Association Board of Directors Comments on the Value of NCC
Monday, April 9, 2012
Posted by: Association Board of Directors
The AITP Association Board of Directors attended the National Collegiate Conference (NCC) in San Antonio, TX and came away with hope, enthusiasm, and confidence in the future of our profession. See their comments below!
Norbert Kubilus, Association President:
Being at the 17th NCC in San Antonio was a great opportunity to interact with Student Members, who represent the future of AITP, and their Faculty Advisors. From the first students I met on Thursday evening setting up their banners for the Banner Competition to the students checking out on Sunday carrying their trophies and certificates, everyone was enthusiastic about the Conference, their Student Chapters and their career choice. They expressed concerns about job prospects after graduation in the current economy, talked about internships they have had, gave rave reviews for the USAA tour, and asked about participating in Professional Chapters now and after graduation.
I don't think I'll ever forget one group of students I met at the hotel elevators after the Conference Awards Dinner. Trophies in hand, I congratulated them for their accomplishments in various competitions. Each one in the group responded by thanking me and our Board members for being at NCC and showing interest in them.
Barbara Viola, Association Secretary:
The NCC yearly conference is a very popular event for our student members that our AITP national organization sponsors every year. Student members participate in a series of contests and seminars in various aspects of Information Technology, as well as meet and network with students and potential employers from around the country. Our AITP booth at the conference was a wonderful opportunity for our national board to meet firsthand with our students and allow them to spin the AITP contest wheel to win valuable prizes. I enjoyed meeting with so many students at the booth and during the conference, and seeing how enthusiastic and committed they are to the profession. AITP members should be proud of the great effort we are making to integrate our student members into our professional Association. We look forward to welcoming these future IT leaders into AITP professional chapters upon their graduation from college!
Mike Welch, Association Treasurer
The 2012 NCC (National Collegiate Conference) held in San Antonio, Texas, was the 17th NCC sponsored by AITP. It was a huge success, with over 775 total attendees! The conference was a great experience for all who attended, especially the students! I have had the pleasure of attending eight of these events, some on my own dime, plus working a few others, and I look forward to attending many more!
This year, as an AITP Officer, I had to attend a few Association Board Meetings, but I took every opportunity I could to meet and congratulate each student participating in the contests. I also met many, many Faculty Advisors without whom the students would not have been able to attend and compete. These selfless advisors provide a unifying core to the student chapters and devote a great deal of time and effort to support the students.
I mingled not only with the students from Eastern Illinois University (sponsored by my chapter), but with many other students from chapters all across the country. I also enjoyed participating in the banquet awards session, providing traffic direction for the winners to the registration table (where they had to fill out final paperwork). It was rewarding to see their beaming faces and congratulate them. Some of the trophies were larger than the students!
It was amazing to see the enthusiasm from all the participants. Everyone in attendance was a winner! There is no doubt the future of AITP requires our support and growth to all our IT students and AITP Student Chapters. This includes a dedicated effort during the year and not just at the event. We must continue our support!
Congratulations to Vicki Hampton, Faculty Advisor of the Year, Eastern Illinois University! See you and your students soon!
Finally, See you in St. Louis, next year!
Robin Byler, Association Director:
I was thrilled to be involved in the NCC this year. This is only my 2nd NCC event as I attended the event in Orlando and I have to say that I was completely impressed with the students, faculty advisors and our own Kevin Jetton and those who supported him and helped him put on this event. The energy level was high and the enthusiasm was intense. I enjoyed visiting with students and also those vendors who had come from student chapters and were participating in our event from the vendors' perspective. How interesting it was to hear their thoughts on the event and on transitioning from a student to a professional. I know that the 16 that came from Missouri State University enjoyed their time in San Antonio. Now I just want to know what my chapter leadership and I can do to help make this bigger and better in St. Louis next year???
I also have to say that it was a great event from the support side of the house. The hotel staff was great. They took excellent care of us. The food was wonderful and the hospitality was unsurpassed. I especially enjoyed the banquet and seeing our students get their awards. Looking forward to NCC 2013!!!
Thanks for having me.
