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COMMUNITY

SUPPORTERS
MERIT COMMUNITY SUPPORTERS

Merit Community Supporters are the cornerstone of Merit’s scholarship and Bring-A-Colleague programs. Through their partnership and financial contributions, Merit is able to further our mission of connecting organizations and building communities in ways that would not be otherwise possible.

The Merit Community Supporter program forms a bridge between the Merit community and select organizations. The following organizations are the initial participants in this new program:

ADVA

Juniper Networks 

CISCO

HERE ARE FIVE WAYS THAT MERIT COMMUNITY SUPPORTERS MADE A DIFFERENCE IN 2020
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1. MERIT MEMBERSHIP PROMOTION

Seven organizations took advantage of a discounted membership offer made possible by our Merit Community Supporters. Organizations joined the Merit community, providing them with immediate access to the full member benefits.

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2. MICHIGAN MOONSHOT EDUCATIONAL SERIES

Community Supporters provide funding for our educational webinar series, in which Merit staff and industry experts delve into a variety of broadband-related topics.

Since the inception of this series, Merit has held ten expert-led webinars, drawing in over 750 attendees. With the aid of Merit Community Supporters, Merit continues to secure diverse and knowledgeable presenters to inform and engage with our community.

Community Supporters Scholarships

3. MERIT SCHOLARSHIPS

Merit continues to offer scholarships to cover fees associated with education and training courses. The primary goal of the program is to assist Merit Member organizations in maintaining strong cybersecurity and networking skills- despite funding limitations.

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4. MERIT COMMUNITIES OF PRACTICE

Our communities of practice provide opportunities for networking, sharing industry best practices and professional development. These groups meet quarterly, with options for remote participation. With assistance from our Community Supporters, Merit offers three Communities of Practice, each in line with one of our mission pillars: network, security and community.

Additionally, Merit issued a buy-one-get-one half off promotion with the help of Merit Community Supporters. Seven members purchased two new communities of practice each to more closely engage with peers in their selected fields of study.

Esports deployment within institutions have grown exponentially in recent years. Merit held two community meetings with over 120 attendees to gauge interest in and the need for a community of practice focused on esports. Introducing GAME (Gaming, Academics & Michigan Esports). GAME is the most recent addition to our Communities of Practice. GAME brings together peers to discuss the emerging esports landscape, how members are getting started and the larger societal impact.

Community Supporters Mcap

5. MCAP DISASTER RECOVERY TABLETOP EXERCISE

The Merit Community Assistance Pact (MCAP) held a disaster recovery tabletop supported by Merit Community Supporters. MCAP was developed to anchor a community technical support network among Merit Members that compiles resources for a short term/emergency situation.

Facilitated by Kevin Hayes, Merit’s CISO, this one-day exercise was designed to test an organization’s ability to handle cyber incidents and execute procedures at an organizational level. Tabletop exercises of this kind strengthen the community by facilitating discussion around preventative policies and procedures.

If your organization is interested in participating in the Merit Community Supporter Program, please contact us at .