Reeling In The Phish

Organizations worldwide are being hammered by phishing email attacks, and Widener is no exception.


In order to help you keep your email communications smooth and secure, we’ve built two new addresses to report emails that you think may be suspicious:

  • phish (at)
  • phishing (at)

(replace (at) with the @ symbol appropriately; this is an anti-spam measure)

Both the addresses lead to the same place; once we get your forwarded email, we’ll take a look, pull out the relevant info, block what we can, then let everyone that received the email know it’s a phish.

We have a lot of tools to help minimize the impact of phishing, and the earlier we can use them, the smaller the population that is affected.  Also, please remember that “false positives” are a part of the process – if it’s a legit email, we’ll let you know, too.  If it feels like a red flag kind of email, forward it along, and we’ll take a look.  You’ll probably help a lot of folks have a much easier day.

With that said, a big THANK YOU to the many that have forwarded phishing emails to us.  You’ve helped immeasurably – please keep up the good work!



New Roles for Two ITS Employees

Our new employees are great, but so are our veterans. We’re celebrating two long-time employees in ITS as they take on new roles in the organization.

kitchenjJohn Kitchen

Long-time ITS employee John Kitchen ’97 stepped into the Interim Director of Client Success position several months ago. Good things followed immediately, so it didn’t take long for it to be clear that he was the right person for the job. Effective immediately, John Kitchen deletes the word “Interim” from the beginning of the title.

The director of client success position is responsible for leading a variety of crucial services at all three campuses: our help desks and student labs, the asset management program, desktop software, and technology training.

John Kitchen has deep experience in all of these areas. He has worked in ITS for a total of 18 years, and has been in charge of supporting law school IT needs since 2006. He’s a recognized leader in his field, currently serving as a vice president for the Philadelphia local chapter of HDI, a professional association for the technical support industry.

Jackie MacDonald

As part of John’s charge to deepen our focus on client advocacy, he promoted Jackie MacDonald ’12 to the newly created position of client success analyst. Jackie has worked in several different positions in ITS in her eight years at the University. Jackie is an in-house expert for Macs as well as the systems that manage our trouble resolution and asset management data. Most importantly, Jackie has always been a person who acts as a “voice of the client” in ITS processes, pointing out how we can improve our services for faculty, staff, and students.

The client success analysts—we will eventually have two at the Chester campus— focus more of their time on the parts of IT support that extend beyond the help desk. In addition to asset management, Jackie will spend a lot of her time supporting training and professional development efforts to make better use of our supported software. She was the driving force in our launch on last year, and one of the main reasons that over 825 Widener community members have already taken advantage of the technology learning platform.

If you or your department would like to discuss technology learning needs, contact Jackie to let her know of your interest.

Dozen More Learning Spaces Get Digital Upgrades

We’re happy to report that over fall and winter breaks, we refreshed a dozen more classrooms with new all-digital AV equipment. Here are the rooms that were upgraded:

Kapelski 136b & 225a

Kirkbride 203, 213, 237, 229, 232, 236, 313, 336, 411

Wolfgram Library 106

These upgrades are on top of the 34 classrooms and meeting spaces the Teaching and Learning Technologies (TLT) upgraded in Summer 2017.

Widener continues to make aggressive investments in teaching and learning technologies (in both physical and virtual learning spaces). We plan to make several more upgrades before the end of the year.

Please contact the Teaching & Learning Technologies team at to share your thoughts and ideas about how our learning space infrastructure can continue to be improved.

New Faces in ITS: Steve Stratoti & Jessica Storey

We are thrilled to introduce two dynamic professionals to the Widener University community


Stephen Stratoti

Steve Stratoti joined ITS as a Sr. Programmer Analyst in October 2017 and has been quickly getting up-to-speed working with the University Systems team in ACN 105.

Steve is a graduate of Drexel University and has worked as an IT Developer and a Business Process Engineer for 11 years with a variety of educational institutions.  He is very familiar and comfortable working with university students, faculty and staff.  And he’s already proven a perfect fit for the new Client Success focus within ITS.

Steve LOVES learning new technologies and tinkering with home automation gadgets.  He’s into gaming of all kinds–including board games; sings tenor in a Semi-professional A Cappella group; and enjoys cooking and grilling.

Steve and his wife Arielle make their home in Philly along with their dog, Frankie, and cat, Ruka.  Thank you to all who have already made Steve feel like part of the Widener family.  And for those who haven’t met him yet, you are in for a real treat when you do!


