IVMF Students & Data Expertise Showcased at Global Conference

Members of the Syracuse University Institute for Veteran and Military Families (IVMF) Research and Analytics team recently presented at SAS Global Form, the world’s largest analytics conference, in Dallas, Texas. The forum featured more than 700 presentations and sessions covering a wide-range of topics, including big data, the emergence of artificial intelligence (AI), and the need to analyze data on the edge and in the cloud. More than 5,500 scientists, executives, and other area leaders attended the global event and another 25,000 viewed the sessions online.

Nick Armstrong, Senior Director of IVMF Research and Analytics, and Bonnie Chapman, Director of IVMF Evaluation, presented on how to best utilize student talent. The session, titled, Designing and Sustaining a Successful Student-Led Internship Program, detailed the development of the IVMF’s student internship program for Syracuse University School of Information Studies (iSchool) students. Chapman and Armstrong addressed how to establish and sustain a student-led internship program, hire the right students, provide students with leadership opportunities, and engage students with real-life problems and datasets.

“Student employees are an extremely valuable but often underutilized asset,” says Armstrong. “When organizations invest in a student internship program, it creates lasting benefits for all parties. Organizations get an infusion of diverse talent and increased capacity while students get real-life skills and preparation for the modern workforce.”

The IVMF’s internship program offers students significant leadership opportunities and the chance to use their technical expertise. Experienced graduate students are selected to recruit students for new positions and then lead, train, and manage their junior peers. The reputation of the program has grown to allow IVMF the ability to select interns from among the best and brightest students on campus thus creating an environment that enhances both the skills of student interns, as well as IVMF staff members.

During the event, former Syracuse IVMF student intern, Ankita Kalita, was named a 2019 SAS Global Student Ambassador. This highly competitive program recognizes students around the world who are using SAS technologies in innovative ways. Kalita also presented, ‘Improving Survey Data Quality and Use with SAS Data Management Studio and SAS Visual Analytics’  to an audience keen to learn how SAS tools simplify the process of preparing data for analysis.

“This honor is a testament to Ankita’s level of professionalism, and the significance of her work to our organization,” says Armstrong. Kalita graduates from the iSchool in 2019 and has accepted a position as a cloud development operations engineer at Ciena, a networking systems, services, and software company in Maryland.