovator with highest honor 

SEATTLE, Wash. (March 9, 2022)The Quilt, a consortium of regional Research and Education (R&E) networks in the United States, today announced that Jim Stewart, Chief Technology Officer at the Utah Education and Telehealth Network (UETN), has received this year’s Dave Reese Distinguished Service Award.

The Dave Reese Distinguished Service Award was created to honor individuals who have provided extraordinary leadership, support, and service to The Quilt community and its stakeholders. The award is named in honor of Dave Reese (1958-2019), who was a founding member of The Quilt and served in a number of leadership roles for the organization including chairman of the board and treasurer.

“This award recognizes individuals who appreciate the diverse set of organizations that comprise The Quilt membership, embody the belief that collaboration makes the whole cloth of The Quilt stronger, and dedicate their time to supporting initiatives that broadly impact member organizations,” said Jen Leasure, president and CEO of The Quilt. “Jim’s contributions to The Quilt over many years have been invaluable and so are his contributions to the broader R&E networking community.”

Stewart has more than 40 years of experience working in the technology profession and has been working the past 22 years to support technology for all higher education, public schools, and health care organizations in the State of Utah. He also has served on The Quilt Board of Directors for more than two decades.

“Jim embodies the spirit of this award,” commented David C. Marble, president and CEO of OSHEAN in Rhode Island and member of The Quilt Board of Directors. “He has been selfless in his constant availability to help with so many activities, engaging with expertise, support resources and a wonderful sense of humor.”

This award was first introduced last year with technology pioneer Marla Meehl as the inaugural recipient.

“I was incredibly honored and feel privileged to be the inaugural awardee for The Dave Reese Distinguished Service Award,” said Meehl. “Dave was such a wonderful friend, colleague and mentor for me. It is very meaningful to me that Jim Stewart is being awarded this year, since Jim is also my great friend, colleague and mentor, and Jim is such an influential, passionate, and committed leader in our community.”

Stewart received this recognition at the virtual Quilt 2022 Winter Member Meeting this week (March 8-10).


About The Quilt
The Quilt is the national coalition of advanced regional networks for research and education, representing 38 networks across the country. Participants in The Quilt provide advanced network services and applications to more than 900 universities and tens of thousands of other educational institutions throughout the United States. Visit and follow at Twitter @TweetTheQuilt.

OARnet Among the ‘First to 400G’ on Internet2’s Network: Q&A with Pankaj Shah March 03, 2022

Internet2 recently unveiled its fifth-generation backbone, known as the Next Generation Infrastructure (NGI). NGI interconnects with 37 state and regional networks and serves every state in the U.S. Among these 37 are the first five to upgrade to 400 gigabits per second connectivity: Florida LambdaRail, Indiana GigaPOP, Mid-Atlantic Crossroads, Ohio Academic Resources Network, and Utah Education and Telehealth Network. In this “First to 400G” blog series, we spotlight each of these networks and how NGI’s new capabilities and capacity meet the needs of the broader research and education communities.

Pankaj Shah is the executive director of the Ohio Academic Resources Network (OARnet). In this Q&A, Pankaj discusses OARnet’s mission in support of the state’s higher education institutions and their partners, the opportunities and challenges driving OARnet constituents’ connectivity needs, and what’s next on the horizon.

Tell us more about OARnet. What is your organization’s mission? What is the scope of the communities and institutions you serve – in other words, who depends on your infrastructure and how do they use it?

Pankaj Shah: The Ohio Academic Resources Network (OARnet), part of the Ohio Department of Higher Education’s OH-TECH consortium, strives to ensure Ohio’s role as a technology leader by implementing next-generation technologies in our network to meet the needs of research, education, government, libraries, and health care communities. By teaming with our communities to develop technology solutions designed to address the demands of an ever-changing environment for the delivery of services, OARnet facilitates innovation as a competitive edge in Ohio’s economic development and prominence as a leader in research and development.

OARnet partners with two state-led initiatives, InnovateOhio and BroadbandOhio, which seek to resolve the digital divide in Ohio by addressing issues of accessibility, affordability, and ease of technology adoption. From small towns to major metropolitan areas in Ohio, we are working to expand the middle mile of the broadband network to reach more communities and also drive down the cost of the last mile of service.

These initiatives are built on public/private partnerships that are critical for their success. A broadband expansion project in the city of East Cleveland, for example, relies on robust collaboration between private entities such as Microsoft and GE Lighting, public entities such as OARnet, Cuyahoga County, Connect-ITC, and the East Cleveland City Schools, and non-profits like PCs for People, just to name a few. [Read full interview at Internet2 | News]

Article author: Amber Rasche, Senior Communications Specialist, Internet2