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STATE COLLEGE, PA (July 14) — At its annual meeting held recently, the Keystone Initiative for Network Based Education and Research (KINBER) elected and announced its new officers for the next two years.

Jinx Walton, chief information officer at the University of Pittsburgh, was named as the chair after serving as KINBER’s vice chair for the past two years.  She succeeds Dr. Bruce Taggart, vice provost for library and technology services at Lehigh University.

“KINBER has met the challenges involved in securing initial funding and building the PennREN network,” Walton said. “Now, we have the very exciting ability to unite the Commonwealth’s resources – its schools, libraries, communities, healthcare and research centers – and advance Pennsylvania’s economic development.

“I am honored to serve as chair of the KINBER board, to see the potential we envisioned four years ago take hold across the state and lead to new opportunities for Pennsylvania residents.”

Kevin Morooney, vice provost for information technology at The Pennsylvania State University, was named as vice chairman.  Dr. Celeste Schwartz, vice president, information technology at Montgomery County Community College and representative for the PA Commission for Community Colleges, is the new board treasurer.  Ken Blackney, associate vice president, IRT core tech infrastructure at Drexel University, will remain as secretary.


KINBER is a nonprofit membership organization that provides broadband connectivity, fosters collaboration, and promotes the innovative use of digital technologies among education, healthcare, economic development, libraries, public media and other anchor institutions that improve the quality of life for communities in Pennsylvania through research, education and public service. Established in 2010 through a grant from the National Telecommunications and Information Administration, KINBER is committed to delivering equitable, reliable and affordable access, space for collaboration, and digital tools for research and education to inspire tomorrow’s scientific discoveries, enable the exchange of ideas and culture among diverse populations, educate the next generation of citizens and revitalize Pennsylvania’s economy.

KINBER’s first project, PennREN, delivers a state-wide platform for connecting its members through facilities-based fiber-optic networking, which enables value-added services like realistic high definition video, real-time videoconferencing, and data sharing and provides opportunities for member institutions to share best practices, content and programs. PennREN lights more than 1,600 miles of fiber on a middle-mile network that connects more than 70 locations. For more information on PennREN and KINBER, visit www.kinber.org.