March 2023

‘Tis the Season for Poster Printing


Spring is Poster Printing season, with ClarkFEST, class and departmental poster events, Academic Futures Showcase, academic conferences, and much more.

Each year ITS prints over 250 posters in support of teaching and learning, and academic research. As a result, we wanted to share our top 5 tips for easy poster printing.

If you’re looking for more advice, click here to read additional guidance.

Check Sizing

While the most common poster size we print is 36 inches by 48 inches, different events require different poster sizes and dimensions. Check requirements early and set your size in your design application before beginning your work. Changing sizing, and particularly dimensions, at a later time can require you to change your design significantly – a stressor that you won’t need before the event.

Most posters are created in Powerpoint, where it’s very easy to change your slide size. Click here for more information on how to do so. For an even easier option, use one of our pre-sized templates, available here.

Poster Printer

Our trusty poster printer

Edit your text

Posters, by their nature, have limited space. As you’re designing your poster, consider what your goals are and be ruthless in editing your text. Remove anything extraneous and be sure that all elements support your narrative. Remember that reducing your font size to help everything fit is rarely a good choice.

Additionally, your audience will be moving past your poster and may not have the time to read every line of text. Choose descriptive and catchy headings and subheadings to draw people to your work and encourage them to spend more time with your poster.

Use images (appropriately)

Images are an important element to making a poster attractive, interesting and useful for the audience. However, remember that all images should build towards your goals, and shouldn’t be purely decorative.

From a technical perspective, ensure that all images are high-quality to prevent pixilation when printed at large scale (click here for advice on how to do this). Also, the cost of your poster will be impacted by the ink-usage during printing. Images with high contrast, large areas of very dark colors, or image-based backgrounds will increase your poster costs.


Proofread, proofread, proofread. We can’t say this enough!

Everyone makes mistakes, but doing all you can to catch mistakes prior to submitting your poster to be printed will reduce your stress. Read every word on your poster multiple times, read it backwards, have a few friends read it. Please note that ITS does not proofread posters prior to printing.

Know your deadlines

For large events such as ClarkFEST, ITS can receive over 100 poster requests in a period of 2 business days. Our poster printer can take between 5 and 10 minutes to print each poster, and that timing doesn’t account for sizing review, paper and ink changes, invoicing and rolling. As a result, submission dates are set to allow our team to print high-quality posters in plenty of time for events, so we appreciate you submitting your work by the deadline.

Office 2021: Available Now for Faculty and Staff

Office 2021

Microsoft Office has been available since 1990. Over the past 33 years, the tools included in the Office suite, such as Word, Outlook, and Excel, have expanded and improved (to see just how much, scroll through the visual history of Microsoft Word).

ITS is excited to announce that Office 2021 is now available as an optional update on most Clark-provided Windows computers for faculty and staff. Labs and public computing spaces will be updated over the Summer.

How Do I Update?

Update to Office 2021 by following these step-by-step instructions. If you’d like further guidance on using the new features and functions discussed in this article, please contact

Why Should I Update?

Curious about what this update has in store? Keep reading to learn more about the exciting changes coming to a (Windows) screen near you!

Accessibility Checker

Microsoft’s accessibility checker is now available in Word, Excel, and PowerPoint. This tool identifies ways you can make your document or presentation more accessible for everyone, including adding alternative text for images and optimizing file format for screen reading. You can see these suggestions by going to the “Review” tab in any of these three tools.

Dark Mode in Microsoft Word

Late night writing session? Turn on dark mode in Microsoft Word to reduce blue light exposure, which can contribute to eyestrain and headaches. Bonus: using applications in the dark mode can save battery power on your laptop, tablet, or phone.

XLookup in Excel

If you’ve ever used HLookup or VLookup in Excel, you know that they are extremely powerful and frequently tricky functions. XLookup is their sleeker younger sibling, which doesn’t require you to specify the direction of your data and simplifies formula input. Check out this YouTube video to learn more about how this function can save you time.

Cat with a crown

A cat with a crown

Improved Drawing and Ink

Do you like to scribble over your data or lecture slides? Office 2021 includes improved drawing and ink functionality in Word, Excel, and PowerPoint. You can even replay your annotations if presenting information to a group or enhance existing pictures for research (or for your beloved pet).

Translate emails in Outlook

Many Clarkies communicate in multiple languages or collaborate with international colleagues. Outlook for Windows can now quickly and easily translate incoming or outgoing messages into another language to improve communication. Follow Microsoft’s instructions to learn how to enable this feature.

Tool Spotlight: Whiteboards in Virtual Meetings

Screenshot of a whiteboard

These days, Clark classes, meetings, and events often take place virtually in Teams or Zoom. While many of us know about the basic features of these online spaces, such as chat and screensharing, including a digital whiteboard in your next virtual gathering can be a unique, collaborative, and fun way to engage your fellow Clarkies. Whether you’re brainstorming ideas for a group project or outlining goals for a staff initiative, whiteboards can help the ideas flow!

How do I create a whiteboard?

