As an IST student, you can pursue your interests while developing leadership and teamwork skills by taking part in student organizations in both the College of IST and Penn State at large.
With a variety of opportunities, you can get involved in many ways, from serving as an officer to chairing a committee to attending events. Student organizations can help students develop relationships with faculty and staff, understand and be a part of the IST community, and meet new friends with similar interests.
Explore the possibilities and get involved one of the College of IST’s student organizations.
Director, Career Solutions
IST Student organizations, clubs, and committees:
- Start Your Own Student Organization
- Academic Committee
- Diversity Network (D-Net)
- Enterprise Architecture Club
- Game Development Club
- Information Assurance (IA) Club
- Consulting Club
- IST Diplomats
- IST Honors Society
- IST Server Administrator Club
- IST Special Living Option
- IST Student Government
- Night of Honors Committee
- Red Cell Analytics Lab (RCAL)
- Security and Risk Analysis (SRA) Club
- IST For the Kids
- Women in IST (WIST)
IST student organizations focus primarily on IST topics and students. To form an IST organization, founders must have certain things in place as well as approval from the dean of IST. The following is a template for starting a new IST student organization:
1. Develop the organization concept
The first step in starting an IST organization is to determine its focus, which should be related to information technology. Try to envision what the organization would do on a regular basis or if it would have any special events. Also, read the current IST student organization descriptions and see if your ideas are already being carried out by another organization or if they could be integrated into another organization.
After forming your own ideas about the organization, seek advice from others, including your professors and other knowledgeable people. Explain your reasoning for starting the organization and ask if they think the organization would benefit IST students. Listen to their suggestions and concerns.
2. Get an adviser
Your adviser should be a faculty or staff member who is knowledgeable about the subject matter of the organization. Ask IST faculty and staff who they think might be a suitable candidate for your adviser.
Approach a potential adviser with your ideas about your club and its purpose and ask if he or she would be willing to help you with the organization and become the organization's official adviser. If you are turned down by one person, keep searching and speaking with faculty and staff; eventually you will find the right person for the job.
3. Write a proposal
Consider the following when writing a proposal:
- What are you trying to accomplish with your organization?
- What can the organization bring to the college?
- How will this organization help IST students?
- Why is your organization necessary?
- Has something similar already been created?
- What does your organization need to accomplish its goals (funding, room reservations, support from the college, corporate support, members, etc.)?
4. Submit proposal to the Dean
It is important to obtain the dean's approval because he will be able to provide your organization with funding and other resources. Once you have a finalized your proposal, it's time to discuss it with the Dean of IST. You will need to contact the Dean's office for an appointment.
Present your proposal to the Dean explaining that you have support of your adviser and of other members of the faculty and staff.
If the Dean rejects your proposal, find out why your proposal was not accepted. Consult with your adviser and other faculty and staff for advice. Rewrite your proposal based on the Dean's comments and present it again. Once the Dean accepts your proposal, you officially have a new IST organization.
5. Elect leadership
Once you are an official IST organization, you will need to create a strong base for the success of your organization. Care and consideration should be taken when electing your initial leadership, because your leaders will form the core of your organization. The executive board should be made up independent thinkers who voice their opinions, take initiative, and get things done.
Possible executive officer positions: president, vice president, secretary, treasurer, Webmaster, social chair, corporate liaison, and public relations representative/historian.
Look at other IST organizations and ask your adviser for examples of how to manage the executive board and how the executive board should manage the organization's members.
6. Recognition by the IST Student Government
The leadership of your organization must contact the IST Student Government for its approval and acknowledgment within the IST Student Government constitution. Once approved by the president of the IST Student Government and the executive board, the organization will be signed into the constitution. The head of the recognized IST organization will serve on the executive board of the IST Student Government.
For a successful organization, recruit members of all class years and with a variety of skills. The older or more experienced members can pass down their knowledge to the younger, less experienced members. It is necessary to have younger members because in a few years they will be the leadership and without them you organization cannot survive in the long run.
The IST Academic Committee serves to improve the communication for all academic-related issues within IST. Students are encouraged to express concerns, share experiences, and voice opinions to improve the IST academic experience. The Committee also holds feedback sessions for the student body to share issues directly with IST’s Deans and faculty.
For more information, contact Lauren Pisarcik, Academic Committee chair.
The Computer Networking Club (CNC) explores topics related to the interoperability of intelligent machines, primarily through the medium of multiple-user gaming systems.
- Object-oriented programming implemented through the development and upkeep of telnet-based Multiple User Domains (MUDs).
- Design of network architecture and organization of massive user Local Area Network (LAN) events.
- Design of database structure and administration for player and team competitive ranking
The mission of the Diversity Network (D-Net) is to create a community that enhances respect for individual differences, both physical and intellectual, while keeping in mind the common goals of IST students and future professionals in IT related careers.
