​2021 GÉANT Community Award – A constant force for good

This year’s GÉANT Community Award panel unanimously chose the successful nominee in the category ‘impactful contributors to the GÉANT project or wider community activities over a sustained period of time’: Maria Isabel GandÍa from CSUC.   

The award was presented on Tuesday 22 June during TNC21’s online ceremony by Klaas Wierenga, GÉANT Chief Information & Technology Officer who commented: “Maria Isabel has been a constant force for good in the GÉANT community for many years. Through her work in the Special Interest Group-Network Operation Centres (SIG-NOC) she has been a remarkable facilitator, educator, and community builder; she is one of the main reasons why this group remains one of the most active in the GÉANT Community Programme. She has also worked tirelessly to promote NREN interests in the RIPE community.”

Claudio Allocchio, Chair of the GÉANT Community Committee added: “Let me add that Maria Isabel is also a very accomplished and experienced engineer whose involvement in the use of advanced networks in performing arts, such as net:art, has enabled revolutionary multi-site performance events. All the people who know her and work with her will agree that she is dedicated, modest, welcoming and very open, a great ambassador for the CSUC, RedIRIS and the GÉANT communities.”

Accepting the award Maria Isabel said, “I feel so honoured and delighted because this recognition comes from the community, and I want to share it with the community. This award also belongs to all the friends from the SIG-NOC, to its present and past steering committee members and to the GÉANT community at large. This community, through dedication, commitment, and creativity – often thinking outside the box – helps to improve people’s lives by facilitating research, education and collaboration. This award also goes to the scientists, researchers and enthusiasts in the network and performing arts field, a subject so close to my heart. Being part of this wonderful community is such a privilege, let’s keep working together! And lastly, I would like to share it with my family for their continuous and relentless support.”

About Maria Isabel 

Maria Isabel is a network engineer who loves both the human and the technical side of networking. She has been collaborating with the SIG-NOC, since its inception, helping to make the community stronger through knowledge-sharing. Maria Isabel currently leads the Networking Department at CSUC and with her team she manages the Research and Education Network in Catalonia, Anella Científica, and the internet exchange, CATNIX. In the GÉANT (GN4-3) project she works, on behalf of RedIRIS, to foster the use of Orchestration, Automation and Virtualisation on the network (sharing the love of cats with one of the most cat-loving teams in the project!). As she believes that the engagement of women in technology has to start from childhood, she has mentored several teams of girls to enable them to present their technology projects.

More about the Community Award

With the Community Award, GÉANT honours people who have contributed significant ideas, time, and expertise to the development of the research and education networking community’s collaborative achievements. This year’s panel of judges comprised Andreas Dudler, Chair of the GÉANT Board, Claudio Allocchio, Chair of the GÉANT Community Committee, Sabine Jaume-Rajaonia Chair of TNC21 Programme Committee and Erik Huizer, CEO of GÉANT.