MIS senior presents research at major national conference

Erick KoeckReceiving notable recognition for a research paper is not what senior Eric Koeck originally set out to do.

What started as Koeck’s summer research project turned into a presentation he delivered at the 2017 Winter American Marketing Association (AMA) Conference in Orlando. The paper, “Tweets, Retweets, and the Brand Positioning of the 2016 U.S. Presidential Candidates,” is co-authored with two professors from Temple University’s Fox School of Business – Dr. David Schuff and Dr. Susan Mudambi.

Koeck, a 22-year-old senior who majors in Management Information Systems (MIS), utilized different tools to scour the Twitter feeds of each presidential candidate. Then, he analyzed the difference between word choice and how those words affected the virality of their tweets. To do this, candidates were split into two groups: insurgent candidates (or those who never held political office with their respective political parties) and establishment candidates (those who had).

“I’m very interested in data analytics and I wanted to complete a project that would give me the opportunity to work with that,” said Koeck, a Collegeville, Pa., native. “I was forming this project when the presidential primaries were in full swing. I’m interested in politics and an active Twitter user. It lined up nicely as something into which I could really immerse myself.”

The main findings, Koeck said, showed that insurgent candidates were more likely to express both positive and negative emotion, as well as gender references, while establishment candidates were more likely to express affiliation. In addition, the traits most positively linked to retweets were negative emotion and female gender references.

Impressed organizers of the AMA conference waived Koeck’s fee, and his travel expenses to and from the conference were sponsored by Temple’s Creative Arts, Research, And Scholarship program.

The three-day event provided eye-opening exposure for Koeck.

“It was a really great experience,” he said. “I learned a lot about academia and business research. One professor from a university in Canada asked me to send her my presentation, because she was interested in her students following the election closely.”

While Koeck remains humble, his capabilities, as they pertain to research, have not gone unnoticed.

“They were both wonderful,” Koeck said of working with Mudambi and Schuff, Professor of MIS. “Dr. Schuff has been mentoring me on this project the whole way through, and Dr. Mudambi helped us integrate different marketing concepts into the paper so that it was appropriate for AMA. Dr. Schuff’s work is relevant to my interest in analytics and statistics, which made sense for our collaboration. I was really glad when he agreed to work on this with me.”

As the trio work to get the paper published in an academic journal, Koeck prepares to present the project to state legislators at Temple Undergraduate Research Day April 24.

Future opportunities for Koeck, a graduating senior, already have sprouted. Said Koeck: “Starting in September, I’ll be working for PricewaterhouseCoopers in their Advanced Risk and Compliance Analytics practice. I interned there last summer and had a good experience so I’m excited to start my career there.”

Carine Lavache

MIS capstone presentations reach new heights of excellence

My Di TeamThe fall 2016 Fox Management Information Systems Capstone Showcase featured teams of seniors who presented their final projects to a judging panel of industry mentors and faculty. My.Di, a tool for monitoring digital identity, was selected as the winner, and the team of Kimberly Eastlake, Mia Jardine, Noah Mercado, Ryan Pace, and Nodir Zakhidov will receive a $500 award. My.Di was mentored by Sondra Barbour, the inaugural recipient of the Fox IT award for distinguished alumni, and the team was composed of students from Professor Schuff’s course.

Overall, according to Bruce Fadem, Fox IT advisory board chair, the projects were “the best I have ever seen.” The fall 2016 teams across the two courses taught by Professors Schuff and Mandviwalla are:

The teams were mentored by Bruce Fadem, Sondra Barbour, Ben Hasan, Jeff Hamilton, Dale Danilewitz, Sunil Misra, and Andrea Anania, who are all partners of the Institute for Business and Information Technology (IBIT) and participated through the IBIT Mentoring Program

Murphy garners 2016 MIS Student Leadership Award

ciara murphyCiara Murphy doesn’t give up easily — especially when it comes to helping others.

As she wound her way through five different majors — education, then special education, journalism, photojournalism, and marketing — finally landing in MIS, she knew she wanted that perfect fit that combined her desire to help people with an intellectually stimulating career.

It’s this stick-to-itveness, and the success that has followed, that helped garner Murphy, the vice president of operations for Association for Information Systems, the 2016 MIS Student Leadership Award.

“It’s an extremely competitive group of students this year due to the quality of the candidates,” said Jeremy Shafer, assistant professor of Management Information Systems. “However, Ciara is well deserving of the award, since she has demonstrated a willingness to take on challenging tasks, such as Hootathon and other successful fundraising efforts.”

