In the news: Students wrap up a successful year

Learning when to use the small fork is just one of the social graces that students need in preparation for career success. The annual Etiquette Dinner, held last night, puts the cherry — or a chocolate-covered strawberry — on top of the skills members of the DISC club learned this year. As the semester draws to a close, KnowIT salutes the students who have gone the extra mile to excel this year. As well, we congratulate Clinical Assistant Professor Kathleen Moser, who was honored by the university as the most outstanding student organization advisor of the year.

Social graces

In the world of work, students will need social skills appropriate for the office. The annual Etiquette Dinner, held last night at Microsoft Corporation offices on Tempe Town Lake gave DISC Club members a chance to learn from professionals. Melissa Libhart, corporate accounts solutions director, and Beth Jordan, government solutions and sales, talked about the unconscious biases that can muddy communication, and how to use digital media in a professional setting.

Best at ASU: Pitchfork Award for Outstanding Advisor Award


Clinical Assistant Professor Kathleen Moser was singled out by students university-wide for the 2016 Outstanding Advisor Pitchfork Award for her work with Women in STEM (wiSTEM). The award was presented at an Academy Awards-style gala on April 7 at the Orpheum Theatre, downtown Phoenix.

According to the nomination, “Dr. Moser is enthusiastic about and dedicated towards women’s advancement in STEM fields, and helps her students succeed firsthand by participating in events and providing guidance and advice to anyone who asks. Her determination helps inspire students to take on new challenges and build leadership skills. She has helped build a strong network of students and staff and laid the foundations for collaboration and unity within the ASU community.”

Student Brooke Sykes seconded that nomination: “Dr. Moser is very dedicated to her students’ success: she provides firsthand advice and guidance, and acts as a resource for ideas as well as for connections to other like-minded student organizations. Her contributions to WiSTEM provide a strong basis for cooperation and leadership in the student community.”

Moser teaches business project management and business database systems.

Student team places in CoMIS competition

Three top information systems students traveled to the Curtis L. Carlson School of Management at the University of Minnesota to face off against teams from nine other business schools in a 24-hour case competition on April 2. Representing W. P. Carey’s Department of Information Systems were Manoj Panikkar, Shashank Rajani, and Nghi Tran. They brought home third place, finishing behind the University of Indiana and the University of Maryland.

The team worked hard to prepare, meeting twice weekly to do research and touch base with their advisor, Clinical Assistant Professor Altaf Ahmad. Training included a dry run to experience the actual competition conditions, isolated for 24 hours to deliver recommendations and prepare a presentation.

“We worked well as a team due to the many practice cases we did in preparation for the competition,” said Panikkar, who is the Department of Information Systems’ Outstanding Graduating Senior this spring. “Preparing for the competition in advance and creating templates allowed us to think about all aspects about our solution and utilize our time more effectively.”

“The biggest takeaway from the competition, and I think something we should focus on next year, is making sure to balance creativity with feasibility,” he added.

First-year student team member Rajani concurred. “The biggest takeaway for me is that you never know what you will get on a CoMIS case and we need to a better job coming up with creative as well as feasible solutions in practice,” he said. “At CoMIS the judges were looking for both and we provided them with a very feasible option but it might have been missing the ‘wow factor.’ So next year, the team will need to incorporate both into the solution.”

Rajani spoke for the whole team commenting on the value of the competition. “The hard work and the competition itself was extremely valuable to me because it not only helps my education (exposing me to course material early) but it also helps me in my career,” he said. “Many of the skills used to prepare and compete in CoMIS are valuable parts of working in a CIS related field.”

Information Systems students shine at AIS conference


The Association for Information Systems Student Chapter Leadership Conference at Indiana University April 1–3 was an opportunity for W. P. Carey students to shine. Sophia Butler, a first year honors student majoring in business data analytics, and David Russell, this year’s DISC vice president of community service, made a presentation about the student-led Secret Code of Business middle school outreach event held last fall.

“Our presentation was well received, with several different students approaching David and I after our presentation,” said Butler. “Many of these students asked for information on the Secret Code of Business so that they may be able to host a similar event at their respective universities.”

Vi TranLe, vice president for corporate relations and incoming president, also attended. Thinking ahead, Tranle said she gleaned some “fantastic ideas I plan to adopt and bring back to ASU for this next year's chapter's activity.” She also came away with new knowledge: “I also attended the agile workshop, which was interactive and informative in how the agile methodology works in the software development life cycle, which is directly applicable to my potential career.”

Butler also found the conference eye-opening. “Personally, I learned from attending this event that there is much more to the IT in business industry than I had previously imagined. There are also different perspectives on how to manage the fast changes occurring in IT,” she said. “At this conference I was taught about the industry — that alone will be valuable in my career. “But merely attending the conference was a new experience during which I was exposed to networking and scheduling/planning. This exposure will allow me to enter the industry as a more skilled worker. As a first-year student, it was both exciting and informative to work alongside such involved upperclassmen and faculty. I absolutely encourage other students to attend if given the opportunity.”

Karen Stark, student services coordinator, accompanied the students to Bloomington, Indiana. “Our students are returning with some great new ideas, as well as a clear reinforcement of things they are doing quite well as a club.”

DISC elects new officers for the 2016-17 year


A new cohort of student leaders for DISC (Department of Information Systems Club) has been selected for the coming year.

Officers include (right to left) Vi TranLe –President; Sophia Butler – Vice President of Women in Technology; Rylee Green –Vice President of Corporate Relations; Melvin Montenegro – Vice President of Finance; Kenneth Solano – Vice President of Membership; Shashank Rajani – Vice President of Community Service; and Shiva Raisinghani – Vice President of IT.

The club provides robust opportunities for students to polish skills, participate in community service and interact with the companies that present at their meetings.

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