NCC is the National Collegiate Conference and is a yearly event that is organized by the Association of Information Technology Professionals.
When I first made the decision to attend NCC, I did so with some trepidation. I would be away from home for 4 days and I really do not like to do that for various reasons. I imagined that it would be a long, boring 4 days where I would not have much to do except listen and be an observer. So, I departed Pittsburgh early in the afternoon of April 4th and arrived in St. Louis and was booked into my hotel room by 3:00 P.M.
I went to the event conference hall and was surprised with the amount of people who were in line for registration. I had heard that over 600 students were attending along with the professional members, sponsor and speakers which brought the total count of about 700.
Shortly after going through the registration, I ran into AITP members, Elaine Miller (web portal administrator), Bill Fly (Association President), Barb Shaver (Akron Chapter) and Chris Leja (St. Louis Chapter). I started to feel better about attending the event after seeing several people that I knew.
I also ran into Mark Gilfand, who is the editor of the AITP Information Executive. I had had email correspondence with Mark for several years and had finally met him at the Members Meeting in Green Bay last October.
One of my goals that I had was to meet the Student Chapters from Region 18, who were attending the event. I ran into Ed Drum of the Kent State University Ashtabula campus and was able to meet up with his group. On Friday, I ran into members of the Student Chapter at James Madison University and finally on Saturday I met the students from Appalachian State.
I had signed up to attend the St. Louis Chapter meeting on Friday evening. Several of the AITP
Board Members were in attendance. I sat with 4 members of the St. Louis and had a great time. The speaker for the evening was Mark Gilfand and his presentation was titled “AITP and You – Keys to Your Success”. If you ever have a chance to listen to Mark make this presentation, please do so. It was fantastic and spot on!
On a side note, I ran into 2 students from Georgia PiedmontTechnical College. Mechelle Davis and Schwann Brown-Richardson informed me that their College, among many others, will be planning for the 2014 NCC, which is being held in Atlanta, Georgia.
Several free exams certifications were available for the students to take advantage of. Certiport, Microsoft and ICCP had a very strong presence at the event and it was very much appreciated. Also, the students could take part of several IT contest such as: Student Chapter Banner and Shirt Competition, Database and Network Design, Security, PC Trouble Shooting and Java / Web Development. I able to talk with several students before and after the testing / contest sessions. It was very refreshing to see how excited they were about all of the different opportunities that were available at the event.
During the luncheon on Friday, several awards were handed out. Irene Edge of the KSU Ashtabula Campus was presented the Going the Extra Mile award. This was a well deserved award and was made extra special with the Dean of the kent State University making a surprise appearance during the presentation.
Also, Carolyn Carvalho was recognized for her efforts to make sure that free testing was available for the students. Early in the year, it was announced that testing for students was not going to be featured at the event. Through the diligence of Carolyn, this part of the event was back in place.
The James Madison University was named the Student Outstanding Chapter Award. An article from JMU was in the last Region 18 CommuniGram.
To add icing on the cake, Dr Susan Kruck of JMU was name Faculty Advisor of the Year. I had some concerns about this as I had been asked to write a letter of recommendation for Dr. Kruck by the Student Chapter. Despite my involvement, everything worked out.
I also met and talked for a short time with the faculty advisor and students from Appalachian State College.
Dr. Joyce Currie Little of Towson University was the recipient of the Distinguished Service Award. I was able to spend an hour or so talking with her and Vickie Hampton (Assoication Director) Saturday afternoon. What a fantastic person!
The awards dinner was exciting for the students and I got to hear the cheers as all colleges were named in a roll call. A ton of awards were handed out for all of the different contest that were held.
This event was hosted by the Capitol and St. Louis Chapter, student chapters at Eastern Illinois University, Missouri Western State, Univ. Missouri State, Univ. Southern Illinois and Southern Illinois Univ. at Edwardsville.
Sponsor of the event include Robert Half Technology (who awarded two $2,500 scholarships), State Farm, USAA, IBM, ICCP and others.
Sunday morning arrived and it was time to leave St. Louis and head back to eastern Ohio. Even at that, the fun continued as I saw and talked with several people who had attended the event and were flying out of the St. Louis airport. Tired but still excited, it was great hearing that plans were being made for next year in Atlanta. AND to top it off, I was patted down by security after my t-shirt set off the x-ray machine. THE THRILLS JUST DON’T STOP!!!!
Any reservations that I had about attending NCC were quickly forgotten. I had a fantastic time and would recommend that any member make the effort to attend a NCC event in the future.