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Fall 2017

Where the Classroom Meets the Business World

OM&IS News Highlights Mr. and Mrs. Candace and Larry Johnson were named the OM&IS Honorary Alumni in April 2017.

Dr. Andrew Setterstrom speaking to last summer’s SAP Certification Workshop.

SAS – Data Analytics Joint Certification The NIU Operations Management & Information Systems (OM&IS) Department has worked with SAS, the leader in data analytics application software, to offer a joint Business Analytics Certification Program for all NIU undergraduate students and a joint Data Analytics Certification Program for all NIU graduate students beginning spring semester 2017. This comes shortly after the department announced a new business analytics minor in its undergraduate OM&IS program last fall and a new business analytics special-

ization in the MIS graduate program this fall. The certificates are designed for all majors, bringing together technology, data and strategic decision making. It will prepare students to solve complex business problems by using a combination of quantitative skills, modeling techniques and SAS software applications for data driven decision making. Data analytics has been consistently ranked as one of the top 10 hottest technical areas by See SAS on Page 4.

Wang Joins OM&IS faculty

Ying Wang.

Assistant Professor Ying Wang has joined the OM&IS staff. Wang earned a Ph.D. degree in Management Information Systems and an MBA degree from Texas Tech University. Her undergraduate degree is in Chemical Engineering from the Wuhan University of Technology in China. Ying also had three years of work

experience in credit risk assessment in HSBC Bank. Ying’s research interests primarily focus on business analytics, adoption and diffusion of smart technology and text analytics techniques. Her work has appeared in journals such as Asia Pacific Journal of InSee Faculty on Page 2.

The OM&IS program was approved for a major revision with three areas of study: Supply Chain Management, Data Analytics and Information Technology Management. The program provides students with skills to run business better by improving processes, applying data analytics and using technology. Dean Balaji Rajagopalan announced that four OM&IS professors, Drs. Chang Liu, Kathleen McFadden, Chuck Downing and Charles Petersen, were the recipients of the Dean’s Distinguished Professorships of OM&IS for a three-year term in October 2016. Sixty-five students took the SAP TERP10 Certification Exam and 40 passed the test which resulted in a 62 percent pass rate for the third OM&IS SAP TERP10 workshop in May 2017. The passing score was raised by the SAP this year. Professor Andy Setterstrom was the workshop instructor. Fifty-three out of 66 students from Professor Chuck Downing’s Big Data Analytics course passed the EMC Academic Associate Data Science See Highlights on Page 2.


OM&IS News Northern Illinois University College of Business

Highlights Continued from Page 1. and Big Data Analytics Certification Exam in May. For the second year in a row, students who took this course passed the rigorous external certification examination at an over 80 percent rate. Dr. Denise Schoenbachler offered her second IT Women’s Leadership workshop in February. The workshop was for empowering women in the technology field. As of May, a total of 201 OM&IS undergraduates and MIS graduates received the SAP Student Recognition awards and 168 students received the Certificates of Business Analytics Using SAP Software since the OM&IS department joined the SAP University Alliances Program in 2012. Thirty-three MIS students were offered Graduate Assistantships in the OM&IS department for the 2016-2017 academic year. The total amount of scholarships offered by the OM&IS department was $103,900 for the 2016-2017 academic year. Seventy-three OM&IS undergraduates and MIS graduates received the scholarship awards.

Outstanding Student Performance The most recent APICS (Association for Operations Management) Annual Great Lake District Student Case competition was held in Downers Grove, Illinois on Feb. 18. Our NIU APICS Chapter team participated in this case competition and worked on the assigned case

Our NIU APICS Chapter team received the fourth place award during the competition. Our NIU Case team members were Dr. Shail Godambe (faculty advisor), Jaleel Savoy, Zach Shippy, Andres Cisneros, Janvit (Tom) Vanichachiva and Luis Rios.

The NIU APCIS Chapter team (left to right): Dr. Shail Godambe, Andres Cisneros, Zach Shippy, Jaleel Savoy, and Janvit Vanichachiva.

Buis Named OM&IS Outstanding Alumnus Doug Buis graduated from NIU in 2006 with a degree in Operations Management and Information Systems. Upon graduating he joined McKesson Corporation. In 2007, Buis managed multiple warehouse teams in one of McKesson’s pharmaceutical distribution centers and played an integral role


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formation Systems. She has presented at top conferences such as Americas Conference on Information Systems (AMCIS) and International Conference on Information Systems (ICIS). Ying’s teaching interests include data analytics, data visualization, operations management and IT strategy.

from 8 p.m. Friday through 8 a.m. Saturday. The case was about simulating a supply chain for a company in the orange juice business. Case scoring was based on ROI, customer delivery and team presentation. Twenty-four teams participated from many Midwest universities.

