Kent State Ashtabula AITP Group Named National Student Chapter of the Year
For the second time in five years, the Association for Information Technology Professionals (AITP) student group at Kent State Ashtabula has been recognized by the national professional organization as its “Outstanding Student Chapter of the Year.” The award was presented at the CompTIA All Member Meeting in St. Louis, Mo., on Tuesday, Dec. 18.
The Kent State Ashtabula chapter previously won the award in 2014 and prior to 2017 was a nearly yearly recipient of the “Outstanding Regional Chapter” award. CompTIA, a leading voice globally in the information technology ecosystem, merged with AITP in 2017 to create the leading association for technology professionals, students and educators. This is the first time CompTIA AITP is presenting awards.
“Our group is honored and grateful to be the recipients of CompTIA AITP’s first outstanding chapter award,” said Carolyn Carvalho, associate lecturer of Information Technology and group advisor. “We appreciate the recognition and hope this inspires others to become involved by seeing the positive impact and advantages gained by students attending our campus.
The CompTIA AITP awards were created to honor outstanding individual members and chapters that are positively impacting local IT communities, advancing the vision and mission of CompTIA AITP, and making significant contributions to the tech industry.
The “Chapter of the Year” award recognizes a CompTIA AITP student chapter that, over the past year, has made a positive impact on its IT community; created a meaningful relationship with local chapters; developed successful programming; increased membership, retention and member diversity; and demonstrated exceptional leadership.
The Kent State Ashtabula CompTIA AITP chapter is one of the most productive, highly honored, and longest-running organizations in the university system. Started in 1993, the organization provides students exceptional opportunities and resources to develop and advance their academic and professional careers, while at the same time contributing to their local and regional communities.
“AITP has been a big help in making my college adventure fun and exciting,” said student and 2018 Kent State Ashtabula AITP scholarship recipient Abby Raikes. “I have met a lot of different people and made many friends that I would have never made on my own. Kent State Ashtabula AITP has also allowed me to keep on track with my career goal of becoming a professional programmer with receipt of the AITP scholarship. My family can keep me in college for another semester without having to pull out more loans allowing me to stay focused on my classes and my passion rather than worrying about how to pay back a big debt once I obtain my degree.”
Through involvement in the student chapter and a close partnership with the local professional chapter, Kent State Ashtabula students build a network of contacts, mentors and professionals in the field. Each month, the group enthusiastically plans and attends educational events such as tech speakers, presentations and hands-on workshops. Students know it is imperative to stay current on the latest developments in the field and they do so by traveling and attending tech and collegiate conferences and sessions, IT competitions, resume and career fairs, and certification study and testing events.
“AITP is a way for me to learn about technology in a way I would not in a classroom,” said club president Kathryn Osborne. “It has been a support, system when life gets in the way, and a portal in which to meet and get to know members of our community.”
Outside the classroom, the Kent State Ashtabula AITP group hosts a number of holiday food drives on campus throughout the year as well as leading the campus-wide effort for the Holiday Angels Loving Others (HALO) “Adopt a Family” program. Most recently, the club collected donations for over 100 households in the Ashtabula community to enjoy Thanksgiving dinner.
While the organization’s focus is on information technology, club members come from all disciplines across campus. “Even though I'm majoring in Respiratory Therapy, AITP allowed me to learn more about every day technology,” said club vice president Erin Taylor. “It also afforded me the opportunity to meet and become friends with some very smart and talented individuals.”
Carvalho added the students also know that their CompTIA AITP membership is also an excellent addition to a resume. “Over the 18 years I have been involved with AITP, I have witnessed so many shy, uncertain students grow and blossom through their involvement and participation in the group,” she said. “They graduate and leave as skilled, self-confident IT professionals because they were encouraged and challenged to achieve and do their best in all aspects of their lives.”
Interested in learning more about the Kent State Ashtabula AITP student organization? Visit their Facebook page at www.facebook.com/groups/ksuaAITP. To learn more about CompTIA AITP visit www.aitp.org.
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