John Council, Association Director:
I want to thank the NCC Committee and especially Kevin Jetton for again putting on a great NCC! I believe this was the 5th one that I've attended, including Detroit, St. Louis, Memphis, and Orlando previously. I know enough about this conference as well as preceding ones that everything does NOT run smoothly "behind the scenes” all of the time and there are often many challenges and unexpected problems. Kevin's team always quietly and efficiently takes care of whatever these are so that most attendees are completely unaware of them, which is an "art” in itself!
I have always come away from NCC very enthusiastic and motivated myself about AITP and the future of IT in general. The enthusiasm from the students, speakers, and other attendees is very contagious! I especially like the part during the banquet where the schools are introduced with most giving a loud cheer when their name is called. There are so many benefits for students that attend such as networking with others in their field from all over the country, competing in the various contests, meeting prospective employers, plus the many fun aspects as well. As an Association Board member, I enjoy visiting with students and faculty members to learn from them about the latest trends in IT and their ideas about what AITP can do for them after they graduate.
From being an AITP Professional member for many years, I know how much being an AITP member has benefited me and my career, especially through the networking and continuous learning to keep up with what's happening in IT. As Norbert Kubilus, AITP Association President, remarked in his speech to the students at the banquet, the IT field is constantly changing and students have to be mentally prepared for that to do well. It's what I have liked about being an IT Professional for many years – a field that's never been boring!
The last thing I'll mention is that the whole Association Board attended the Student Leadership Council Meeting in San Antonio as observers. This was the first NCC, I believe, where that has ever occurred. The interaction between the Student Leaders in that meeting and the Association Board was just great and benefited everyone to understand and help each other better. I think that communications between all levels of AITP has been greatly improving – Student chapters, Professional Chapters, Regions, and the Association Board. With all of us working together there is a very bright future for AITP!
Brad Moses, Association Director:
It was a great honor and privilege to be able to attend the AITP NCC (National Collegiate Conference) in San Antonio, TX from 05/30-04/01/2012, in conjunction with our Association Board of Directors Meeting. This was the 2nd NCC I've attended. Each one has been very positive and inspirational. Each one seems larger than the previous. It restores your faith in the future of IT in the U.S.A. It is a great feeling to be part of a professional organization that is the main driving force behind an event of this caliber. My hat is off to Kevin Jetton, AITP and his team for starting these events several years ago and improving them every year. I enjoyed sitting with the Fayetteville Technical Community College team, which is sponsored by our local professional chapter, located in Raleigh-Durham, NC, at luncheons and listening to them talk about and plan for their next test/project. It was great seeing another North Carolina chapter, Appalachian State University, receive the Student Chapter of the Year Award for the Association. There's so much electricity generated by these students that you'd think, if harnessed, it could light up the city of San Antonio for a week. If you have the opportunity to attend a NCC as a professional or student member --- don't pass it up.
Bobby Rockers, Association Director:
Our Association is, by its very nature, continually focused on the future. As technology professionals we concern ourselves with the "what-ifs” and "what could-be's” of a tomorrow that we hope to shape. Nowhere in AITP is this optimism, this excitement, more obvious than at the National Collegiate Conference. And in that vein NCC 2012 in San Antonio was one of the best.
The enthusiasm was absolutely infectious. We saw the dedication of our Professionals to the students who will become the future of AITP. We got a chance to shake hands with those who are working and guiding our association today. We got to experience the camaraderie that is held between those who share a similar goal and know that they will be better for working together to achieve it. We got to cheer, and laugh, and sing with people who will someday build the next truly great technology companies. It was an absolutely amazing weekend, and one that I will never forget.
Rick Steeber, Association Director:
While I am not a historian regarding the NCC, this being only my 2nd conference, (I also attended in Orlando in 2011) it continues to impress me. The excitement level of the students continued from Thursday evening thru Sunday morning. I had the opportunity to meet many of the students and faculty members and they all showed both a great amount of enthusiasm and gratification to have such a well-run event. In meeting with a number of first time campuses they also expressed excitement as it relates to 2013 and had visions of doubling their student counts for next year.