In fact, Murphy’s determination shone throughout her efforts for Hootathon, a fundraising event for the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia, as she led her team in a series of diverse fundraising efforts, such as canning at football games and running a kickball tournament. Ultimately, her team raised the most funds of any group at Temple University, to the tune of more than $7,600.

What drives Murphy through all of this is a desire to give back and help others, since she sees herself as the beneficiary of that type of generosity growing up in Boston, Mass.

“I was practically raised in the Boys and Girls Club, from my school work to my swim team,” Murphy said. “It has always been really important to me to give back to people, because they’ve given to me.”

This pay-it-forward commitment is reflected not only in her role as a TA for the introductory course for MIS majors, where she guides many students through the intellectual and emotional challenges of navigating their way to a major, but also in her role with AIS, where she coordinated fundraising events, such as the aforementioned Hootathon, and social events for the group.

Murphy sees the social events for AIS as more than just a time to have fun and bond; in her mind, these events are helping her fellow MIS students gain important soft skills, such as empathy and networking, that are crucial for future success.

“I think it’s important to create that sense of community within an organization,” said Murphy, noting that the organization’s members typically only meet twice a week to hear invited speakers. “Ten years down the road, we are going to be in positions all over the country, and these social events will catalyze our future network. I think that’s invaluable for your future in this field.”

Murphy, who had an internship at JP Morgan and Chase, plans to continue to focus on ways she can help others with her job at Cigna, where she will help develop ways to use technology to incentivize people to improve their health.

“I really enjoy being able to understand and engage in meaningful ways with both IT and the business side of things,” said Murphy, who feels the MIS program equipped her with the determination and skill set to solve problems creatively and act as an effective liaison. “I guess that’s really just a theme for me.”

The MIS program has left her feeling well prepared for the next step of her journey, as an endpoint asset management analyst for Cigna’s Technology Early Career Development Program, and she even feels she has the foundation to reach for her ultimate goal: CIO.

“Everyone who graduates has big dreams, and I’m just going to keep at it and do my best, and hopefully, I will be granted the opportunity to take on leadership activities in the corporate world” she said. “This program has helped make me feel like that’s a feasible goal, preparing me in ways I didn’t even know were possible — and I’m just very grateful.” 

Read more about Murphy’s future plans here.

Writer: Elizabeth Hillaker Downs

Peter Hwang steps up and wins

Peter HwangIt came as a complete surprise to Peter Hwang to learn that he’d won the 2015 Student Leadership Award given by Fox School‘s Management Information Systems Department and Institute for Business and Information Technology.

But win he did, and he, along with several other honorees, received his award at the 15th annual Information Technology Awards event on April 14, 2015.

Hwang is a Junior, majoring in Management Information Systems. The award is given annually to a full time undergraduate, or part or full time graduate student, who’s made a significant contribution to the students and extended community of the MIS department.

It’s unusual for such a young student to get the award, but Hwang has been stepping up as a leader since his sophomore year when he first joined Temple AIS (the founding student chapter of the Association of Information Systems.)

The organization offers students a chance to hone a variety of skills directly and indirectly related to MIS, through workshops, resume critiques and forums with speakers.  It also gives students a chance to promote their current field of study, MIS.

“I tried to be active as possible. I would go to all the events and participate in their mentorship program.” Hwang says about his sophomore year with AIS.

“I applied to be the Director of IT my junior year. After the first semester, the VP of Operations stepped down. I was offered the position and gladly accepted.”  Hwang says he had a strong desire to help out. By taking on the dual role, Hwang was effectively doing twice the standard level of volunteer work, which was seen by fellow students as well as faculty as much more than “helping out.”

Plus, he did it with a positive attitude.

Since arriving at Temple, a choice he made because it was close to home and he was interested in business, Hwang says he’s transformed.  In high school, he was not as involved in academics. Now, he is “able to give back, to give workshops.”

One thing that hasn’t changed during his college career– his love of tennis.  Hwang was the captain of his tennis team at Marple Newtown High School, and continues to play club tennis.  It is, he says, for balance in his life. “It’s important to be physically active.”

Other people honored for making a significant contribution to the students and extended community of the MIS department include:

  • Faculty Leadership Award – James Moustafellos
  • Administrative Leadership Award – Debbie Riley
  • Administrative Achievement Award – Jillian Reilly
  • Faculty Teaching Award (full-time) – David Schuff
  • Faculty Teaching Award (part-time) – Amy Lavin
  • MIS Researcher of the Year – Paul Pavlou
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