Temple University named AIS Student Chapter of the Year


By Taylor Strnad, AIS Communication Intern

AIS has awarded Temple University’s chapter with the Student Chapter of the Year Award for the 2019-2020 academic year. This is the highest award given to a student chapter demonstrating an exceptional, well-rounded and organized program.

Despite the COVID-19 pandemic, this student chapter was still able to give back to their local community and continue to learn and grow as young professionals. President of Temple University’s student chapter Kevin Publicover said community service is essential to the chapter.

“As Management Information System majors, we wanted to identify opportunities to use our expertise to impact the community around us,” Publicover said. “Fortunately, we found tremendous partners in Steppingstone Scholars, Youth Volunteer Corps of Greater Philadelphia, and Temple University’s Pan-African Studies Community Education Program who aided [us] in providing a platform to make a difference in the North Philadelphia community. While we have made immense strides in the last year and a half in our community service, we plan to strengthen our current programs and expand to more opportunities in the near future.”Temple Students

One of the chapter’s community service efforts was with Optimize Consulting Group (OCG). This was a new initiative designed to simultaneously provide chapter members the opportunity to develop their consulting skills and give back to nonprofits in the Philadelphia community through pro bono services.

For the chapter’s first project, OCG and the chapter worked with the Youth Volunteer Corps (YVC) of Greater Philadelphia to streamline their donation and data collection processes. Chair of External Events David Saddic said that OCG volunteers worked alongside YVC volunteers to recycle waste at a local riverbank. Working with YVC was truly inspiring, he said.

“OCG worked closely with YVC’s Financial Development Committee to streamline its donor management process,” Saddic said. Our solution included the utility of a fundraising platform with customer resource management, payment processing, and reporting capabilities. This tool not only improved data collection and outreach processes but also served to sustain growth moving forward. Shortly after implementation, YVC Philadelphia experienced an influx of online donations, which significantly exceeded the board’s expectations.

In addition to OCG, they were able to have members volunteer at Duckrey Elementary and with the head of the Information Technology Department at their school. Here they took on a variety of tasks including, one-on-one help with students, helping teachers with in-class instruction and helping with miscellaneous IT issues that there were problems with.

Temple AIS Chapter members surrounding an information table.“…We include other topics around coding into our curriculum,” Publicover said. “For example, we spotlight successful people who used coding to benefit the world. These little aspects of the club are what we also hope impact the lives of the students who join. If we open just one club member’s eyes to coding, then we consider ourselves successful. “

This chapter did not let COVID-19 set them back, but rather the chapter used it as fuel for the rest of the spring semester. This chapter wanted to make sure that their members were still engaged and had to opportunity to grow as professionals through the Technical Development Workshops and Professional Development Workshops.

To learn more about the AIS student chapter at Temple University, please visit https://www.temple-ais.org/.

The AIS Student Chapter program promotes the study, application, and advancement of information systems through career enhancement, professional networking, and chapter development. To learn more about the program and to find resources for joining or chartering your own chapter, please visit sc.aisnet.org.

Northern Arizona University with AIS Outstanding Community Service Award

By Taylor Strnad, AIS Communications Intern

Northern Arizona University Logo

The AIS Student Chapter at Northern Arizona University, the Information Systems Association at Northern Arizona University, has been awarded the AIS Ou

tstanding Community Service Award recognizing chapters that have made a major contribution to their local community.

One of the larger events that Northern Arizona University’s student chapter hosted during the 2019-2020 academic year was their Linux tutorial. Linux is an operating system like Windows, iOS or Mac OS, according to Linux.com. This event was open to all of campus and allowed people to learn the basics of Linux and generally about information systems.

At the AIS Student Chapter Leadership Conference, members of this chapter submitted a project to benefit their community. The student population at NAU skews heavily female, according to in.nau.edu. With that, they came up with Jobanon. Jobanon was built with the idea to remove bias from interviews. It included voice changing software, an alias and no photos of the applicant thus removing potential bias toward the interviewee. President of NAU’s chapter Ayden Pulido said that the idea started by reflecting on their owns situations and the people around them.

