Club & Greek

Log into the IEEE/ACM Chapter of Monmouth University

Students in Monmouth’s ever-growing Department of Computer Science & Software Engineering are fortunate enough to have the support of both their department and of their academic club, the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE)/Association for Computing Machinery (ACM) Chapter. This chapter has been tirelessly working on renovating its efforts and getting more students involved this year.

Under its new board leadership of President, William Jones, Vice President, Joshua Schlanger, Treasurer, Matt Drew, and myself as Secretary of the club is looking forward to a greater attendance rate and overall happiness in involvement. Not every chapter is perfect and, after a lot of meeting and deliberation about the future of the MU chapter, the board has concluded that the chapter is much like technology in general—ever changing and evolving.

One of the largest evolutions of this MU chapter and tech, in general, is its inclusivity. We are a small school; however, the chapter has a growing female presence. The women in the chapter are outspoken on the need for an inclusive and welcoming organization and are invaluable supporters of a club that meets the needs of all members.

Megan Rapach, a senior software engineering student, and IEEE/ACM member said, “We’re lucky enough to have an executive board that’s super friendly and cares about what all group members think. Everyone’s input is heard and nobody is ever ignored during the decision making/event planning process.”

The females in the chapter are always looking for ways to include more women and get them interested in tech. With bright personalities and positive attitudes, the entire chapter is happy to see the chapter going in an upward direction.

Rapach continued, “Being a female in IEEE, I have never felt that my opinions do not matter. Because IEEE is an organization in a predominantly male field, it’s important that the views of female members are as valued as the opinions of the men. In Monmouth’s IEEE club, there is no gender prejudice. All members are equally valued.”

Jamie Kretsch, Chair of the Department of Computer Science & Software Engineering and IEEE/ACM chapter advisor, claimed, “From just five or six years ago where attendance and involvement were sparse, the group has grown to be active and engaged. It’s exciting to see many more female students participating and taking leadership roles, and both male and female students supporting efforts to bring computing to middle and high school students.”

The IEEE/ACM chapter likes to include all members and non-members in its activities. One event that the IEEE/ACM chapter hosted was a University “Game Night.” While this may sound like it was just a night for fun gaming (board games and electronic games); the goal of the night was to bring together folks that may not have spoken otherwise – new friendships and project partnerships were formed. The same goes for the kickball event the chapter held against the math department. Under the guise of friendly gaming, this event accomplished the task of getting the seemingly shy students on campus who love to game together to find others with like interests.  Graduate information systems student and IEEE/ACM member, Michael Marmer, explained, “As a transfer graduate student coming into Monmouth, I knew very few people. Joining IEEE has allowed me to connect with like-minded individuals, make new friends, find networking opportunities with potential employers and companies, and explore the field I am so passionate about in a multitude of different ways.”

As ACM as an organization likes to reiterate, networking is important and it is a skill that is necessary for the professional arena. The MU chapter aims to strengthen these skills in its members and in its colleagues in turn. Practice makes perfect, and the MU chapter is slowly enhancing its students’ networking skills without them even being aware of it.

“IEEE/ACM is a group that sustains itself; it doesn’t exist because some said it has to, but rather because these students care about it and each other and the amazing possibilities waiting for them around the corner,” Kretsch explained admiringly.

There is a lot of building and growth just waiting to happen in the MU IEEE/ACM chapter, and with the newly elected board members and new semester(s) to look forward to, the MU chapter hopes to see their work on inclusivity really blossom and prove to be a beautiful garden of opportunity and diversity.

PHOTO TAKEN by Lauren Niesz