In either Teams or Zoom, navigate to the screen-sharing option. When you opt to share your screen, the software presents you with a few different options: you can elect to share your whole screen, one app, or a whiteboard. Choose the whiteboard option, and everyone in the meeting will be able to see it and, if you choose, interact with it.

What can I do in a whiteboard?

The beauty of a whiteboard is that it is more open-ended than a traditional Word document that is typically used to take meeting notes. Once the whiteboard is open, everyone will have access to a toolbar. By selecting different options from this toolbar, meeting participants can type new text, draw diagrams, and add shapes such as hearts or arrows to draw attention to different parts or ideas. These functions vary a little between Teams and Zoom (in Teams, for example, you can add images or add flow chart templates to your whiteboard), but both are intuitive and easy to use.

What happens next?

Zoom users can choose to save the whiteboard to their device as a picture or PDF. Those who work in Teams will notice that the whiteboard will be added to the meeting chat after the meeting itself ends, and, depending on your account settings, may also be automatically saved in OneDrive.

I want to try this, but can I practice first?

Yes! Please reach out to to learn more about this wonderful tool and how to use it.

Social Engineering

Each day, hackers come up with new and innovative ways to trick individuals into providing personal information. These types of attacks are commonly referred to as social engineering attacks. Social engineering is the tactic of manipulating, influencing, or deceiving a victim to gain control over a computer system or steal personal and financial information. Currently, there are three main types of social engineering attacks.


In phishing attacks, hackers send malicious emails with information about a free product, pose as a service you use, or pretend to be a friend trying to get in touch with you. When you click on a link or open an attachment from these emails, malicious files are downloaded to your device, causing it to be held for ransom.


SMS phishing, or ‘smishing,’ happens when hackers try to steal your personal details by posing as a trusted person or service via text message. For example, a cybercriminal could pose as a representative from your bank and ask you to click on a link to connect to your bank’s “web page” and verify a recent suspicious charge. Others might ask you to call a customer service number, conveniently included within the text message, regarding a compromised account. Hackers even pose as celebrities or charitable foundations, sending text messages asking for donations to aid with hurricane relief or animal rescues. Once you input your bank information, credit card number, or social security number, the criminal can make fraudulent charges.


Vishing is voice or voicemail phishing. This occurs when hackers call your phone number to speak to you or leave voice messages. They claim to be from a reputable company, often mentioning outstanding bills or account emergencies in order to confuse you and ask for personally identifiable information such as bank and credit card information.

Spotting Social Engineering

Click here for lots of tips on how to spot Phishing – social engineering via email.

For Smishing, look at the phone number that sent the text message. Do you recognize it? Sometimes the first few numbers or the country code can reveal that the message is coming from another country. Additionally, many automated texts from institutions like banks are only a few numbers, rather than a full ten-digit phone number. A good general hint is to never click on a link in an SMS, and instead find the link on your computer through official websites.

What about Vishing? Typically, vishers will call from restricted or unrecognizable numbers. If you do not recognize it, let it go to voicemail. Most of the time, vishers will not leave a voicemail, but if they do, you will have more time to determine its legitimacy when you do not feel rushed to answer questions. Vishers often pretend to be calling from a government agency, financial organization, or law enforcement agency. They will usually ask for sensitive information such as social security numbers, mother’s maiden name, or childhood home address.

Staying up to date with current smishing and vishing campaigns can help you be aware of what to watch out for. Click here for information from the Social Security Administration’s website.

Limiting telemarketer calls and messages also reduces the chances of being targeted by phishing, smishing, and vishing. If you do not want to receive calls or texts from telemarketers, you can register your home or mobile phone number for free at:

If you have any questions about the validity of a text message or voicemail, especially any claiming to be from a member of the Clark University community, contact the ITS Help Desk by emailing or calling 508-793-7745.

Alex MagidOur monthly information security articles are written by Alex Magid, Information Privacy and Compliance Analyst. ITS is proud to announce that Alex was recently nominated as a candidate for Educause’s Board of Directors, and additionally has been awarded a scholarship by the Regulated Research Community of Practice to attend the Educause Cybersecurity and Privacy Professionals Conference.



Get to Know Us: Mariclare Kanaley   

Mariclare KanaleyThis month, we say hello to Mariclare Kanaley, Clark’s Slate CRM Administrator.  

Mariclare joined Clark’s ITS team seven months ago and currently plays a vital role in supporting student success. Since Clark has different departments that coordinate student information and provide students with resources, Mariclare is implementing a platform to share this information across campus and make processes a little easier. As she explains, a student’s decision to attend Clark is just part of their college process; there are so many other decisions they need to make once they enroll, and making those choices clearer and easier is what Mariclare spends most of her day doing. 

Mariclare is passionate about helping students in all areas: currently, she’s finishing up a degree in counseling inspired by her time as a middle school teacher. When she’s not taking classes, Mariclare enjoys watching White Lotus on HBO and learning new languages—she currently speaks English and Spanish but hopes to add another romance language to her repertoire soon.  

If you love Slate, languages or going to the beach, Mariclare is happy to chat! Click here for contact information.