While everyone that attends is in my mind a winner, those that did receive trophies were very excited to show them off after the event and at the airport on Sunday (witnessing all of the extra "carry-on's" was great). During the course of the next few weeks it is my plan to first make sure our local student chapters that won, will be recognized by the local media. A second agenda item for me will be visiting those local student chapters that attended to get some of their feedback and then visiting the local chapters that did not attend to pass along that feedback as well as my thoughts to them.
Al Strong, Association Director:
After being involved in the first NCC ever held in Corpus Christi, TX, this year's NCC was an amazing event. At the first event there were about 100 Students present and competing. To see this event with close to 600 Students in attendance makes you know that we are heading in the right direction.
The attitude of the vast amount of students was also of interest to me. All of them seemed so eager to learn and to be held accountable for what they have been learning. That is why they tested themselves against their other students in a variety of disciplines. Some won, but all of them learned valuable lessons in competing.
What is even more heartwarming, is the fact that for years U.S. companies have been sending lots of I.T. work offshore, or hiring foreign workers to come here and work at their firms. Perhaps the trend is turning and that America is meeting the challenge with the proper training of its students. This will make our future even brighter. We have already increased the attendance in NCC five-fold. If we can do that again in the next few years, then we can be assured of America not losing its technology dominance in the future.
Julian Wade, Association Director:
We were glad to see a great turnout at the S2P (Student to Professional) booth, which was considered successful by those who attended and participated in "staffing” the booth. We gave away 36 AITP T-shirts, 69 AITP caps, a donated iPad, a donated Kindle Fire, and a donated iPod. 136 students drew a "Mystery Cash” envelope winning between $1 and $20, for a total of $193. We collected contact information from 371 students. This data is being entered into the AITP Web Portal system and will be used to contact student members as they graduate from college and encourage them to take advantage of the S2P discount. We want to thank all the board members (and others) who assisted the Membership Committee at the S2P booth. A special note of appreciation goes to Doug Fogle who assisted in the setup of the booth and has agreed to store our "leftover” items until next year, Robert Kratzke of the Long Island Chapter who arranged for the donation of the iPad, and to the Southwest Missouri Chapter that donated the Kindle Fire.
Paul Ziems, Association Director
The 2012 AITP National Collegiate Conference (NCC) in San Antonio, TX was the first NCC that I was fortunate to attend and I was really impressed with the Students enthusiasm and energy as well as the school faculty and student chapter coordinators in attendance. The conference gave me confidence in the future leaders of our country and our industry. I also took note of all the ‘volunteers' who worked the long days before, during and after the conference. With these dedicated people working many hours daily, any problems were minimized so that the attendees could experience one of the best weeks of their college years'. There were many volunteers who made the NCC a great success which it may not have been without the many hours of hard work by Kevin Jetton, Conference Coordinator and Nita Adams, President of the Foundation for Information Technology Education (FITE).
Jim Henry, Immediate Past President:
My view of National Collegiate Conference 2012 starts many months before the event and thousands of miles away. Being the Association President 2011 - pretty much as soon as 2011's NCC in Orlando wraps up (and maybe even before?) we start to focus on 2012 and what adaptations need to be made to keep the event focused and on tract. Kevin Jetton and his tireless crew put in hundreds, if not thousands of hours before anyone even considers getting on a plane headed for the event. As chief elected officer for 2011, it was one of my tasks to ensure that NCC is not only successful from a participant angle, but from that of the overall association as well.
So the evening of March 28th, I'm off to Anchorage International Airport to take an overnight flight from ANC to Chicago's O'Hare International. It's a long (six hour) flight, but I'm lucky enough to have the middle seat next to me empty, making the flight a bit more tolerable. A few rows ahead of me are the six students and one faculty advisor from the University of Alaska – Anchorage. I can see them passing back a forth a text book across the aisle. Never too late to study, I guess.
In Chicago, we make our connection to San Antonio. This will be my first trip to the Riverwalk City, and I'm not sure what to expect. In my head, I picture SAT as a small "end of the road” type airport – maybe like Boise, Idaho or Spokane, Washington. I'm a bit surprised to see the size of the airport and the number of flight arriving and departing! Who knew?
