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2010 Rose Award Winner: David Lassner

David Lassner David Lassner, Vice President and Chief Information Officer of the University of Hawaii

The Richard Rose Award was established to recognize extraordinary individual contributions that extend the reach of advanced networking into the K20 community. David Lassner has committed a lifetime of effort to extending the reach of advanced networking to Hawaii's educational community, blazing the trail to establish state-of-the-art connections throughout the Hawaiian Islands as well as from Hawaii to the rest of the world. He has played multiple influential roles, from the University of Hawaii's first and only chief information officer, to the Chair of Hawaii's Broadband Task Force, and has championed a wide range of broadly inclusive efforts that deliver the benefits of advanced network services and applications to Hawaii's statewide education community and beyond.

Lassner was a co-founder of the Hawaii Educational Networking Consortium, which for two decades has brought to one table public higher education, public K12 education and private education in Hawaii. He was principal investigator for the National Science Foundation "Hawaii Education and Research Network" (HERN) award, which explored the use of Internet technologies to reform educational practice at all levels statewide. The HERN project resulted in one of the first educational Ethernet-over-coax deployments in the country, while providing teachers at all levels from all islands with some of their first exposure and training in the use of these technologies for teaching and learning.

Challenged by Hawaii's geographic isolation, Lassner has formed important alliances with domestic and international partners that currently enable Hawaii's K20 and research communities to share more than 20 gigabits per second of submarine long-haul capacity. Lassner has worked tirelessly to ensure that global R&E networking reaches not only Hawaii's most advanced research facilities, including observatories on the summits of Mauna Kea and Haleakala and the Hawaii Institute for Marine Biology, but also every community college and every one of the more than 200 public schools in Hawaii through their participation as Internet2 Sponsored Education Group Participants.

Lassner's early engagements with educational networking beyond Hawaii included co-organizing the first K12 Networking Workshops at the Internet Society's INET meetings during the 1990s, and helping organize and manage the judging for the Advanced Network & Services original ThinkQuest contests, through which K12 students around the world created educational websites and were awarded more than $1 million dollars in scholarships each year.

As one of the few university chief information officers with direct responsibility to network the state's community colleges, Lassner has ensured gigabit speed connections to every community college in Hawaii. Lassner's current networking proposals would move Hawaii to the forefront by providing direct fiber connections with gigabit connectivity to every public school and every public library in Hawaii, provisioning all of Hawaii's community colleges and their education centers on all islands with 10Gbps connections, and solidifying support for domestic research connectivity between Hawaii and the U.S. mainland.

Throughout his career, Lassner has leveraged his participation in national and international advanced network collaborations to maximize global access in Hawaii. He continues to be a thought leader and keystone in a myriad of collaborative efforts to bring the benefits of advanced network services and applications to every individual within Hawaii's K20 community and beyond.