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.”
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.
“…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.