D-Net members work toward the advancement of all people and ideas in our field of study by providing networking opportunities, career resources, community outreach, mentoring, and professional development. By embracing the ideals of diversity, D-Net prepares students to actively participate in a challenging, global environment.
For more information, contact Brittany Heath, D-Net student President, or Keva Tranzor, D-Net faculty adviser.
Working with our corporate, government, and academic partners, the Enterprise Architecture (EA) Club provides real-world projects and experiences for students to enhance their understanding and appreciation for the integration of enterprise systems while establishing contacts within the professional field.
EA Club is an outlet for creative, inspired, and innovative students interested in corporate site visitation and corporate networking opportunities; students instilled with the desire to enrich themselves with a deeper understanding of integration as it supports the current world and the endless opportunities awaiting the private and public sectors of technology.
For more information contact Matthew Molinari, EA Club president, or Brian Cameron, EA Club adviser.
The IST Game Design club was created for students with a strong interest in games. Students in this club meet to discuss the process of creating games and to make their own games. They also get together to test games and just to play them.
In this club, students can gain valuable skills in programming, graphic design, writing, and other areas, while having a good time with fellow gamers.
The Information Assurance (IA) Club is designed to supplement and extend the information security concepts discussed in the IST and SRA majors.
Through talks, demonstrations, interactive seminars, competitions, and guest speakers, they seek to keep members informed of cutting-edge concepts and explore the challenges of the future, while upholding the highest levels of ethics and responsibility.
The club also invites corporations to speak about current issues facing the industry, as well as provide networking opportunities and information sessions for club members.
For more information, contact Chase Miller, IA Club President, or Stan Aungst, IA Club adviser.
The IST Consulting Club focuses on the “real life” of consultants, going beyond the classroom experience. Students with an interest in the consulting field get together to work on consulting projects within the community and learn from current consultants about what life is like in the industry.
For more information, contact Josh Stine, IST Consulting Club President or Shawn Clark, IST Consulting Club Faculty Adviser.
The purpose of Gamma Tau Phi is to recognize and encourage scholarship, leadership, and service among students enrolled in the College of Information Sciences and Technology.
The Society strives to develop skilled, motivated, and ethical future leaders in the field of information technology. Students with high academic merits have the opportunity to network and attend special events together.
For more information, contact Kathryn Finley, Gamma Tau Phi President, or Dave Hall, Gamma Tau Phi faculty adviser.
The IST Special Living Option (SLO) is available to students who would like to live among other students with similar interests.
By immersing students in the IST major in an environment conducive to interaction with one another, students are able to assist each other with school work and build lasting friendships both in and out of the classroom.
The IST SLO regularly sponsors on-going programming activities in conjunction with the College of Information Sciences and Technology and the Penn State Office of Residence Life including gaming nights, study sessions, tours of campus facilities, and student advising nights.
The events are structured to provide unique, fun, and educational experiences that are not available to everyone living on campus.
The IST Student Government is the official voice of the student body to all faculty, staff, and administration.
Students are given the opportunity to express feedback and discuss all matters surrounding any aspect of the IST experience and the general student population. Student Government serves to build a culture of learning and leadership that would be expected of tomorrow’s leaders.
The Magazine of IST (MIST) is a student-produced, IST-centric source of news, information, and entertainment. The organization aims to produce quality content related to the College of Information Sciences and Technology, while bridging the gap between IST and other academic communities within Penn State.
Students in this organization have the opportunity to network with other IST students and learn about and contribute to the Penn State IST community while improving IT skills in the areas of Web journalism and media.
This club is currently seeking leadership. For more information, contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Honors Ball Committee plans and hosts the awards banquet where undergraduate students in the College of IST recognize their peers, faculty and staff for their excellence in the IST Community. This event is a great time for the IST community to celebrate the achievements of the past year.
The Security and Risk Analysis (SRA) Club was founded to help students learn more about the multi-disciplined SRA major and its applications in both the public and private sectors.
Members of the SRA Club enjoy expanding their knowledge of the security and risk analysis field through a variety of activities including general meetings, speaker events, social events, special projects, seminars and networking events.
For more information, contact SRA Club President, or Gerry Santoro, SRA Club faculty adviser.
IST THON strives to bring the College of Information Sciences and Technology (IST) community together to support the Penn State Dance Marathon (THON) and the Four Diamonds Fund. Through close partnerships among students, alumni, faculty and staff in the College, IST THON will “Inspire Hope” by providing emotional and financial support.
Members of IST THON enjoy organizing and participating in various philanthropic events throughout the year while meeting and socializing with other IST and SRA students. Last year alone IST THON raised over $37,000 so visit our website and get on our mailing list to help break this record next year!
For more information, contact , Executive Chair for IST THON, or Don Shemanski, IST THON Adviser.
