Four Western Michigan University TIM and CIS students swept both the International Telecommunications Education and Research Association (ITERA) National Case Study Competition and the individual best undergraduate research paper award competition at the 2010 ITERA Conference in Nashville, Tenn. This marks the first time that WMU has won the ITERA National Case Study Competition. It is the third time in the past four years that a WMU student has won the best paper award.
From left: Dr. Richard Gershon, Dr. Pairin Katerattanakul, Chad Stec, Shane Mittan, Kurt Gillispie, Greg Guyette and Dr. Michael Tarn
Members of the winning team included Chad Stec, team captain (CIS) of Gobles, Mich., Kurt Gillispie (TIM) of Southfield, Mich., and Greg Guyette (TIM) of Farmington Hills, Mich. Shane Mittan (TIM) of Clare, Mich. was the winner of the best undergraduate research paper award competition.
The competition titled “Connected Tennessee: Telecommunications Economic Development Case Study,” challenged teams to create a strategic technology plan for bringing broadband and information technology service to a portion of rural Tennessee. The plan had to include both technology solutions as well as a proposed budget and implementation plan. In February, ITERA announced that WMU team had made the final round of four, including Purdue University, Murray State University, and James Madison University. The final-round competition and public presentation were held during ITERA’s national conference on April 10th and 11th in Nashville, Tenn.
“I am so proud of our team,” says Dr. Michael Tarn, project team’s advisor and chair of the Department of Business Information Systems, adding that after the competition, one of the ITERA judges remarked, the “WMU case study competition team was the team to beat going into final round presentations."
“Since the first day they began their project in September 2009, all team members had clearly understood that they were working on a live real-world project, while competing with graduate and undergraduate student teams from other universities. Not only does their final product represent seven months of hard work and effort, but it also shows evidence of the quality of Western’s program and students,” adds Tarn.
The WMU TIM program excelled in terms of individual research as well. Mittan (TIM), Guyette and Gillespie presented their research at the conference. The papers were competitively selected and featured a series of case study analysis looking at business strategy issues involving such media and telecommunication companies as Apple, Intelsat and AT&T. During the awards reception and luncheon, WMU’s Mittan received the best undergraduate paper award for his case study analysis of Apple Corporation and the use of innovation.
“Mittan’s paper was an excellent piece of research that looked at the role of strategy and innovation in making Apple a leading-edge media company,” says Dr. Richard Gershon, professor and co-director of the TIM Program. “His paper and conference presentation was superb in terms of its organization and delivery. Following the competition and individual papers competition were complete, a second ITERA judge remarked, 'the WMU case study competition team and Mittan were a class act.'”
The Telecommunications & Information Management (TIM) Program, co-directed by Dr. Richard Gershon, professor of telecommunications management, and Dr. Pairin Katerattanakul, associate professor of computer information systems, is offered through the Department of Business Information System, Haworth College of Business, and the School of Communication, College of Arts & Sciences. The TIM major is designed to train students in a variety of telecommunications and data communication subdisciplines. The program's mission is to give students a well balanced education in a variety of business and technical management issues.