News and Events

Chili Cook-off A Spooky Good Time

Chris Weberg wins with a simple little chili recipe!

The Annual OIT Chili and Baking Cook-off was held on Halloween this year and OIT employees really got into the spirit of the event. Many of the contestants wore costumes and everyone enjoyed this annual ritual of comradery and good eating!

In this competition, the food items were blind-judged (no one knows the identity of the cook) and scorecards were based on texture, flavor, consistency, and spiciness. There were over 20 competitors in the two categories.

The rules of the event are simple:

The winning entrants, who received giftcards provided by event-sponsor IT F&A, were:


  1. Chris Weberg (Enterprise Services)
  2. Brett Avery (Enterprise Services)
  3. Chuck Johnson (R-WIT)


  1. Camille Hyatt (IT F&A)
  2. Lindsay Paroczai (R-WIT)
  3. Kim Comstock (IT F&A)

Because the event was held on Halloween, there was also a costume competition:


  1. Sandra Harrison (IT F&A)
  2. LaKysha Mack (IT F&A)
  3. Christina Mazzella (IT F&A)

How serious do the contestants take this competition? Just check out the winning chili recipe from Chris Weberg (below this article).

Thanks to everyone for participating!

- Christina Mazzella, Division Director of HR, IT F&A

Chris Weberg's Easy Chili Recipe

Down home cookin'...if "down home" means you have a maniacal amount of time on your hands!

This chili recipe is what I whipped together for the OIT Chili Cook-off competition. The recipe is in multiple parts and requires a few days to prepare correctly.

Obviously, you don't have to make your own bacon or smoke your own brisket [Ed. note - although it certainly didn't hurt!]. Any quality bacon (Wright's comes to mind) or brisket (as long as it isn't soaking in a BBQ sauce) will work just fine.

I just like smoking meat. It brings my ADD to a manageable level and gives me something to fall back on in case this computer thing doesn't work out!

Bacon (Day 1(ish)):

1 Pork Belly
1 Cup Kosher Salt
1 16 oz bottle Grade B Maple Syrup
Apple wood chips

Directions: Take pork belly, rub with salt and Maple Syrup. Let set refrigerated 3 days, draining once per day. Smoke pork belly with wood chips in 225 degree smoker until internal temp is 160 degrees. Let rest for 30 minutes then refrigerate.

Brisket (Day 2):

5-pound brisket
Yellow mustard
Dry rub consisting of:
5 tablespoons paprika
3 tablespoons salt
2 tablespoons garlic powder
2 tablespoons onion powder
1 tablespoon black pepper
1 tablespoon dried parsley
2 teaspoons cayenne pepper
2 teaspoons ground cumin
Mixture of 80% Apple wood chips and 20% Mesquite wood chips

Directions: Assemble dry rub. Rinse brisket and pat dry with paper towel. Lightly cover brisket with yellow mustard. Drizzle rub on brisket. Refrigerate for at least 2 but no more than 6 hours. Smoke brisket with wood chips at 225 degrees until internal temperature is 160 degrees. Let rest for 45 minutes then refrigerate for at least 24 hours. I know some will argue that the brisket has to get to 185-190 before you can eat it (which is true), but it'll finish getting tender while cooking with the rest of the chili.

Beans (Day 3):

1 16 oz bag of dried Kidney Beans
Half gallon of water

Directions: Rinse beans under running water. Place beans and water in bowl overnight.

Chili (Day 4, right after the beans have finished soaking):

5 pounds of the beef brisket prepared earlier, cut in 1-inch cubes
1/4 pound of the bacon prepared earlier, diced
1/4 cup olive oil
2 cups chopped yellow onions
6 large garlic cloves, minced
2 tablespoons chili powder
1 tablespoon crushed red pepper flakes or to taste
1 tablespoon cayenne pepper or to taste
2 tablespoons ground cumin
2 fire roasted red peppers, seeded and diced
1 bay leaf
6 cups San Marzano tomatoes, hand crushed with their liquid
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
1/2 cup strong coffee
kidney beans that were prepared earlier, drained and rinsed
2 tablespoons chopped basil leaves

Directions: Fry bacon until limp, about 4 minutes. Remove from heat and set aside. Reserve 3 tablespoons of the heated fat. Sauté the onion and garlic in the olive oil and bacon fat over medium heat until limp, but not brown, about 8 to 10 minutes. Add the chili powder, pepper flakes, cayenne pepper and cumin and saute for 1 minute. Add the fire roasted red peppers, bay leaf, tomatoes with their juice, 1 tablespoon of salt and 1 teaspoon pepper and bring to a boil. Add all ingredients (brisket, bacon, beans, basil, and pot of sautéed things) to a crock pot, stir to mix, and cover. Cook on medium overnight.


