Nominations Now Open for Dave Reese Distinguished Service Award November 23, 2020

The Quilt, a consortium of regional Research and Education (R&E) Networks throughout the United States, today announced that nominations are now open for the inaugural Dave Reese Quilt Distinguished Service Award.

The Dave Reese Quilt Distinguished Service Award was created this year 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.

“Dave was a treasured member of The Quilt community with a sharp mind for technology, an extraordinary sense of community, and a strong commitment to the mission of R&E Networks,” said Jen Leasure, president and CEO of The Quilt. “His passing last fall was a tremendous loss for our community. We couldn’t think of a better way to honor his memory than by establishing this award to recognize individuals who appreciate the diverse set of organizations that comprise our membership, embody the belief that collaboration makes the whole cloth of The Quilt stronger, and dedicate their time to supporting initiatives that broadly impact our Quilt member organizations.”

Reese held the position of Vice President for Regional and International Initiatives at CENIC. He had worked with CENIC since it began in 1996. In his remarkable career spanning more than three decades, he helped propel innumerable important networking projects on the regional, national, and international scale. His knowledge and understanding of how to define and run R&E Networks served as a guiding light for many networks around the country and the world.

The recipient of this year’s award will be announced at our virtual Quilt 2021 Winter Member Meeting, February 9 – 11, 2021.


In order to nominate someone for this award, please submit a letter of recommendation illustrating the nominee’s contributions to the goals of The Quilt to Jen Leasure at Nominations are due by Jan. 28, 2021.  Your remarks should be organized and detailed in a way that allows the Review Committee to easily identify the judging attributes of commitment, collaboration, and support of The Quilt community.

In your nomination please consider including information such as: How has this person demonstrated a commitment to collectively advancing research and education through The Quilt? Is this person recognized for leadership qualities and active sharing and learning broadly across The Quilt community? If so, how? Please provide examples.

Review Committee

The Award Review Committee for this year is comprised of four members of The Quilt Board of Directors; Louis Fox (CENIC), Marla Meehl (FRGP), Pankaj Shah (OARnet), and Jim Stewart (UETN).

For any additional information, please contact us through the website.

Merit: Michigan Moonshot Partnerships Add Free Wi-Fi Access at More Than 50 Community Locations Across S.E. Michigan November 23, 2020

ANN ARBOR, Mich. November 23, 2020 – Residents of Detroit, Inkster, Flint and Washtenaw County will soon benefit from expanded free Wi-Fi access at more than 50 community locations across S.E. Michigan. The effort, part of Merit Network’s Michigan Moonshot initiative, was supported by contributions from the Toyota USA Foundation and Cisco. Washtenaw Intermediate School District and Merit Network provided in-kind contributions for the project.

According to the U.S. Census Bureau, Detroit Public Schools has the highest number of households in the state without internet access at 82,894. The Flint School District has the second highest number with 14,221 households without internet access. In addition, 57% of K-12 students in Washtenaw County do not have high speed Wi-Fi access at home.

“For thousands of students across the state of Michigan, the pandemic has introduced new challenges or highlighted existing ones. We expect this to help both rural and urban communities access the internet for basic informational needs tied to living, learning and working,” said Charlotte Bewersdorff, Merit Network’s vice president for Community Engagement. [Read the full news release at Moonshot News]

Meta Mesh, KINBER, CMU and Pitt Collaborate on Every1online to Provide Free WiFi to In-Need Communities November 09, 2020


PITTSBURGH, Pa. (Nov. 9, 2020) — In a historic collaborative effort, Meta Mesh Wireless Communities, Carnegie Mellon University, the University of Pittsburgh, and the Keystone Initiative for Network-based Research (KINBER) have partnered together to provide free, high-speed Internet access primarily to school-age children as the COVID-19 pandemic forces the integration of remote instruction.

“To live and work in today’s digital society, it is essential to have access to the Internet. Reliable Internet access is no longer a luxury – it is a necessity and a right. Unfortunately, many people in our own City of Pittsburgh cannot afford the Internet services they need. Every1online is a one way to begin to see Internet access as a human right,” said Adam Longwill, Executive Director of Meta Mesh Wireless Communities.

Designed to create more equitable access to the internet, Every1online will provide WiFi at no cost to eligible households during a 12-month pilot program in the Coraopolis, Homewood and New Kensington areas—with the goal of expanding the program to additional communities in Western Pennsylvania beyond the first year. As the first non-profit wireless Internet model in the country, the project seeks to shrink the Digital Divide by prioritizing Pittsburghers in-need. [Read the full KINBER press release]