IT students ready to help area businesses

Posted on: January 6, 2012

More than a dozen teams of Michigan State University (MSU) undergraduates are ready and waiting to help Mid-Michigan businesses and nonprofits solve their digital problems. As part of their final course in their Information Technology Management Specialization, the students are required to work in cross-functional teams, on a real-world IT (information technology) project. And they just need a few more volunteer clients, who receive the benefit of technology help.

Assistant Professor Constantinos Coursaris, who is teaching the course through MSU’s Department of Telecommunication, Information Studies, and Media, says the students are capable of taking on a wide range of technology-related projects, because each team will comprise of undergraduate students majoring in telecommunication, computer science, and business.

Recently completed projects have included:

  • websites and web content management systems: Student teams designed and implemented “content management systems,” for organizations such as the Lansing Old Town Business and Arts Development Association and TechTown, Detroit’s research and technology development park along the Woodward corridor. These systems provide the organizations with a simple interface to keep their Web sites up to date themselves.
  • Database and workflow systems: Student teams also help with “back end” office operations. For example, one team designed and implemented a new membership database for the Michigan Kiwanis Club using Microsoft Access and another team used Microsoft InfoPath to design and implement a workflow system for a petroleum distribution company.
  • Wireless Web Access: A student team created a prototype for the Oakland County Mobile Services system to format Web site information for smaller screens on mobile phones and PDAs.
  • Video Production: Students produced promotional videos and DVDs for clients ranging from St. Johns Public Schools to Walnut Hills Country Club.
  • Social Media: Students created a comprehensive social media strategy, initial presence, and maintenance plan for Harper’s Restaurant and Brewpub.

Dr. Coursaris is now accepting proposals from area organizations (business, government or non-profit) to have student teams take on projects for the spring 2011 academic semester, starting in January and ending on April 27. He says that the ideal project is “hands-on,” with a well-defined outcome that can be achieved by 3-4 students in 8-10 weeks.

To submit a project for consideration, please contact Dr. Coursaris via e-mail
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