The short 15 minute shuttle ride from the Airport to Crowne Plaza Riverwalk allows me so get a glimpse of this city. I'm taken back a bit by the "Sky Scrapers” in town. In Alaska, our tallest building the Conoco-Phillips building downtown at 21 stories and 296 feet. I see around me building equally as tall, if not taller, and pleased to be placed on the 21st story of the hotel. I have a great view of the north edge of the Riverwalk. However, if
I look down too much, I have a great view of the Greyhound bus terminal. Oh well, can't win them all!
After a brief nap and clean up after 15 hours door-to-door of travel, I seek fresh air and my exposure to San Antonio begins. Not having any commitments until Friday morning, (please note the 3 hour time zone change!) I wander off to see a bit of the town. Heading down the Riverwalk, I find many people out on a stroll. It is now about 7:30 pm and except for about an hour nap, I've not slept in about 40 hours. After a brisk 40 minute walk, I eat a fresh salad (those of you NOT from Alaska, a salad with flavor in the winter is a treasure!) and retire for the evening.
Friday Morning! The elevators are running full speed up and down as students prepare for the keynote speakers (we're fortunate enough to have keynotes from both Robert Half Technologies as well USAA – our presenting sponsors). Preparations are fully underway! I am at a table with only one (obviously) student. Introductions are made around and things get underway. The student at the table is one Marcus Guidry – a name I hadn't heard before. But by the end of the keynote, I knew that this young man from Kennesaw State University was now the recipient of a $2,500.00 scholarship from Robert Half Technology! Wow! What a nice surprise and Marcus genuinely appeared humbled by the presentation.
Those of you who don't know, the Association Board of Directors tries to hold its spring "face-to-face” meeting in conjunction with NCC. It's a mixed bag, since as directors, we have a lot of things to cover and we'd like to participate in the NCC events as well. We schedule our breaks along with the NCC breaks and meals so we can spend as much time as possible with the participants of NCC. With the exception of the Awards banquet, we try to split up the board members to mingle with the participants. If you were lucky enough to attend NCC, I hope you had the chance to meet one or two board members!
Back to the event: It seemed like things had just started when the time for the Awards Banquet came. The amount of energy in the auditorium and spilling out into the overflow in the lobby was powerful. The thrill of participants seeing their "smiley” faces up on the big screens as the slide show played during the meal, the random "shout outs” that accompanied them, the anticipation!
Kevin Jetton takes the stage as he's done for 17 consecutive years with DJ Dr. Brian Reithel (Ol' Miss) spinning the tunes. The Awards Banquet is an event within THE Event! As the winners and those of honorable mention are called, the hall erupts with applause and shock! It's impossible to predict who will and who won't take home a trophy. At NCC, it is the best of the best – from smaller schools to HUGE "Name Brand” Universities. Everyone competes on an equal basis.
By 9:30 pm, we're exhausted. The last of the trophies are given out and it is shaking of hands and saying goodbye to our friends for at least this year. Many of the participants are graduating, so we won't see them in that role again. But the Student to Professional (S2P) recruiting team has been busy gathering permanent information and we hope to see many of these participants back in volunteer roles as they move to their new roles as IT Professionals.
Special call out to the University of Alaska Anchorage team: 1st place in .Net and 3rd place in Database Design!
So the lights are out in San Antonio. I board the plane(s) that will take me back to my home in Anchorage. SAT – ORD – SEA and ANC; I'm back home. I leave 88 degree days and return to 134” of snow.
So ends the sixth NCC I've had the pleasure of being a part of. I continue to be amazed by the amount of work and energy that goes into this event. It truly takes all aspects of AITP to hold an event such as NCC: The Event Team led by the tireless Kevin Jetton; the Association Board of Directors for taking on the financial burden, risk and support of the event; the Collegiate Participant; the Faculty Advisors, without whom there would be no call for such an event; and the many – MANY volunteers! I'm extremely proud to be a part of this event and pledge my continued support.