This Week in Information Systems 2/17/17

Happy Weekend,
It’s a strange week. I have no idea what month it is based on the temperature outside. Regardless, I hope you have time to get out and breathe some fresh air. If not, open your window! Here are some highlights on opportunities coming up to take note of. The list keeps growing.
I.S. Nerd Night, To Be Announced
Each semester, we have a “nerd” night to inform others of what’s happening in the I.S. major, hear your questions about the program and feedback about opportunities outside of class, and to spread the word about the I.S. major to students who are still deciding on what to pursue. You can be a great voice to those who are undecided about their major. More details to come on when this gets scheduled.
State Farm Visit Day on Friday, March 31 (Confirmed)
State Farm will be hosting Millkin at their south campus in Bloomington for a tour of their systems departments, data center, and to interact with alums working at State Farm. Plan on leaving campus around 8:00 and returning between 3:00 and 4:00. Transportation will be provided and so will lunch. Talk to your professors now about class, if there is a conflict. This visit is targeted for those new to I.S. as a major or considering as I.S. as a major.
Center for Entrepreneurship Paid Agile Teams Opportunities
Agile Team Project #1: Golf Student Venture Ideation’s & Feasibility Agile Team
The Decatur Park District Board recently announced plans to close the oldest, most historic golf course in Decatur, Scovill Golf Course. Scovill G.C. was founded in 1921 and has accumulated numerous awards since its inception. For example: it’s a Top 100 Women-Friendly Course in America and is a member of the Audubon Cooperative Sanctuary System. To expand our performance learning philosophy and help meet increased enrollment goals, there is a unique opportunity for Millikin to help explore ways to save Scovill Golf Course and open new market potential.
We are looking for students interested in: Marketing, Communication, Finance
Kick-off meeting: March 7th at 1:00 pm in ADM Scovill room 107
Agile Team Duration: 3/7/17 – 4/11/17 (approximately)
Hourly Rate $7.25/hour
2-6 hours per week – flexible if a project needs more time.

Day of the week for the team meeting will be determined based on availability of team members and the entrepreneur.

If you are interested, please send your resume to by  Wednesday February 22nd at 5:00pm and indicate you are interested in the Scovill Golf Course Agile Team.

Agile Team Project #2: Dog Toy Marketing & Commercialization
The students selected for the Dennis Agile team will be responsible for handling the beginning phases of commercialization of a dog toy designed by Dennis Lab middle school students. They will identify a market, create a marketing strategy and then implement the strategy. They’ll find viable strategies that can be tested and carried out by the Dennis Lab students and hand over a ready to go campaign to be implemented once at a manufacturing stage of the project. The students selected will have experience in entrepreneurship, marketing, digital media marketing, graphic design and business management. This allows for a variety of disciplines but flexible enough that they can work with each others ideas and research.
We are looking for students interested in: Entrepreneurship, Marketing, Digital Media Marketing, Business Management, Graphic Design
Kick-off meeting: Thursday March 9th at 3:30 pm in ADM Scovill room 107
Agile Team Duration: 3/9/17 – 4/13/17 (approximately)
Hourly Rate $7.25/hour
3-4 hours per week – flexible if a project needs more time.

Day of the week for the team meeting will be determined based on availability of team members and the entrepreneur.

If you are interested, please send your resume to by Wednesday February 22nd at 5:00 pm and indicate you are interested in the Dennis Lab School Agile Team.

Nerdery Overnight Website Challenge, March 18-19
The Nerdery Overnight Website Challenge is a volunteer-driven program of the Nerdery Foundation, aimed at maximizing the community impact of nonprofit organizations through digital strategy and custom software design and development – all pro bono.
Registration is open now for Chicagoland volunteer web pros and nonprofits vying for their professional services. The sooner you complete your application, the better your odds to get involved – and get the most out of this experience. I haven’t checked to see if they are open to accepting “down-staters,” but it’s worth a short. If interested, register here by February 20:
New I.S. Job/Internship Opportunities
Nestle Purina:
Business Application Analyst, New Hanover Regional Medical Center:
IT Technician, City of Osage Beach, MO:
ADM — additional internships may open up.
Midwest Digital Marketing Conference, April 12 and 13 in St. Louis, Union Station
There is an opportunity to hear from some of the best and brightest at companies like Facebook, Google, Salesforce, and Twitter at this year’s Midwest Digital Marketing Conference. It’s hosted by University of Missouri–St. Louis and includes a networking/career fair. To learn more:
  • April 12 & 13, 2017
  • Registration for students is $50
If this interests you, please fill out the short form linked here:
Once we know who is interested, more information will be sent from Dr. Carrie Trimble.
REU Interdisciplinary Research Experience in Computational Sciences
The Center for Computation & Technology (CCT) hosts a ten week Research Experiences for Undergraduates (REU) program where students work collaboratively on a wide variety of computational science projects. Each student receives a stipend of $5,000, free housing in university dormitories, and up to $600 in travel expenses to and from Baton Rouge, Louisiana.  Ten students will be selected.
Undergraduate, community college student, or high school senior attending college in the fall, interested in a major that is within the computational sciences umbrella (leaves out few majors as it includes all sciences, mathematics, engineering, finance, statistics, etc.) with at least a 2.75 GPA, considering a career in research and/or graduate school in your major, being a US citizen or permanent resident, and graduating at least one semester after completion of the REU.
Important Dates:
March 1, 2017: Application deadline.
April 1, 2017: Notification of decision.
May 22, 2017 through July 30, 2017: Program dates.
The research activities of the CCT are organized into five Focus Areas: Core Computing Sciences, Coast to Cosmos, Material World, Cultural Computing, and System Science and Engineering. These are broad, and sometimes overlapping areas where faculty from diverse departments (Mathematics, Computer Science, Physics, Civil Engineering, Oceanography and Coastal Sciences, Petroleum Engineering, Mechanical Engineering, Electrical and Computing Engineering, Music, Business, etc.) collaborate in multidisciplinary projects. Our REU students learn how to use some of the nation’s largest supercomputers, may participate in the setup and management of large-scale simulations, and may take on an important role in the analysis and visualization of the simulation results.
For more information and to apply, visit:

