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Internet2 Announces 2017 Winners of William ‘Brit’ Kirwan Mentorship Award and President’s Leadership Award

Posted on Apr 26, 2017 by Sara Aly
Tags: 2017 Internet2 Global Summit, Frontpage News

Annie Stunden, Larry Smarr and Bruce Maas recognized for their contributions to the research and education community


WASHINGTON, D.C., April 26, 2017 — Internet2 today announced the recipients of the William ‘Brit’ Kirwan Mentorship Award and President’s Leadership Award, in recognition of outstanding service and contributions to the research and education community, during its annual Global Summit meeting in Washington, D.C. The 2017 award recipients are:

  • Annie Stunden, former CIO and director of the Division of Information Technology at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, is the recipient of the William “Brit” Kirwan Mentorship Award.
  • Larry Smarr, founding director of the California Institute for Telecommunications and Information Technology and Harry E. Gruber professor of computer science at UC San Diego, is the recipient of the William “Brit” Kirwan Mentorship Award.
  • Bruce Maas, CIO and vice provost for Information Technology at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, is the recipient of the President’s Leadership Award.

William (Brit) Kirwan Mentorship Award

The Internet2 William “Brit” Kirwan Mentorship Award is presented annually to a member of the Internet2 community who embodies the spirit of William “Brit” Kirwan’s role as a mentor to countless professionals in the research and education community. Kirwan is well known for his ability to connect people in higher education and inspire others, and for giving his time to serve the community.

Annie Stunden profile picture Annie Stunden is the former CIO and director of the Division of Information Technology (DoIT) at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. Prior to Annie's position at Madison, she held leadership positions in the Information Technology organizations at Cornell University, Northwestern University, and the University of Rochester. Annie came to higher education IT through health care IT. She was an associate director of Strong Memorial Hospital (part of the University of Rochester) where she led the IT organization as well as the Management Services and Planning organizations.

“Annie has always insisted on operational excellence and at some point in her career she realized that the best way to do that was to invest in people,” said Ron Kraemer, VP and chief information and digital officer at the University of Notre Dame. “Her contributions are measured by the people in her organizations that went on to lead in higher education. Many went on to be CIOs, but others continued to advance services at UW- Madison and many other research institutions.”

Since 2006, Annie has been working with MOR Associates, where she has been a leadership coach for the IT Leaders Program and has been a supporting consultant in many of the workshops. In Annie's work with MOR Associates she has worked primarily at Penn State University and the University of Illinois. This work with MOR Associates is post-retirement for Annie.

“Annie was one of the pioneers as a woman in this field called information technology. She took a test one-day years ago and soon found herself on this remarkable trajectory into this new frontier,” said Brian McDonald, president, MOR Associates. “She has always looked out for and mentored woman in this male dominated industry. She has encouraged younger women to speak up and to step forward. She continues to this day to meet with her Santa Fe Women’s Group as well as the women in IT at Penn State. Just one of her many commitments to pay it forward.”

“Annie began her professional career when there were very few women working in IT; and even fewer in leadership roles. As she moved up the ranks of leadership she was especially focused on bringing women along,” added Kathy Pletcher, Emerita, University of Wisconsin-Green Bay. “She encouraged women to take on management roles and gave them opportunities to develop their leadership skills. When she arrived at the Madison campus there were few women in leadership roles; when she left there were many. Many of these women advanced to leadership roles at other institutions of higher education.”

In her leadership roles in higher education IT, Annie has been on the Boards of CREN, CAUSE and Internet2. She is one of the founders of the Northern Tier Network Consortium (NTTF) and BOREAS, key pieces of our national network capability. She has served in a leadership role in bringing a major network POP to Chicago for our CIC schools and our colleagues. Annie also has led initiatives to bring leadership development to higher education IT through CAUSE and EDUCAUSE.

Larry Smarr profile picture Larry Smarr is the founding director of the California Institute for Telecommunications and Information Technology (Calit2), a UC San Diego/UC Irvine partnership, and holds the Harry E. Gruber professorship in computer science and engineering (CSE) at UC San Diego's Jacobs School. Before that he was professor of physics and astronomy and the founding director of the National Center for Supercomputing Applications (NCSA) at UIUC.

He is a member of the National Academy of Engineering, as well as a Fellow of the American Physical Society and the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. In 2006 he received the IEEE Computer Society Tsutomu Kanai Award for his lifetime achievements in distributed computing systems and in 2014 the Golden Goose Award.