- Chris Weberg, Desktop Consultant II, Enterprise Services

Step Out Walk

Nicola Walker, Liteacha Davis, and Tabatha Pirtle working to stop diabetes.

This year's Step Out Walk to Stop Diabetes was held at Grant Park in Atlanta on September 29. The UTS Call Center helped make the walk a big success. We thank everyone who attended/participated.

We would like to give a special thank you to Lynn Sadler-Harrison (Call Center, also of Heavenly Cakes) for her contribution throughout our preparation for the walk, and to Sonjia Evans, Tabatha Pirtle (Call Center), Bonita Russell (Call Center Manager), and our team captain Liteacha Davis (Call Center).

The check-in began at 7:30 a.m and walkers were registered, received a light breakfast, and were walking by 8:30. All donations were accepted during check-in and only fundraisers of at least $150 received the t-shirts. The walk was 5K (3.2 miles) around Grant Park. The Walk was a family-friendly event with a Family Fun Zone for children. Well behaved, leashed dogs were also welcome at the Step Out Walk.

For more information about future events, go to the American Diabetes website.

- Nicola Walker, Communication Specialist II, Call Center

New Carpet Install

Chris Alexander (Integration) goes all out to get his desk moved. (photo courtesy of P. Day)

The Integration space at 1762 has a new look.

In late September, Integration staff worked from home and hotel spaces for 10 days while the old TOC space was spruced up. The cubicals were dismantled and moved away from walls for painting and lifted for carpet installation. In addition, a reconfiguration of the cubicals along the windows now allow a better view and let more light into the space.

A new coat of paint, including accent walls and new carpeting, has given the space a whole new look. A few details including adding photos for the back wall are still to be completed, but the Integration staff has moved back in and are enjoying the space. Stop by for a visit!

- Kim Comstock, Business Manager, IT F&A

Call Center Raises Funds For Cancer Awareness

The ladies of the Call Center model their Breast Cancer Awareness T-Shirts!

In honor of Cancer Awareness Month, the UTS Call Center held a fund raiser in their break room in the David-Fischer Building on October 25.

The purpose of the event was to honor cancer survivors and celebrate the lives lost to this ugly disease. The team raised over $280 by selling cancer awareness T-shirts and hot dog meals to those who came by to support the cause.

Organized by Liteacha Davis (Call Center), the Call Center took pre-orders on t-shirts for a couple of weeks prior to the event and delivered the shirts the day before so that everyone could proudly wear their pink shirts for the celebration. All money raised will be donated to the Susan G. Komen Foundation.

- Bonita Russell, Manager, Call Center

Greening IT

The "Green Swish" indicates stories or ideas emphasizing our Division's efforts to be sustainable.

November is a big month for Sustainability! We hope you are planning to take advantage of the America Recycles Day on Wednesday, November 15, Main Campus, 11 a.m. - 2 p.m. UTS is represented, collecting Mixed Media (CDs, DVDs, and Hard Drives) thanks to Derek Spransy.

It's a great event that includes touring the Emory Recycling facility, collection of Styrofoam, trading or donating blue jeans (women only!) and the popular "Guess the Weight" of the compacted cans and plastic binned. Please join us!

Kid-friendly Websites

One challenge we often have at home is to get our kids to understand the importance of environmental awareness. We go from one day telling our kids to "throw away your trash, please!" to "Uh, except that's recyclable." A website called "Recycle City" offers an informative and fun way to teach kids about the importance of recycling with a fun, interactive walk through a city and answer the question, "What happens to my garbage?" Sponsored by the EPA, you can check out the fun activities at:

A few more kid-friendly websites can be found at the EPA Student Center (which offers games and quizzes for K-12 kids), Students: Basic Facts About Waste (a collection of interesting research facts and figures regarding waste management), and the Kids Science Challenge (a video-based 3rd to 6th grade science competition)

Adult-friendly Websites

So that you don't feel left out this month, they recycle printer cartridges at the Emory Commons Shopping Center, you can get your junked car removed for cash, or get advice from the EPA on how to reduce, reuse, recycle.

Speaking of recycling, I hope you tasted some of my roasted pumpkin seeds at the Chili Cook-off!

- Dawn Francis-Chewning, Business Analyst, Academic Technology Services