News & Press: InSider

Member Spotlight: Chris Parker

Tuesday, February 3, 2015  
Posted by: Michelle Syen

In this article, we ask Chris Parker, Penn State University assistant professor and AIS member, a few questions about his interest in the field, his ideas for the future of IS, and his thoughts on the organization overall. This insight is invaluable to us as an organization; Please send an email to with any ideas!

Q: What helped you decide to pursue a career in information systems? What drew you to the field?

A: I’ve always been interested in technology, and I had a great supervisor who recognized that the interest could be put to work in research with the right guidance. His excitement about IS topics piqued my interest in the field. Once I dug deeper and started to realize what the community is doing I was hooked.

Q: Since you have begun your career in information systems, what has changed about the field and what has stayed the same?

A: I’m relatively new to the field, but even in the last five years the increased emphasis on analytics/big data is quite apparent. Understanding the methods for handling and analyzing large data sets is becoming more and more important for empirical researchers. This trend also impacts our teaching; students in all disciplines are recognizing how understanding data can help them and many of them are coming to IS to get the training they need.

Q: Where did you study, and who has served as your mentor(s)?

A: I did my Ph.D. at London Business School. Bruce Weber served as my primary IS supervisor. Kamalini Ramdas and Nicos Savva were advisors for my operations management research interests. All three are still great mentors.

Q: When did you join AIS, and what brought you to the organization?

A: I joined AIS in November 2009 to go to ICIS and WISE. Now I try to attend every year.

Q: How do you think that you have benefited from belonging to AIS?

A: I’ve benefited by staying up-to-date on research. Not only do I have the opportunity to attend major conferences but I can also still see what was presented in years when I can’t attend through the AIS eLibrary. It’s truly a great resource and I wish more associations would copy it. Even reviewing for ICIS is a great benefit to me as it introduces me to new ideas.

Q: What has been your favorite AIS memory thus far?

A: Participating in the ICIS Doctoral Consortium in Shanghai. Learning about their work and spending some time getting to know them outside of research was a tremendous amount of fun. I met some truly outside students and advisors in those few days and still keep in contact with many of them.

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