NGN Day 2024: Collaboration and Celebration!

A group photo of the NGN team with Yale's Mascot Handsome Dan
May 3, 2024

The NGN (Next Generation Network) team gathered at Yale University’s 25 Science Park on Tuesday, April 23rd, 2024 for the third annual NGN Day, a day of team-building and information-sharing that brought together colleagues from far and wide to celebrate the project’s halfway mark and share accomplishments and ideas. With a schedule that blended productivity with ‘pawsitivity,’ it was a day to remember. 

Program Director Shawn Clark set the tone for the day, championing the program’s progress and rallying the team with enthusiasm and a sprinkle of humor. It was the perfect start to what promised to be a day filled with energy and collaboration. Yale Chief Information Officer, Vice President of Technology and Campus Services, and NGN Executive Sponsor John Barden greeted the team and held a meaningful Q&A session that addressed the scope and direction of the program before each team met to discuss team successes and ideas for improvement, then reported back to project leadership for consideration. 

Following team break-outs, selected team leaders from critical project functions delivered insightful presentations covering such topics as stakeholder engagement and awareness, the building questionnaire, network security, migration deployment, and program scheduling.  

As if the day couldn't get any better, a special guest made a surprise appearance during a delicious lunch of New Haven’s famous pizza, provided by TEK Systems. Handsome Dan XIX, AKA Kingman, Yale's beloved canine mascot, stole the show with his charm and sweet nature. Team members couldn't resist snapping selfies with the furry celebrity, making memories that would last fur-ever. 

The team then took advantage of the lovely spring weather to walk off the indulgent pizza lunch with a leisurely campus tour. From Ingalls Rink to the Yale Bookstore, the team explored iconic campus spots and even snagged some Yale swag to take home to their loved ones. But the highlight of the day? Cheering on our own Yale Bulldogs, Yale’s baseball team, as they faced off against the Stone Hill Skyhawks at George H.W. Bush Field. It was a nail-biter of a game, but in the end, it was all about the camaraderie, team spirit, and tasty concession-stand popcorn.

As the sun set on a fun-filled day of collaboration and celebration,
the NGN team knew one thing for sure: they were ready to tackle whatever challenges lay ahead, armed with positivity, creativity, and
the support of a truly outstanding group of teammates. 

NGN Day Presenters:  

“OCM Communications/Building Orientation”
presented by OCM Lead Joanne Palmer & Project Coordinator Ayesha Shaikh

“Important Security Outcomes of the NGN Implementation”
presented by IT Associate Director Sascha Mangs

“LAN Automation / Building Migration Plan / Network Setup”
presented by Network Engineers Antonio Valderrama, Rob Fuhst, Daniel Antwi, Billy Kontogiannis

“FY 25 Milestones & Schedule”
presented by NGN Program Manager Hank Ripperger