I just got a really nice phone call from John Kenagy, CIO at the Oregon Health Sciences University, letting me know that the UW’s Catalyst WebQ online quiz and survey tool, has won the Joanne R. Hugi Excellence Award presented by the Northwest Academic Computing Consortium. The Hugi Award “is to recognize and share information about outstanding IT practices among the higher education institutions of the Pacific Northwest.”
WebQ is one of the great group of Catalyst Web Tools that Tom Lewis and a small crew of intrepid perl programmers write and make available for folks here at the UW. It’s a great survey and quiz tool and it gets used for all sorts of things – from research surveys (it’s been approved as a tool for human subjects research at the University) to student government and faculty senate voting.
In our brief conversation, John mentioned that NWACC doesn’t like to give the Hugi award to huge megaprojects, but to “the things that quietly propel us forward”, which I thought was a lovely way of expressing the kind of value that we get from tools such as WebQ. It’s another way of expressing the value that Dave Weinberger famously stated as “small pieces loosely joined.”
As part of the award someone from the UW will be talking about WebQ and the Catalyst Tools at the upcoming NWACC annual conference in Portland in June.
Congratulations to the whole Catalyst crew for a great tool, and thanks to NWACC for the lovely bit of recognition!