UM-Dearborn’s ITM Club named ‘Chapter of the Year’

UM-Dearborn ITM ClubYou can call them underdogs.

But with the amount of accolades they’ve received this year, that nickname might lose its appeal.

University of Michigan-Dearborn’s Information Technology Management (ITM) Club will receive the “Chapter of the Year” award December 17 at the International Conference on Information Systems in Orlando.

Not a bad finish for a club that also brought home more awards than any other student chapter in April at the inaugural International AIS (Association for Information Systems) Student Competitions in Utah.

“This year has been really stellar because they’re competing against schools like Arizona and Indiana, schools that have 300 club members, as compared to our 30,” said ITM Club faculty adviser Lise Urbaczewski. “Just because our students are from a smaller campus and have a smaller program, it doesn’t lessen how good of quality they are because we’ve got some really stellar students at UM-Dearborn.”

The “Chapter of the Year” award carries a certain level of prestige because it’s the highest award given to a student chapter.

“It’s just an incredible honor to compete against these bigger schools and even be recognized among them,” said Austin Abair, UM-Dearborn senior and co-president of the ITM Club. “It’s just amazing the group we have, how enthusiastic they are. We have all this effort and we’ve continuously proved ourselves. We were more prepared than what we could have imagined and we knew we were able to succeed.”

Pete Tinsley, executive director of AIS, said UM-Dearborn’s ITM Club “has demonstrated an exceptional, well-rounded and organized program.”

AIS based its “Chapter of the Year” award on professional development, membership, information systems careers, community service, fundraising and communications.

“They work extremely hard and they take everything very seriously, but they have fun too,” said Urbaczewski, who added that the club won the “Most Spirited” award during the Homecoming Week Cardboard Boat Races for a third consecutive year. “They are like a family. Everybody helps each other out.”

This year’s awards are sure to benefit students involved with the ITM Club after they graduate and search for jobs.

“They are the hardest workers I’ve ever seen,” Urbaczewski said. “I would hire these students in a second because I know their work ethic.”

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