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Electronic signatures lend
a professional touch to letters
March 2, 1998

Thanks to Judy Romanowski's technical expertise, departments on campus can send out more personalized, professional-looking documents.

For the last three years, Romanowski, a senior programmer analyst in the Computer Center has been working on ways to produce more personalized, attractive documents for the University.

Romanowski, who has been at UConn for 18 years, is responsible for creating the Center's capability to produce electronic signatures that can be used on a variety of documents and letters. Romanowski determined how this could be accomplished on the mainframe, doing much of the development work on her own time.

Her work began when the admissions office needed more personalized letters to send to students. Romanowski modified existing software so that a letter can be printed automatically on the appropriate paper type, whether it is a pre-printed form, plain paper with no letterhead, or system-generated letterhead. The program can also control whether or not an electronic signature appears on the letters.

Romanowski designed methods to make signatures "float," so regardless of the length of a letter, the signature will appear in the proper location.

"Judy's work has allowed more flexibility for departments such as admissions and financial aid," says Dayna Flath, manager, Information Systems Development. "They can have a much more professional-looking document without having to submit requests to us every time they want to change their document. Her work has provided more opportunity for users to help themselves," she says.

Malcolm Toedt, executive director of the University Computer Center, said Romanowski's work enhances the processing that the University has to do and, because other universities have seen her program and want to adopt it too, enhances the University's image.

Romanowski presented her letter-writing enhancements at the 1997 NASU (National Association of Sigma Users) conference in Breckenridge, Colo., where her work was enthusiastically received by conference participants from other universities and by Sigma, the University's Financial Aid and Accounts Receivable software vendor.

In addition to making a presentation on her work, Romanowski provided the users with documentation to modify their own systems.

Sherry Fisher