CIS students claim second place award in case competition

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Photo of members of the winning team.

From left: Dr. Andrew Targowski, Nicholas Kreider, Brittany Maffesoli and Ashlea Rowlson. Team members not pictured: Shaun Chu, Patrick McCombs and Norman Morris

KALAMAZOO—A team of Western Michigan University computer information systems students earned the runner-up award for their business case analysis at the third Midwest Student Information Systems Project and Case Competition April 5-6 at Ball State University in Muncie, Ind.

Shaun Chu of Vicksburg, Mich., Nicholas Kreider of Jackson, Mich., Brittany Maffesoli of Macomb Township, Mich., Patrick McCombs of Grand Rapids, Mich., Norman Morris of Carleton, Mich., and Ashlea Rowlson of Kalamazoo, Mich., competed on the award-winning team, analyzing a case about streamlining the information systems of a company that produces trade show booths, with the aim of impacting the company in terms of its economic sustainability and profitability. The challenge was that students had to present just 12 hours later. The students' recommendations included optimizing data security and implementing an enterprise-wide solution that would be integrated across all business functions for seamless data management and communication.

Networking a plus

"The competition was an interesting way to meet other information systems students and faculty in the Midwest," says Maffesoli.

The networking at the event also impacted Rowlson.

"I enjoyed meeting the professionals in the field who served as judges," she says. "It was very valuable to talk with the IT professionals about career success."

The competition showed differences among the competing schools, Kreider says.

"I thought it was very interesting to see how the different schools all focus on different aspects or areas of specialization within the information systems discipline," Kreider says. "It is such a vast field, and there are so many potential focus areas."

The competition also was extremely challenging, says Dr. Andrew Targowski, professor of business information systems and the team advisor and coach.

"The students solved a very confusing and challenging case on a company's IT situation," Targowski says. "The judges posed many difficult questions, which the students answered correctly. I think they are ready to graduate and deliver good IT projects to their future employers."