Student Chapter Spotlight: ITM Club, University of Michigan-Dearborn

May 2012 Student Chapter Spotlight:
ITM Club, The University of Michigan-Dearborn

The ITM Club at the University of Michigan-Dearborn (UM-D) is constantly striving to reach a new level of excellence while facing the challenges that come with being a small, suburban Detroit commuter school of about 6,800 students. Winner of the Inaugural AIS Distinguished Student Chapter Award in 2009-2010, the ITM Club looks to not only be one of the top student organizations at it’s own school, but also to be one of the perpetual trend-setters for the Association for Information Systems. 

Under the oversight of  Faculty Advisor Lise Urbaczewski, the ITM Club has grown in the past few years from a club with only a handful of active members to one of the most popular student organizations on campus, with a current active member list of 30 students. This is achieved through many different recruiting methods, such as student mentoring, where club officers are assigned to students who are interested in joining the club; social events, in which the club invites new and interested students for events such as Bowling night or Game Day; and professional events to spark the interest of the ITM Major in general.

A major challenge faced by the ITM Club is that they must be completely self sufficient, meaning that they must fund all chapter operations and programs throughout the year. This past year proved to be their most challenging yet, as they not only had to budget all chapter operations, but also fund the trip to the AIS Inaugural Student Competitions in Provo, Utah. This more than doubled the amount of money needed to fund chapter activities for the year. Under the leadership of  president Lauren Toccalino, the chapter managed to find new and unique ways to raise money, such as several different fundraising events and adding corporate sponsorships with Ford Motor Company, hiredMYway.com, and Arrow Uniform Co.

The ITM Club has adopted a motto of “Work Hard, Play Hard”, meaning that with hard work comes fun and rewarding things. This year, members of the UM-D chapter have gotten rewarding experiences out of many different things. Chapter members have found it rewarding to give back to the community, whether that be within the immediate school community, or outside of the university. Many ITM Club members actively volunteer through the university service office and participate in events such as Alternative Spring Break and the MLK Day of Service. Another rewarding experience comes from lending resources to help fellow students. Several times a year, the club hosts “Cram Day”, which is an open tutoring session for all ITM students. Chapter members have also found a rewarding experience by developing the professional network of the ITM Club, which now reaches out to ITM alumni and corporate partners alike. This has allowed for students to gain jobs, knowledge, and networking opportunities through AIS and the ITM Club.

As a small group, the ITM Club prides themselves on the University of Michigan motto of being the “Leaders and the Best”. This year, members of the chapter decided to tackle the challenge of competing in all four AIS Student Competition tracks. Not only did they create submissions for all four virtual round tracks, but they were the only AIS Student Chapter in the world to qualify for finals in all four tracks. In the finals, a team of six members shared their resources across the competition finals and placed in three out of four competition tracks!

In the upcoming school year, the UM-D chapter looks to continue its strive for excellence under new Co-Presidents Kyle Bridges and Austin Abair. The chapter has already set a goal of reaching out to other AIS student chapters in the Detroit area, as well as to schools who might be interested in forming AIS student Chapters. In addition, the chapter has already set a goal of educating high school students of the opportunities of pursuing a path in an Information Technology related education and career. The ITM Club is indeed a chapter looking to set the bar to new heights.