IT@UofT People – Avi Hyman

The backbone of any successful team is its hard-working people. The University of Toronto’s Information Technology Services (ITS) division is no exception. We are privileged to employ outstanding individuals who share and extend their expertise to advance digital and IT solutions at the University – driving better outcomes around teaching, learning and scholarship across our three campuses. The team is made up of many unique people with diverse talents that extend beyond work-related education and skills.

In this new segment, entitled IT@UofT People, we will get to know our IT@UofT team across the tri-campus community and find out more about their hidden or not-so-hidden talents and/or pursuits outside of work.

With hockey season in full swing, this segment will feature a series of resident U of T hockey players throughout fall and winter 2019/20.

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Avi Hyman, director of Academic & Collaborative Technologies (ACT).

Name: Avi Hyman

Department: Academic & Collaborative Technologies (ACT)

Title: Director

How long have you worked at U of T?

I’ve worked at U of T for 36 years.

What do you like about working at U of T and ITS in particular?
All I have to do is turn on the news each morning to remind myself how fortunate I am to be working at U of T – getting to help people reach their intellectual goals every day, at one of the greatest universities in the world, in one of the most livable cities and countries in the world.

What is your secret talent outside of working here?
I have a number of hobbies and volunteer pursuits (perhaps too many according to my spouse) – genealogy, historical research and volunteering with a community sports organization are currently at the top of the list, time-spent-wise.

What is your not-so-secret talent outside of working here?
I’ve been playing hockey for a long time. This is my 50th season.

Do you have any professional training in this field?
No.

What is your inspiration for playing hockey?
It’s an addiction. I no longer play any form of organized hockey (I only play pickup), so my game time inspiration is to keep as many of the opposing players from scoring as I can. I am a stay-at-home defenseman and would be happy to not score a single goal myself all season, if I could ensure that no-one ever scored on my goalie.

At this point, I tend to play in two or three pickup games during the season. Most of the players are old like me now, although, in one, 20 and 30-something children of players have joined, which makes me have to work harder.

What is your success record like?
Success is measured by everyone going home uninjured at the end of the game and showing up for the next one.

Do you have any hockey rituals/superstitions you’d like to share?
I wear the same thing under my equipment every game (yes, I wash them between games), until they completely fall apart. In my old age, extra stretching has become a ritual too.

Do you partake in this sport as a way to keep healthy and active? In other words, is your motive fitness-related?
Partly I suppose. If I don’t play for an extended period, I tend to get further out of shape.

Who is your favourite hockey player and why?
Claire Alexander was my favourite player growing up. He had an interesting back story. He may be the last amateur player to be called up to play for the Leafs. Kind of gave a pickup player hope.

Who is your favourite hockey team and why?
Um, really? I am born and raised in The Blue. And that’s what I bleed. But, truth be told, I almost always prefer to play than watch, if given a choice.

And most importantly… Is U of T at risk of losing you to the NHL full-time?!
Too late. I came to work at U of T when I retired from the NHL, but don’t tell anyone. My officemates wouldn’t appreciate all the autograph-seekers knocking on our door all the time.