The next professional hurdle many of us have to overcome will be finding a career post-graduation. After doing research, we found an alarming level of bias in the hiring process regarding aspects applicants can’t control such as appearance or disabilities,” Pulido said. “Not only did we aim to create software that would make the job search process fairer and more accessible, but also hoped to strengthen the workforce by hiring for ability rather than a preconceived notion.”

Another large part of their community service happened inside the classroom. Members of this chapter were Teacher’s assistants for both intro-level Information System courses offered at NAU. Having club members in these positions help get students interested in the major early on and also helped chapter members realize who may be struggling in their classes. To combat that, members made themselves available outside of classroom time as tutors for these very same classes. Pulido said that this involvement also helped with recruitment to the club.

“Since having a number of tutors and teaching assistants in classes representing the club, we’ve seen an increase in student interest and enthusiasm in seeing what the club has to offer and various topics in the Information Systems field,” Pulido said. “This has allowed us to plan events that reach a greater number of students, increasing awareness and attendance of club activities which will hopefully increase even further when we return to a completely in-person environment.”

The NAU community is supportive of their chapter and Pulido says giving back through community service is the best way they have found to give back. Their chapter sees community service as a way to promote positive change within the Franke College of Business. To continue their mission of giving back and lending their skillset wherever possible they are exploring options to help the surrounding Flagstaff community.

The Information Systems Association provides students at Northern Arizona University that have shown an interest in IS an opportunity to network with other majors, while building our common knowledge about the IT industry. To learn more, please visit the chapter online at https://nau.campuslabs.com/engage/organization/computerinformationsystems.

The AIS Student Chapter program promotes the study, application, and advancement of information systems through career enhancement, professional networking, and chapter development. To learn more about the program and to find resources for joining or chartering your own chapter, please visit sc.aisnet.org.


Middle Tennessee State University named AIS Best New Chapter

By Taylor Strnad, AIS Communications Intern

Middle Tennessee State University’s student chapter has been awarded the AIS Best New Chapter Award for 2019-2020. This award is given to the best chapter founded (or restarted) 15 months or less before the report due date. The chapter’s Vice President of Social Media Robert Mepham said that being a new chapter can be difficult because the chapter had no precedent when planning events, reaching out to members of the community, or even while making connections within the campus’s student organizations office.

“We’ve done projects ranging from running the clock system at a local half marathon to using our IT skills to create a series of informative dashboards for our county’s animal shelters,” Mepham said. “We even participated in a holiday gift drive that was being run by our campus’s police department, which is another way that we feel that we as a chapter are making a positive impact in our local community.”

This student chapter tackles professional development in various ways, one of which is hosting panel discussions featuring Bridgestone, Tenncare, DATalent, Greater Nashville Technology Council and the Nashville Software School. They also organized a series of resume workshops and mock interviews to prepare their members for the job market.

“We had representatives from a handful of Nashville companies sit down with our members and give them first-hand advice from the hiring offices of these major companies to improve the competitiveness of our member’s resumes,” Mepham said. “Also, the same representatives were gracious enough to set up mock interviews for our members and give them even more experience in the job search process.”

Leading into its second year, Mepham said that the experience has been unique due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Standards and events set during the chapter’s first year had to be adapted to the online environment. He believes that the chapter successfully transitioned into offering professional development and networking opportunities in the virtual environment but are still trying to establish a culture at MTSU’s chapter of AIS.

The Middle Tennessee State University Chapter of the Association of Information Systems serves its members by delivering relevant technology and leadership education, research and information on current business and technology issues, and forums for networking and collaboration. To learn more, please visit the chapter online at www.mtsu.edu/isa/ais.php.

The AIS Student Chapter program promotes the study, application, and advancement of information systems through career enhancement, professional networking, and chapter development. To learn more about the program and to find resources for joining or chartering your own chapter, please visit sc.aisnet.org.