The Buzz: News About IS Students, Faculty

June 06, 2012

Summer may be underway, but campus does not slow down much. This is especially true for our incoming Evening MSIM students, who start an intense year of study this month. Read on for more news about our students and faculty, including the team (pictured) that went to the CoMIS competition.

Back to school The 71 members of the Evening MSIM class of 2013 begin the 12-month onsite program on June 11. On May 23 the group gathered for the first time at the W. P. Carey School. Department of Information Systems staffers greeted them with orientation materials, and after the students sat for their ID pictures, they met the professors and fellow students with whom they’ll be spending so much time in the next year. We didn’t see any gleaming sneakers or brand new back packs, but students were wearing first-day smiles. Here, Steve Westwood from SRP meets classmate Michelle Schwartz-Meliska from American Express. At right is graduate programs recruiter Amanda Alfano, the person who helps students navigate the applications process. If you are interested in the Evening MSIM program, contact Amanda.

Competing with the best at CoMIS Students from the Department of Information Systems competed at the inaugural CoMIS Competition at the Carlson School of Business at the University of Minnesota this spring. Ajay Vinze, who coached the team, said that the top 10 management information systems programs in the U.S. joined together to launch the Competition on Management Information Systems. “The intent was to create a community of practice around case studies for undergraduate students,” Vinze said.

Last year a W. P. Carey team competed for the first time at CaseIT, an international competition for undergrads. The team did well, and their experience was used in a new course on technology innovation that met for the first time in fall 2011. In the class students had to work in teams to present cases. The CoMIS team, including Susan Eckman, Branden Lau and Julie Westerbeck were all students in that class. Our participation in CoMIS means that W. P. Carey has sent teams to every case competition available to undergraduate IS students except the one held in Asia.

The case presented to CoMIS teams involved the Minnesota Wild, a hockey franchise looking for ways to build fan base and ticket sales. The students had 24 hours to prepare, then they presented for 20 minutes and took questions for 10. Their preparation and strategic prowess shined through when they were able to provide a detailed answer backed up by a slide and data when asked a question following their formal remarks. Although they put in a strong performance, at the end of the day they narrowly placed behind the team that went on to win the competition. But, their performance impressed judges and inspired positive side bar comments from other coaches. Here's the video. Congratulations to the team!

DISC: leading student leaders Officers from the W. P. Carey School’s DISC club hosted a session at the Association for Information Systems student conference at Brigham Young University last month. Outgoing president Drew Schweinfurth, incoming president T.J. Wey and vice president of finance Branden Lau led a discussion of member recruitment and retention.

“The AIS Student Chapter Conference was very enlightening, both in ways that DISC could consider changes and to what kinds of issues all of the student chapters of AIS faced,” said Wey. “Although there were no sessions about recruiting females specifically, the issue came up in almost every session I sat in on. DISC hosted a session on member recruitment, and we generated a strong discussion on how well community service and social aspects helped us encourage member retention even after students acquired jobs or internships through us.”

Faculty advisor Greg Dawson said “if you think of DISC as a software product, I think we are going to see DISC 3.0 this upcoming year,” Dawson said. “It is amazing what you can learn from best practices at other clubs. It was also nice since we were able to share our best practices, which should help out other clubs as well.” The department is seriously considering hosting this conference at the W. P. Carey School in spring 2014.

It really is all about you! Associate Professor Marilyn Prosch, director of the information systems department’s Privacy by Design research lab, was interviewed recently on KPNX Channel 12 in Phoenix about a new product that will help you control what comes up when someone googles your name. If they google your address Google Street View might show them your house, but Google is running into regulatory trouble because the photo vans cruising our streets were also sweeping unprotected WiFi networks. In this story from ecommercetimes, Prosch muses that the flap may lead software developers to design privacy into applications while still in development.