Happy FFFing Friday Series, 2/17 @ 9am

Take part in stimulating discussions and hear real stories that prove why failure can be the stepping stone to success. We will hear from a seasoned entrepreneur, every week, who will give an honest testimonial about the hardships they encountered on their way to success and the lessons learned that got them through.

The Happy FFFing Friday series will be February 17th from 9:00 a.m. to 10:00 a.m. in ADM Scovill Room 107. 

Jesse Reising is Co-Founder and former Board Chairman and President of the Warrior-Scholar Project (, a nonprofit organization that hosts “academic boot camps” at over a dozen universities nationwide to help veterans transition from the military to college. After graduating from Decatur Eisenhower High School, Jesse attended and played football at Yale University and planned to join the Marine Corps after he graduated. In the final moments of his last football game, the 2010 Yale-Harvard Game, he was involved in a devastating collision that injured his neck and left parts of his right arm paralyzed. Unable to join the Marine Corps, Jesse started the Warrior-Scholar Project to serve those serving in the military in his place. Since the Warrior-Scholar Project’s founding in 2012, they have raised over $4 million and served over 500 veterans.

Jesse will speak about strategies for overcoming the challenges associated with starting and growing a business from the perspective of a social entrepreneur.

Please contact Court Tulak at the Center for Entrepreneurship ( with any questions and we look forward to seeing you soon!

Maker Fair Event #IS492 Opportunity

Millikin’s Center for Entrepreneurship is supporting the Make, Explore, Share Fair on April 11, 2015 from 10:00 AM – 4:00 PM at the University of Illinois Extension office (across from Richland Community College).  This event is open to anyone who crafts, creates, or even just tinkers with art, technology, gardening, craft beer making, printmaking, drone-flying, raspberry-pi making, you name it!!  This is an excellent ready-made performance learning opportunity.  This is certainly also open to student-run ventures which would want to exhibit.
One of the major tenants of this event is that exhibitors need to share their process of how they make things.  They are welcome to sell products too, but they must share how they create their products.  For technology folks, that doesn’t necessarily mean sharing code, but it does mean that the process used needs to be open. View the event flier for more information and register online. There is NO FEE to be an exhibitor.

Raspberry Pi – Entrepreneurship Class Kicked Off

Raspberry Pi Logo

I’m truly excited and energized about a class this spring as we bring together the Raspberry Pi platform and entrepreneurial thinking in a course titled “Technology Ventures.” With a group of 7 students, we are going to explore Raspberry Pi, see its uses hands-on, learn a little Python, and develop a business model around the computing platform. I can’t determine whether I’m more excited about an immersive hands-on opportunity for Information Systems majors or that the entrepreneurial mindset is being infused into their coursework.

The Raspberry Pi, the $35 System on a Chip motherboard, was developed to bring computing resources to underserved areas. This has begun to manifest itself in two ways; schools now have access to inexpensive computers to teach programming to students at a young age and underdeveloped countries now have affordable access to technology. One of the great unintended consequences of this technology are the researchers, hobbyists, and enthusiasts the platform has brought forward. People of all abilities are using R-Pi to create, innovate, have fun, and solve problems (25 Fun Things to Do with a Raspberry Pi). The low-cost nature of this platform lowers the barrier to access and creates the perfect blank canvas for innovation.

So where do the two of these beasts really intersect; Raspberry Pi and Entrepreneurship? I see the blank canvas as the center of innovation in this endeavor. Let’s keep the technology fixed and surround it with the value proposition, customer segments, and financial models. Rather than approach entrepreneurship as a local pub and 100-page business plan, let’s fix the technology and create a business model around one central theme. R-Pi allows this due to its flexible platform and architecture. If one person can create a home surveillance system and another a keyboard out of beer cans, there are definitely some options for innovation. Fixing the technology allows Information Systems students to identify their tech strengths, hone their tech skills, and create value with technology. They are truly the owners of their creation.

Using the frameworks for ideation developed by Alex Bruton in conjunction with the Business Model Canvas as developed by Alexander Osterwalder and Yves Pigneur, students will take their raw ideas and develop them into a business model for a chance to win start up capital from our institution’s Business Creation Competition. Besides, what could be better than developing a product or service that is both impactful and feasible while adding value?