News & Press: InSider

James Parrish Appointed Vice President of Student Chapters

Tuesday, April 1, 2014  
Posted by: Michelle Syen
Nova Southeastern University Assistant Professor James Parrish assumed the role of AIS Vice President of Student Chapters on April 1, 2014.  The AIS Council appointed Parrish to this due to his ample experience working with student chapters and enthusiasm for the AIS student chapter program.  He will be filling the position of his predecessor, University of Michigan-Dearborn Professor Lise Urbaczewski, who led the program for the last four years.

At the University of Arkansas at Little Rock, he was a co-sponsor of the student chapter of the Association of Information Technology Professionals (AITP). His duties in this role included managing the monthly meetings for the chapter, identifying and securing informative and engaging guest speakers to present to the chapter, coordinating events such as tours of major technology employers in the area, providing mentor-ship and career advice to the chapter members, helping students to develop their professional networks before graduation, and being a general advocate for the student chapter members. Later in his role as Vice President of the South Florida Technology Alliance (SFTA), Parrish was responsible for working with the Executive Director and other leaders to create the framework for SFTA Student Chapters. His responsibilities in this role have been more centered on the creation of the chapter bylaws, organizational structure, organizational processes and procedures, and setting the strategic direction of the organization with a focus on student recruitment, student retention, and the growth and diffusion of the student chapter organization across the region.

Parrish's experiences in the creation and management of student chapter organizations taught him that one of the key drivers of growth in student chapters of any type of organization is the ability of the student chapter to provide tangible value proposition to its members. He has also come to learn that the value proposition may differ amongst different student constituencies, but the best source of value that a student chapter can provide to its membership is opportunity. Parrish believes that AIS can drive growth in its student chapters by demonstrating the association's value in providing student chapter members with opportunities in three areas: employment, education, and networking.

Below are some of his initial ideas for growing the program:
  • Actively engage and cultivate mutually beneficial relationships with industry partners at national, regional, and local levels.
  • Provide educational activities to help provide students with more access to hands-on skills development desired by employers. 
  • Allow students that do not have an AIS student chapter on their campus to create an online chapter.  Once an online chapter reaches a certain number of online members at any one university, AIS can help drive the creation of an on-campus chapter.
  • Position the AIS student chapters as effective vehicles for delivering career support to students, thus increasing membership.
Parrish has many other ideas for his tenure, and he is looking forward to passionately advocating for the student chapter program.  Please email him directly if you would like to learn more!

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