Storey Picture

 Jessica Storey has relocated from Fredericksburg, VA to join Widener’s TLT team as an Instructional Designer. She looks forward to working with faculty on digital pedagogy best practices as well as creating course content. In addition, Jessica is excited to assist with the migration over to Canvas and help faculty take advantage of all the exciting features Canvas has to offer.  You can find Jessica holding training sessions and workshops in the FISHtank (Wolfgram Library, 1st floor) or working 1-on-1 with instructors or with department groups.

Jessica has spent the last eleven years in the education field, as both a classroom teacher and Instructional Technology Resource Specialist. She obtained a bachelor’s degree in Education from the State University of New York at Fredonia and a master’s degree in Instructional Design and Technology from the University of Mary Washington.

In her free time, Jessica enjoys chasing after her two-year-old daughter, traveling, and cycling. She looks forward to getting to know the local roads and continuing to ride in the MS Bike to the Bay each year.

Meltdown and Spectre

The computing industry has just publicly announced two major vulnerabilities affecting virtually every computer.

The vulnerabilities are being called Meltdown and Spectre, and they are very significant issues. They will require immediate and ongoing attention to secure your computing environment. While Widener ITS is working hard to address the issues with University equipment, everyone that has a personal computer, tablet, or smartphone needs to check with their manufacturer/carrier to find out what updates are available.

For your computer, you’ll first need to update your OS, likely either Windows or Apple (but other OS’s are vulnerable, too). Follow your standard method of patching (Windows Update or Apple AppStore Updates). NOTE FOR MAC USERS: we’re still asking you to avoid updating to High Sierra (version 10.13), so please look for the “Update All” button.

For your IOS device (iPad, iPod Touch, iPhone) you’ll go into Settings > General > Software Update. The AppStore will likely alert you, too.

For Android, this can vary, but should be found in Settings > System Updates. Android is usually good about putting updates in front of users quickly.

Browsers – every major browser (Chrome, Firefox, IE, Safari, and others) is being updated. The quickest way to update is usually through the Help > About section of your browser found using the control icon in the upper right corner.


This is a confusing issue, and that’s because it’s a big issue. Also, please be aware that scams around this will be out there soon. If you have any questions, please contact us at the Helpdesk at x1047 or at

New for 2018: Phone Directory in Office 365

An online employee office phone directory has been a top request for some time.

To start the off the new year, ITS is happy to announce that all full-time employee phone numbers will now be stored and maintained in the Office 365 people directory. Please read below about how to look up an employee’s office phone number and request a change if needed.

Please note, this directory is for employee office phone numbers only.

How to Search

Office 365 for the web (Wumail)

From the “People” screen in Office 365, search for a person. You will see their entire phone number listed right under their name. As we all know, the last 4 numbers is their office extension. The screen capture below shows the returned search result for the name “Robert” and the phone number below the email address.

Outlook desktop client for Windows

Search the address book. Select the radio button for “more columns” and change the drop down to “Offline Global Address List” or “Global Address List”, then enter the the name you are searching and hit “Go”.addressbook_lookupdemo_starktower

Outlook desktop client for MacOS

Search the address book. Search all fields in the Widener Directory, the enter the name you are searching and the name should appear. Click on the employee’s name from the search results and the contact window will display the phone number. The following screen shot shows a sample search.mac_person_lookup

Request a Phone Number Change

Should you find a number that needs revision please open up a QuickTicket at , choose “Phone Directory Change”, enter the updated information and submit the ticket.

Happy (and Safe!) Holidays

With the holidays upon us, and the new year coming up, it’s a good time to remember that cybercriminals use the rush of the season to target unsuspecting users.

In addition to “urgent” messages to reset your password (reminder: even if you miss the reset date, we’re not deleting your account), it’s important to be ready for themed phishing emails such as Post Office/UPS/FedEx shipping notices.  It’s tempting to check “just in case,” but unless the email has your specific tracking number on it, it’s likely a scam.

Be careful if you get an email that looks like it’s from your bank saying that your card has gone over your limit – the bad guys often take the graphics straight from banking portals to trick people into entering their login data. Check your balance from your app, or give the support number on your card a call.

Remember that Wi-Fi hotspots aren’t secure – while you’re checking your bank balance, someone might be trying to intercept your ID and password.  Head out into the malls with the numbers beforehand, or just use your data connection.  At a busy Starbucks, your own service will probably be faster anyway.

Happy holidays everyone, and be safe out there.