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,, 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.

The 2012 AIS Student Leadership Conference, a Huge Success!

The 2012 AIS Student Chapter Leadership Conference, a Huge Success!

From April 26-28, 2012, AIS Student chapters from around the world traveled to the heart of the great Rocky Mountains and converged on Provo, Utah,  the home to Brigham Young University’s Marriott School of Management. This was the site of the 3rd Annual AIS student Leadership Conference and Inaugural Competitions, which were sponsored by WalMart, Microsoft, and Parveda Solutions.

The conference began with an informal meet and greet ice cream social, where students, faculty, and professionals had the change to formally meet and network. As an icebreaker, students were divided up into small groups and given a list of questions, both serious and funny, to answer. These questions ranged anywhere from “who knows at least four programming languages” and “who has ever created a website” to “who has ever crashed their parent’s car” and “Who can name all four of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles”. These questions helped students to get to know one another and led to some very interesting stories. Representatives from WalMart and Pariveda were also there to meet our student attendees.

The second day of the conference kicked off with keynote speaker, Karenann Terrell, Executive VP and CIO of WalMart, who spoke of how we, the students of AIS, are the leaders of our future and the ones companies are looking for. She gave a presentation on the impressive size of the WalMart Information Technology department, which is the largest non-governmental information technology department in the world. She stressed the importance of innovation at Walmart and spoke of how the company strives to remain an industry leader. Mrs. Terrell ended her address by giving the advice to “be open to every opportunity that walks in front of you, no matter what the size may be” and “know what you are uniquely about and find something that suits your strengths well”. She reminded students that they are the ones companies want, and therefore can pick where they want to be and who they want to work for.

After the opening keynote address, the final round of student competitions began. All competition finalists were briefed on what was required and expected for the final round of competitions. Meanwhile, the conference went into full force, starting with breakout sessions in which different student chapters were able to present, network, and share ideas with each other.

The final day of conference arrived faster than anyone could have imagined. The day began with more student breakout sessions and the final presentations for competition tracks. The final keynote speaker was Kevin Ball, BYU alumni and Manager of IT Operations for US Downstream and Chemical Manufacturing at ExxonMobil. Mr. Ball presented on the many ways that ExxonMobil is in our lives and told his story about managing the implementation of a $20 million global project that rolled out more than six hundred state-of-the-art Linux workstations with high-end 3D and visualization applications to Upstream Geoscientists. Like Karenann Terrell, Mr. Ball stressed that we are the ones that companies are looking for and that we can choose to work where we want to work at. He added that it is important for each individual to find faith and to put family first, no matter where the career path may lead.

As a final social event, conference attendees spent the rest of the afternoon hiking up to the “Y” on the mountain overlooking Provo. This not only provided some magnificent views, but also allowed everyone to reflect on what they had learned over the past few days. To wrap up the 2012 conference, everyone was invited to a dinner and awards ceremony on BYU’s campus. Students were given the opportunity to each give a short video message about what they were taking away from the conference. After dinner, the final awards were presented for all four tracks of the inaugural student competitions. Many special thanks were given to our hosts, all those who made the conference possible, and to our very generous sponsors.  As the conference officially came to a close, a fitting message message, “Leave Behind a trail of Genius” resounded throughout the hall and out to the many AIS Student Chapters around the world.

Inaugural Student Competition Winners

Finalists in the Inaugural AIS Student Chapter Competition were on site in Provo, Utah from April 26-28, 2102 to compete in the finals. All finalists received finalist medals, and winners received plaques.Three winners from each track were selected based on a number of different judging criteria.
Here are the Results: 

IT Risk Management Track
Finalists were asked to present their cases from the virtual round of competition to a panel of judges. 

Place University Team Members
1st Carnegie Mellon University, Qatar Aamir Masood
2nd Temple University Menura Labrooy, Haoren Yu, Valerie Spinosi, Peter Yum
3rd Illinois State University Quinn Francis, Robert Kluge, Paul Timmermann


Mobile Application Development
Finalists were judged based on their mobile applications from the virtual round of competition and the number of downloads each received in the Windows marketplace. 

Place University Team Members
1st Temple University Andrew Roche, John Shaw, Scott Raffe
2nd Brigham Young University Dave Eargle, Jake Lingwall, Seth Howard
3rd University of Michigan – Dearborn Paul Blackford, Austin Abair, Kyle Bridges


Social Media Optimization
Finalists were asked to revise their submissions from the virtual round and to create a Social media strategy for AIS Student Chapters.

Place University Team Members
1st University of Michigan – Dearborn Lauren Toccalino, Austin Abair, Greg Walker, Kyle Bridges
2nd Brigham Young University Kyle Clegg, Colin Blair, Julia Knecht, Riley Jenkins, Brendan Kingsford
3rd University of Memphis Maxim Zhiglov, Joseph Borwick, Nicole Smith


Video Competition
Finalists were asked to create abrand new video teaching about a random IT topic chosen out of a hat. In addition, finalists were judged based upon number of votes received by conference attendees.

Place University Team Members
1st Temple University Ryan Oliveira, Matthew Andrien, Sara Rezaeian
2nd University of Michigan – Dearborn Heather McNabb, Kyle Bridges, Paul Blackford, Austin Abair
3rd Villanova University Sarah Choi, PeterJohn Alexander, Jack Chong