He served on the NASA Advisory Council to 4 NASA Administrators, was chair of the NASA Information Technology Infrastructure Committee and the NSF Advisory Committee on Cyberinfrastructure, and for 8 years he was a member of the National Institutes of Health (NIH) Advisory Committee to the NIH director, serving 3 directors.

“Over the past four decades he has mentored faculty, staff and students in the educational, government, private sectors and at the community level,” said James Bottum, retired vice provost and CIO at Clemson University. “He has mentored at both the personal and the institutional levels and I count myself in the former category as he has been the most significant mentor in my professional life.”

“During my tenure working for Larry, I watched as he focused on the need to increase the pipeline of women working in science and technology,” added Jerry Sheehan, vice president of IT, Montana State. “He committed substantial time and effort as the director of Calit2 to not only bring diverse voices into our Advisory Board but also to working with those advocates to bring cultural change to the University of California, San Diego.”

President’s Leadership Award

Each year, Internet2’s president and CEO, Dave Lambert, presents the President’s Leadership Award to recognize an individual within the Internet2 community for exceptional leadership and service exemplifying the essence of Internet2 membership, enabling services and achievements beyond the scope of any individual institution that benefit the national and global research and education community.

Bruce Maas profile picture Bruce Maas is the CIO and vice provost for information technology at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. He has served the University of Wisconsin (UW) System in a variety of roles over a career of more than 30 years, including budget manager, assistant dean for business affairs, PeopleSoft project manager, deputy CIO, service center transition coordinator, and CIO at two UW institutions.

“Bruce’s dedication to the research and education community can be seen throughout his 42 years of service in higher education. You can always count on him to participate in community-driven advisories, panels, and committees,” said Lambert. “His active participation on the program committee for Global Summit and his collaborative approach to leadership, particularly in defining and executing the executive track, helped to transform the event into a truly engaging community forum for Internet2 constituencies. The President’s Leadership Award is intended to recognize community members who have gone well beyond the norm in advancing the interests and values of the Internet2 community and Bruce is deserving of this award.”

In 2007, Maas successfully completed a joint leasing agreement among Milwaukee Public Schools, Milwaukee Area Technical College, and UW-Milwaukee with a major telecommunications company to provide leasing rights to 12 FCC-licensed channels in exchange for monetary compensation. The contract provided long-term funding to UW-Milwaukee for a second data center as well as staffing in support of the university’s successful research cyber-infrastructure initiative.

In 2010, Maas accepted a half-time yearlong appointment at UW–Madison reporting to the vice chancellor for administration, where he led the transition team responsible for implementing a new organizational design for the service center supporting all 27 UW System institutions.

In November 2012, Maas was appointed to a four-year term on the Board of Directors of EDUCAUSE, a nonprofit association whose mission is to advance higher education through the use of information technology. Prior to his appointment, Bruce served as Director of the EDUCAUSE Leadership Institute, a faculty member of the institute, and as chair of the Midwest EDUCAUSE conference.

Maas is also a member of the Internet2 external relations PAG and Program and Priorities Committee, and was the co-PI for two NSF infrastructure grants. In addition, he recently completed his term on the Board of Directors of Unizin and Board of Directors of IMS Global. Maas is retiring from UW-Madison April 28, 2017.

About Internet2:
Internet2 is a non-profit, member-driven advanced technology community founded by the nation’s leading higher education institutions in 1996. Internet2 serves 317 U.S. universities, 70 government agencies, 43 regional and state education networks and through them supports more than 94,000 community anchor institutions, over 900 InCommon participants, and 78 leading corporations working with our community, and 61 national research and education network partners that represent more than 100 countries.
Internet2 delivers a diverse portfolio of technology solutions that leverages, integrates, and amplifies the strengths of its members and helps support their educational, research and community service missions. Internet2’s core infrastructure components include the nation’s largest and fastest research and education network that was built to deliver advanced, customized services that are accessed and secured by the community-developed trust and identity framework.
Internet2 offices are located in Ann Arbor, Mich.; Denver, Colo.; Emeryville, Calif.; Washington, D.C.; and West Hartford, Conn. For more information, visit or follow @Internet2 on Twitter.
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Media Contact:
Sara Aly, Communications Manager