Doug Buis.

supporting the facility’s transition from Carol Stream to Aurora, Illinois in 2009. Buis was later promoted into a Six Sigma Blackbelt role in November 2010 and drove continuous improvement initiatives at both the local and national level. In February 2012, Buis transitioned back into distribution operations as an assistant director and was then promoted in August 2013 to the director of operations where he led the Chicagoland Distribution Center in Aurora for three years. This past September, Buis joined Parts Town, a restaurant equipment parts distributor in Addison, Illinois where he leads the inventory management and data analytics departments as vice president. As an alumnus, Buis remains actively involved with

our department in several different ways. He is a guest speaker in many different classes, he has provided real data from both his former and current employer for student projects in our 498 capstone class and he serves as a role model and mentor for our students. In addition, Buis has provided faculty with company data that they have used for successful academic research. Not only this, but Doug currently serves as an active member of our OM&IS Executive Advisory Board, where he provides many ideas for enhancing our curriculum. You will also find him at the OM&IS Meet the Firm and Career Fair, where he actively recruits and hires our students, and at the stadium during Homecoming, cheering on the Huskies.

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OM&IS and MIS Alumni Spotlight Apoorva Mathur (M.S./ MIS December 2015) Q: What’s the company you currently work for and how long have you been working there? I currently work for Sogeti USA LLC as a data analyst and have been here since the fall of 2015. Sogeti is a leading provider of technology and engineering services. Q: How did you find this job opportunity? With the wealth of knowledge from my courses, certifications and work experience, I was able to land

analysis, developing and implementing databases, data collection systems and other strategies that optimize statistical efficiency and data quality.

R.J. Kunde (B.S./OM&IS December 2011)

Q: What do you enjoy most about your job?

I have been working for the University of Illinois as a network analyst for just over five years now.

The best part of my job is that each day brings a new challenge and a new opportunity to grow and evolve my own skills and abilities. And I love data! I am passionate about the interesting stories hidden behind data and how these stories apply to the problems facing the business. I also enjoy the interactions that I have with various people across the organization and externally with the clients.

Q: What’s the company you currently work for and how long have you been working there?

Q: How did you find this job opportunity? During my search for opportunities beyond graduation, I considered applying to the University of Illinois as a student. However, I discovered their online jobs portal at

Apoorva Mathur.

multiple job offers. I found this job on its career website and applied. I had to go through four rounds of interviews. Q: Briefly describe your job duties and responsibilities? My job is to develop and implement strategies to translate business requirements into database, BI reporting and visualization solutions that unlock valuable insights. I work as a liaison between IT teams and the business. I am responsible for defining advanced analytical approaches for data

Q: What advice will you give to current MIS students? Take advantage of the resources and opportuniSee Mathur on Page 4

Q: What do you enjoy most about your job? The most enjoyable aspect of my job is the constant stream of complex challenges that keep me learning each and every day. There’s typically not a one-size-fitsall solution to these problems, which translates into an exciting workplace that is engaging and fulfilling. Q: How did your education in the OM&IS program prepare you for your job?

Q: How did your education in the MIS program prepare you for your job? The NIU MIS program not only shaped my professional life, but also made a tremendous impact on my life outside of work. The program not only allowed me to develop my technical skills but also helped me learn how to apply technology in innovative ways to improve business practices. Several of my courses like Project Management and Business Intelligence Applications are tied directly to the work I’ve been doing on the job. My experience as a graduate assistant was also a big plus for me.

range from custom Linux distributions and macOS, to every flavor of Microsoft Windows and Server. Network security, data protection and high-availability services are crucial components of this role as well.

R.J. Kunde. and found several positions available that were applicable to my degree in OM&IS. I immediately applied to the university, both as an employee and non-degree seeking student so I could simultaneously work and take classes part time. Q: Briefly describe your job duties and responsibilities? My core job responsibilities involve the design, implementation and management of a Dell EqualLogic Storage Area Network (SAN) that includes over 50 servers that

In the OM&IS program we studied the operational successes and failures of many companies, as well as database design and introductory concepts in programming. These skills have proven invaluable in the modern workplace, allowing me to make informed recommendations and solve complicated problems regarding information technology and business operations. I’ve always believed that a degree in OM&IS can make anyone a valuable asset to any company or organization. Q: What advice will you give to current OM&IS students? Join student organizations, get involved on campus and enjoy your time at NIU. Some of my best memories come from serving student See Kunde on Page 4


