Category Archives: Information Systems

Frizzell Selected as Walton College Employee of the Quarter

Alice Frizzell, assistant director of the Department of Information Systems Graduate Programs, has been named employee of the fourth quarter by the Sam M. Walton College of Business.

Anyone in the college may nominate colleagues for the award, which is given to employees who show superior customer service that enhances the image of the college above and beyond the scope of that employee’s job description.

Along with Frizzell, Karen McDowell, administrative support supervisor for the Department of Finance, and Sandra Cox Birchfield, administrative specialist for the Department of Marketing, were also nominated for their contributions to Walton College.

The winner receives a certificate of appreciation and a cash prize. Winners are chosen by Walton College Dean Matt Waller, the associate deans, the assistant deans and the Walton College Staff Council.

EPIC Spotlight: Qin Weng

Data. Businesses love it, and students want to learn all they can.

When Qin Weng taught business analytics last fall, she discovered that her classes consisted of students with a wide variety of majors who were eager to learn how to interpret data to get meaningful information. “Companies are looking for these skills to better utilize their data,” says Weng, who joined the Walton College as an information systems assistant professor last August.

And exploring data can be fun. In her classes, Weng asks her students to look at all kinds of topics that utilize data. They returned with a variety of ideas that included examining students’ drinking habits and their academic performances to predicting the winners of athletic events.

The discovery element keeps things interesting. “It’s like fishing for something you don’t know,” she says.

During her first semester at Walton, Weng taught Business Analytics and Visualization to undergraduates and Data Analytics Fundamentals to graduate students. She says her classes are tough by design, and she finds that when she challenges her students, they deliver. “It’s really mind-blowing at the end of the semester when they present their ideas,” she says.

Weng grew up in the Jiangsu Province in east China, north of Shanghai, and earned a degree in international business studies at Beijing Foreign Studies University. She became fascinated with software programs used for data analysis, such as Excel and SPSS. These programs enabled her to collect data and, more importantly, gain insightful findings.

She came to the United States to further her education and earned her master’s degree at Virginia Commonwealth University. Following graduation, Weng worked for an insurance company in various roles, including as a business analyst, serving as a liaison between business divisions and the technology department. She created applications that helped data flow more efficiently between the company and government agencies, such as Medicare and Medicaid. Weng also facilitated data-filled reports to help company managers in their decision-making.

In her several years working in the healthcare industry, she saw a continued divide between business and technology. She wanted to bridge those gaps. She also missed graduate school and research. Weng was accepted to the doctorate program at the University of Pittsburgh, where she had the opportunity to work on a large-scale, government-funded project to build digital infrastructure to enable transformative scientific research through the Global Environment for Networking Innovation (GENI). Through the project, she researched different topics, including the control methods in project management and the collaboration networks among project participants. Her research has been published in Information Systems Research.

Weng earned her Ph.D. and came to Walton, a place that captured her attention with the school’s scholars, whom she also found to be friendly. It’s a good fit. “This is one of the most amazing places I have ever been,” she says.

She also enjoys the Women of Walton gatherings, which made her feel proud to be among the female faculty at the college. She says she found Anne O’Leary-Kelly, organizer and Walton senior associate dean, to be caring in her mission to boost morale and build relationships among faculty and staff.

Weng is using that energy in her research as well as to inspire students.

“I hope my teaching can spark their interest in business analytics,” Weng says.

Article on Women’s Entrepreneurship Wins Best Paper Award at AMJ

An article by researchers from the Department of Information Systems at the Sam M. Walton College of Business at the University of Arkansas and collaborators from Hong Kong and France published in the Academy of Management Journal was named the best paper of the year published in the journal. Continue reading Article on Women’s Entrepreneurship Wins Best Paper Award at AMJ

IT Executive Forum for College Students To Be Held Nov. 1

The Information Technology Research Institute is hosting an IT Executive Forum for College Students on Thursday, Nov. 1, from 4-5 p.m. in the Donald W. Reynolds Center for Enterprise Development auditorium at the Sam M. Walton College of Business on the University of Arkansas campus.

Attendees will hear from information technology executives and may ask them questions about careers and the technology industry. The technology leaders represent Walmart, J.B. Hunt Transport Services Inc., Tyson Foods, Acxiom, FedEx and Movista. The panel will field questions from students. Intermittently, door prizes will be drawn for attendees.

For additional information, contact Eric Bradford, managing director of the Information Technology Research Institute, at ebradford@walton.uark.edu.