Marist Honored for World Community Grid Work

IT's Dave Hughes Helps Make College a Leader in Lending Computing Power to Good Causes

POUGHKEEPSIE (April 10, 2013) – IDG’s Computerworld Honors Program has named Marist College a 2013 Laureate for its World Community Grid program. The annual award program honors visionary applications of information technology promoting positive social, economic, and educational change.

Marist College was the first college or university in the United States to join World Community Grid (WCG), which uses idle computer processing power to support research for humanitarian and sustainability initiatives. It is the largest college or university contributor to the program, having participated in all 20 WCG projects, and has earned a “sapphire badge” – the highest rank – for each one. 
World Community Grid

All told, Marist has contributed over 11,000 years of computing time to WCG and has returned over 22 million results to the research teams.  Out of more than 610,000 members, Marist is ranked second in all measured statistics – total run time, points generated, and results returned – behind only IBM, the company that hosts the entire WCG infrastructure. 

Some of the World Community Grid projects that Marist has contributed to include finding a cure and/or drug treatments for muscular dystrophy, AIDS/HIV, Dengue fever, hepatitis C, West Nile, Yellow fever, Leishmaniasis, schistosomiasis, and malaria.  Marist has also contributed computing time to projects that find ways to make clean drinking water available to developing nations and materials that can make clean and sustainable energy. 

When computers at Marist are idle for a few minutes, World Community Grid kicks on and starts crunching work units from the available active projects. One hundred percent of Marist College-owned personal computing assets – desktops, towers, and laptops, both Windows and Mac, deployed for faculty, staff, lab, or classroom use – contribute to the World Community Grid.

“I’m honored to have Marist’s World Community Grid program chosen for this award and am very fortunate that the IT and executive leadership of the College fully support and endorse Marist’s participation in this important project,” said Client Technology Manager Dave Hughes, who oversees Marist's WCG participation. “This would not be possible without the idle computing power of every Marist-owned computer.”

“Under Dave’s leadership, the Marist community has made remarkable contributions to the World Community Grid and, through it, to many important global research initiatives,” said Marist Vice President and CIO Bill Thirsk. “This Computerworld honor recognizes Dave’s commitment to a project that furthers both Marist’s technology leadership and its tradition of service to the global community.”

Hughes added, “Ultimately, the idle processing power that Marist is contributing to the various World Community Grid projects is benefiting the scientific research teams behind these projects. In turn, these research teams are benefiting all of humanity.”

“Technology continues to play a pivotal role in transforming how business and society functions. For the past 25 years the Computerworld Honors Program has had the privilege of celebrating innovative IT achievements,” said John Amato, Computerworld vice president and publisher. “Computerworld is honored to recognize the outstanding accomplishments of the 2013 class of Laureates and to share their work. These projects demonstrate how IT can advance organizations' ability to compete, innovate, communicate, and prosper.”

In December, Computerworld named Vice President and CIO Thirsk to its Premier 100 IT Leaders. Also recognized by the 2013 Computerworld Honors Program is Marist’s Open Academic Analytics Initiative, led by Senior Academic Technology Officer Josh Baron. The 2013 Computerworld Laureates will be featured in the June 3 issue of Computerworld magazine. 

About World Community Grid

World Community Grid's mission is to create the world's largest public computing grid to tackle projects that benefit humanity. WCG’s work has developed the technical infrastructure that serves as the grid's foundation for scientific research. WCG’s success depends upon individuals collectively contributing their unused computer time to change the world for the better. WCG is making technology available only to public and not-for-profit organizations to use in humanitarian research that might otherwise not be completed due to the high cost of the computer infrastructure required in the absence of a public grid. As part of our commitment to advancing human welfare, all results will be in the public domain and made public to the global research community.

About Dave Hughes

After receiving his B.A. in computer science from SUNY Geneseo, Dave began his career at Marist as ResNet support analyst in 2004.  He was promoted to senior desktop administrator in 2007, manager of desktop computing in 2009, and manager of client technologies in 2011, where he manages a team of staff and students in the Desktop Administration and ResNet groups. 

With nearly 15 years of experience in higher education technology implementation and support, Dave has helped to propel and maintain Marist’s distinction as a leader in technology.  He began the Lenovo ThinkPad University and Warranty Self-Maintainer programs, for which his team has won several honors, including the “Lenovo Stellar Award.”  Dave mentors student workers and encourages them to obtain their A+ and Lenovo certifications, which enables them to perform hardware repairs while at the same time learning valuable, real-world skills. 

Dave implemented the Apple labs on campus and setup the AppleCare repair program for which Marist is consistently ranked above the regional average.  Dave has led the efforts for the early adoption of new operating systems from both Microsoft and Apple and is gearing up for a full scale Windows 8 rollout this summer. 

About Computerworld

Computerworld is the leading source of technology news and information for IT influencers, providing peer perspective, IT leadership, and business results. Computerworld’s award-winning website (, bi-weekly publication, focused conference series, custom solutions, and custom research forms the hub of the world’s largest (40+ edition) global IT media network and provides opportunities for IT solutions providers to engage this audience. Computerworld leads the industry with an online audience of over 3.5 million unique, monthly visitors (Omniture, August 2012) and was recognized as the Best Website by ASBPE and TABPI in 2012. Computerworld is published by IDG Enterprise, a subsidiary of International Data Group (IDG), the world’s leading media, events, and research company. Company information is available at