By Tory Hyde
The University of Alabama’s chapter of the Association for Information Sciences recently was presented the award for chapter of the year at the National AIS Student Conference held at the University of Texas at Dallas.
UA’s AIS chapter has more than 200 members, and the National AIS Student Conference hosted 64 chapters from across the country.
AIS is a collection of student organizations from differing colleges that seek to further the knowledge of the information systems field as well as provide networking opportunities for chapter members and prospective employers, said Laurel Wenckowski, a senior and president of UA’s AIS chapter. Wenckowski said the chapter’s community service efforts through Girls Who Code, West Alabama Food Bank and UADM as well as mentorship contributed to the award.
Chapters nationwide apply for the award by submitting an end-of-the-year report, said UA senior Will Sullivan, a former member of AIS. The report includes such events as the chapter’s community service efforts, corporation relations and information technology help.
“By focusing on professionalism and how to excel in the IT world, we have been able to compete and excel against our peers,” Sullivan said. “[Winning this award] is a testament to the strong leadership and service that our students put in on a daily basis. By being a servant to the student population of our AIS chapter we can strengthen our knowledge of the IT community at UA.”
Wenckowski said being involved in AIS has helped her to learn how to use different students’ strengths and backgrounds to create a culture that is helpful to everyone’s needs and interests.
“Personally, [the most rewarding part is] watching people grow and begin their careers through events such as AIMS meetings,” Wenckowski said. “Facilitating the connection between the student and the beginning of their career has been a truly joyful experience.”
The University of Alabama, the state’s oldest and largest public institution of higher education, is a student-centered research university that draws the best and brightest to an academic community committed to providing a premier undergraduate and graduate education. UA is dedicated to achieving excellence in scholarship, collaboration and intellectual engagement; providing public outreach and service to the state of Alabama and the nation; and nurturing a campus environment that fosters collegiality, respect and inclusivity.