Scholarship and Award Winners The OM&IS Department awarded a total of $103,900 in scholarship funds during the 2016—2017 academic year. The generous scholarship sponsors and recipients are: • BearingPoint Consulting SAP Scholarship — Aparna Adiraju and Savya Keerthi Ravuri. • Business Analytics Scholarship — Faiza Aslam, Ahil Gunasekaran, Jagan Gurumurthy, Ngadhnjim Halilaj, Sai Asrita Kolli, Praneetha Kotla, Konstantin Paraskevov and Sethushankar Sadasivasubramanian. • Business Enterprise Computing Scholarships — Aparna Adiraju, Meenal Choudhary, Gaurav Gadhave, Mangaiah Garikapati, Sriram Guntur, Manoj Mukkamala, Aniket Pawar and Kavitha Peria. • Deutsch Family Scholarship — Brooke Burnett, Megan Christensen, Zoya Khan and Cynthia Swartz. • Dr. Denise Schoenbachler Leadership Awards in MIS/SAP Integration — Eleftheria Bazigos, Sayanti Ghosh, Priyanka Gollamudi, Chandrika Gummadi, Bhargavi Keshanagari, Aditi Khoje, Cheryl O’Connor, Folashade Okeyinka and Lilashree Sahoo. • Dr. Kathleen McFadden Community Service Scholarship — Andrew Wieringa. • Godambe Family Scholarship — Dustin King. • HAVI Scholarship — Calen Lambert and Yiyun Su. • Information Integrity Coalition Scholarship — Manas Krishna Patibandla. • Jeffrey Burton Lollar Memorial Scholarship — Abiuth Maronga. • Marchewka Family Scholarship — Thomas Cowherd. • Marian E. Millington Scholarship for the Advancement of Women in Information Technology — Guojing Chen, Krstina Harvel and Cynthia Swartz. • Matthew L. Johnson Memorial Scholarship — Khristopher Kirui and Wendolyn Rojas. • OM&IS Executive Advisory Council Scholarship — Aishwarya Gali. • OM&IS Faculty Scholarship — Imad Hasan. • OM&IS Leadership Award — Janvit Vanichachiva. • OM&IS Student Excellence (Liu Family) Scholarship — Jason Kaye. • OM&IS Excellence (Towell Family) Scholarship — Avery Kirchner. • Outstanding MIS Student Scholarship — Krishna Roop Amilineni, Arun Balaji Balu, Atul Chandrakant Bhaskar, Sravya Bhimavarapu, Vijaya Dandamudi, Ankit Jain, Rocio Kotus and Pratyusha Vadlamani. • Paytuvi Family Scholarship — Brandon Townsend. • Pearson Publisher Scholarship — Taylor Coltrain. • Stanley Lipien and James Mailander Scholarship — Jordan Freeman. • SAP Terp 10 Scholarships — Neeharika Chekuri, Chandrahas Dodda, Osariemen Isibor, Naga Mitradeep, Saurabh Panchal, Sandra Patino—Lemus, Akshaykumar Pole and Vivekraj Yuvaraj. • Target SAP Scholarship — Mason Bross. • TSI — OM&IS Scholarship — Joshua Abraham. • William and Eileen Breitzke Endowed Scholarship – Eugene Ciesla, Param Dagli and Kevin Rius

Faculty recognized for excellence The OM&IS Department recognized faculty for their distinction. • Outstanding Faculty Research Award — Drs. Yipeng Liu & Kathleen McFadden. • Graduate Faculty Teaching Award — Dr. Akshay Bhagwatwar. • Undergraduate Faculty Teaching Award — Dr. Chuck Downing. • Excellence in Undergraduate Instruction Award — Brian Bender. • Outstanding Faculty Service Award – Dr. Charles Petersen.

OM&IS News Northern Illinois University College of Business


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the computer field. Nearly all organizations need talented professionals who understand how to manage data and how to gain clarity from it. Furthermore, SAS analytical talent is in short supply and high demand. The


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ties that are available to you and truly enjoy a full NIU experience. OM&IS is a great program at NIU with smart and energetic people with so much to offer. Some students focus too much on grades and do not realize that it’s only part of the game. Many employers are looking for individuals who are well rounded with a


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groups like the OM&IS student advisory board. The contacts I made while serving campus organizations have persisted long beyond my time in DeKalb, and I’m glad to have made life-long friends in the OM&IS program. Q: Is there anything else, you want us to highlight about you? The OM&IS Leadership Award! Korrey Anderson, Amber Siddiqui, Chris Bayer and I created this scholar-

certificates are for the SAS Joint Certificate Program, approved by the SAS Global Academic Program, designed to prepare our students to work in a data-rich environment. SAS Studio, SAS Enterprise Miner, and SAS Visual Analytics and Visual Statistics software are the tools used in the joint certification. combination of good grades, career-oriented experiences and accomplishments outside of the classroom. I would recommend students to participate and contribute to the events, projects, research and certification programs that are organized in the school in order to gain hands-on experiences and a better understanding of the concepts. Last but not least, you have to network! It is crucial to your success and personal well-being. ship in the spring of 2014. With help from Dr. Nancy Russo, Dr. Chang Liu and Chris Millington financial match program, the scholarship grew to support a yearly $1,000 award for NIU OM&IS students. During their time as undergraduates, this placed high value in supporting the OM&IS department, and the university as a whole. The motivation behind this scholarship stems from the need to reward students who share in the same philanthropic mindset and passion that united the donors during their time at NIU, and within the OM&IS program.

Master of Science in Management Information Systems (MIS) Informational Sessions Monday, Nov. 6 and Tuesday Nov. 7 from 4:30 p.m. to 5:00 p.m. Barsema Hall 340 Fall 2017 OM&IS Open House Wednesday, Oct. 11 from 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. Barsema Atrium Pond Side.

Northern Illinois University College of Business OM&IS News  

The OM&IS newsletter for the Northern Illinois University College of Business, Fall 2017. OM&IS focuses on running business better by improv...

Northern Illinois University College of Business OM&IS News  

The OM&IS newsletter for the Northern Illinois University College of Business, Fall 2017. OM&IS focuses on running business better by improv...