Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Students win national ITERA competition, TIM receives Best Program Award

Pictured from left are Tharyn Taylor, George Sesi, Hugo Martinez Rodriguez and Travis Ross

Three Western Michigan University students won a national case study competition for the second consecutive year and WMU received the 2011 Program Excellence award for its Telecommunications and Information Management (TIM) Program.

Competing against teams of graduate students, the students competed in the International Telecommunications Education and Research Association National Case Study Competition. The final round of the competition and public presentations were held during ITERA’s Ninth Annual Conference on Telecommunications and Information Technology on April 8-10, in Indianapolis, Ind.

This is the second year in a row that WMU has won the case study award. In the final round of the 2011 competition, WMU faced teams from Ball State University, James Madison University and Murray State University. There were 22 teams participating in the competition.

Cheers to our champion team members George Sesi, TIM major, of Croswell, Mich., Travis Ross, CIS major, of Kalamazoo, Mich., Hugo Martinez Rodriguez, TIM major, of Santiago, Dominican Republic and the team advisor Dr. Pairin Katerattanakul, associate professor of business information systems. Tharyn Taylor, TIM major, of Mason, Mich., presented a research paper at the conference.

Each year the 22 schools that make up ITERA are invited to participate in developing a proposal to solve a business / technical IT problem. This year, the problem was to design a solution for providing communications and IT services for a retirement community in Arizona.

The final round involved a 25-minute student presentation in front of a group of judges from both industry and academics. The presentation consisted of three parts: Business plan, technical solution and financial analysis. In addition to the presentation, the students answered tough business and technical questions while still completing their presentation in the allotted time frame.

“We are so honored to receive this year’s Program Excellence Award. It is very encouraging and meaningful for our relatively young undergraduate TIM program compared with those traditionally strong programs in some well-known universities, which shows evidence of the quality, creativity and versatility of Western’s excellent and unique interdisciplinary telecommunications and information technology management education.” says Dr. Mike Tarn, chair, Department of Business Information Systems.

WMU's telecommunications and information management major is designed to train students in a variety of telecommunication and data communication sub-disciplines. Its mission is to give students a well-balanced education in a variety of business- and technology-management issues.

The program is offered through the Department of Business Information Systems in the Haworth College of Business and the School of Communication in the College of Arts and Sciences. It is co-directed by Dr. Pairin Katerattanakul, associate professor of business information systems, and Dr. Richard Gershon, professor of communication.