The purpose of Women in IST (WIST) is to promote a sense of unity among the women of IST by offering networking opportunities, career resources, community and academic presentations, and leadership training.
The organization strives to support the recruitment and sustained interest of women in the College of Information Sciences and Technology, ensuring that female students and faculty members are equally and actively involved in all aspects of education and in the rapidly changing world of technology.
For more information contact Maria Verardi, WIST President, or Madhavi Kari, WIST adviser.
The IST Diplomats are a select group of undergraduate students in the College of Information Sciences and Technology (IST) at The Pennsylvania State University, University Park campus. The IST Diplomats are a vital constituent in assisting the College in the recruitment and retention of highly qualified students and serving as representatives of IST to prospective students and families, recruiters, and corporate partners, and friends.
The IST Diplomats work closely with the Office of the Dean, Development Office, Office of Multicultural Affairs, Career Solutions, and Advising Center and have the opportunity to develop communication skills, network with professionals, mentor students, and establish working relationships with college and university faculty, students, staff and administrators across the Penn State system. Their mission is to create an awareness of the academic programs and career opportunities in or related to information technology, systems, security, risk analysis, and management sciences. IST Diplomats assist with prospective student visits to campus, open houses, orientation programs, professional information sessions, student panel sessions, new student orientation, alumni functions, building tours, and events and/or visits by corporate partners and executives.
Serving as an IST Diplomat is both an honor and a distinction. Being an IST Diplomat requires a substantial time commitment. The term of service within the IST Diplomats organization will be for a minimum of one year.
For more information or to request Diplomat services, contact Julie Coughlin at email@example.com.
A Sample of IST Diplomat Activities and Responsibilities:
- Alumni Events
- Parent’s Weekend
- New Student Orientation
- Building/Facilities Tours
- Prospective Student Meetings
- Open House
- Accepted Student Programs
- College Development Activities
- Kelly Connelly
- Evan Friedenberg
- Brittany Heath
- Kirsten McGroary
- Lauren Pisarcik
- Adam Stavely
- Maria Verardi
IST Diplomat Leadership Academy
Friday, January 31st, 2014
- Applications will be evaluated by a committee made up of outgoing senior Diplomats, select IST staff, and faculty.
- Select applicants will be asked to participate in a brief 15-minute interview with a member of the selection committee.
- All applicants will be notified by email no more than 3 weeks after the application deadline date as to the status of their application.
- Successful applicants will be notified during the last week of March so they can be prepared to register for the class.
The IST Diplomat Leadership Academy is a new program that will enhance the current IST Diplomats organization by adding an academic component that focuses on developing vital leadership skills. The goal of the IST Diplomat Leadership Academy is to prepare top-quality technology leaders for the digital 21st century. It will connect selected students from the College of Information Sciences and Technology (IST) with leaders across multiple disciplines; engage them in meaningful dialogue and workshops to increase students’ confidence and capacity to lead; and motivate students to take on leadership roles at the University and beyond. Furthermore, the students in the program will serve as vital constituents in assisting IST in the recruitment and retention of prospective and current students and being multifaceted ambassadors and student leaders for the College of IST. Students in this program will continue to be known as IST Diplomats.
The program will now include a one-credit, one-semester course that all new IST Diplomats will enroll in. This course will be focused on various aspects of leadership and also touch on professional development topics. Upon completion of the course, students will have the tools and skills needed to continue with the already established outreach component of engaging with prospective students, donors, and corporate partners as student ambassadors of IST.
The IST Diplomats will work closely with the Office of the Dean, Development Office, Office of Multicultural Affairs, Career Solutions, and Advising Center and have the opportunity to develop communication skills, network with professionals, mentor students, and establish working relationships with college and university faculty, students, staff and administrators across the Penn State system. IST Diplomats assist with prospective student visits to campus, open houses, orientation programs, professional information sessions, student panel sessions, new student orientation, alumni functions, building tours, and events and/or visits by corporate partners and executives.
Being part of the IST Diplomat Leadership Academy is both an honor and a distinction. Being an IST Diplomat requires a substantial time commitment. The term of service within the IST Diplomats organization will be for a minimum of one year.
For more information, please send questions to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Criteria for Selection
The IST Server Administration Club provides an opportunity for students to get hands-on experience designing and implementing solutions that are applied in most IT Infrastructures today. Members learn how to deploy and manage these solutions, whether they are hardware or software based, through seminars held throughout the year in an effort to supplement concepts learned in the classroom.
For more information, contact Cory Gehr, IST Server Administrator Club president.
The IST club provides students the opportunity to learn more about Information
Technology, understand the professions students can enter and keep a pulse
on emerging technologies. The IST Club hopes to bring together the broad idea
of IST while we continue to define and create more of a presence within the