A few weeks ago, DSFederal held a virtual Jeopardy Night– open to DSFederal as well as friends and family for a much-needed get-together during the Covid-19 crisis. After a nail-biting final Jeopardy round, the top three teams were announced, and cash prizes were awarded across the board. For the NGITS Jeopardy team however, the story continued.

The DSFederal Next Generation IT Services (NGITS) team works with the HHS’s Office of the Chief Information Officer (OCIO) and the Office of the Deputy Chief Information Officer for Operations (DCIO-OPS) to provide program management, communications, and collaboration support to integrate activities under the three task areas of Engineering, Operations, and Application Hosting for an enterprise computing platform that serves 25 HHS divisions and organizations.

The NGITS team members, it seems, not only work together, but play together as well. As a Jeopardy team, Claire Pak, David Trask, Nadia Saleh, Theresa Whelan, Anjum Rommel, Vicki Wang, Rolf Hargis, and Nigel Shaw (host) decided to donate their third-place winnings across seven different organizations: the Montgomery County Coalition for the Homeless, the Wounded Warrior Project, the DC Diaper Bank, Agami, Metro Ferals, Inc., Johns Hopkins Medicine Coronavirus Response, and Stepping Stones Women’s Shelter.

Team Captain Claire Pak said that the team had decided to donate if they won anything even before the day of the game. “Our only area of disagreement was where to donate and so we just decided that we’d each pick a charity and split the money among all of them.”

DSFederal CEO Sophia Parker matched the amounts and doubled the donations and the NGITS’ team’s initiative inspired DSFederal employees Echo Wang, Stefani Olsen, Pritha Bhattacharyya, and Yang Liu to join the initiative as well.

“Even though we haven’t really seen one another since March, we’re still very connected,” said Claire. “We meet as a team, via WebEx, MS Teams, or Google Meet almost every day and we meet with members of our smaller project teams several times a week.” In addition to participating in DSFederal-wide events, the NGITS team has put together their own group virtual happy hours over the quarantine period.

“We are a very close-knit group,” said Claire. “We like each other personally and we respect one another professionally. I miss Team NGITS and can’t wait to see them again this summer!”


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