Month: September 2016

Faculty Spotlight – Jon Moore

Before becoming an Instrujonmoorector in-Residence in the Operations and Information Management (OPIM) Department, Professor Jon Moore started his career at UConn as an IT Manager for HuskyTech in 2007. Professor Moore said that his time at HuskyTech was when his relationship with the OPIM department and the Management Information Systems major began.

The OPIM Department approached Moore because he said they noticed that the students working for him at HuskyTech were the ones getting some of the top jobs in their field and the department wanted to coordinate with him. This created a relationship that would later become an opportunity to have Moore join the department in a full-time capacity.

After obtaining his Masters in Business Administration (MBA), Professor Moore said he first started as an adjunct professor, teaching one class each semester while he was still working as a manager. Three years later a full-time position within the department became available and Moore made the decision to leave HuskyTech to pursue the position of Instructor In-Residence.

Professor Moore said that the OPIM Department wanted to bring in his background in IT systems and networking, but also his experience in recruitment and development of students.

Moore admitted that he did not know MIS existed when he was in college. Although MIS is one of the smallest majors in the School of Business,  Moore said that it has become one of the most sought after by companies because it is at the intersection of business and technology.

Professor Moore said that he would advise students considering majoring in MIS to not let the technology aspect intimidate them because it is very flexible. Within the major, there are some very technical students and some not so technical students,  Moore said. What sets it apart is that MIS students have a variety of skills and can get jobs pertaining to their particular skill set, he added.

As a professor and an academic advisor, Moore said that his favorite part about his job is getting to research topics he is interested in and to inspire students to follow their interests as well.  He said that his passion is making sure that technology stays human.

“In everything I do, I kind of look at technology from the perspective of – how can we use it to bring people together,” Moore said.

As for his future goals for the OPIM Department, Professor Moore said that he wants to bring more hands-on, experimental learning and programming with a focus on real-world application.

Moore said that the first steps toward his goals are underway through the redesign of the department’s research lab and the creation of innovation space. He said this will be a great way to introduce students to the technological aspect of MIS. Moore hopes these programs will provide students with experience outside of what is offered in the classroom and potentially become part of the curriculum.

Inside the MIS Welcome Party

The Operations and Information Management (OPIM) Department welcomed MIS students for the semester with a party on Friday, September 23rd. The welcome party gave MIS students and those interested in the major the opportunity to meet each other, while enjoying ice cream sundaes and learning about the department’s new technology.


Multiple stations were set up for different virtual reality experiences including Google Cardboard, Gear VR, and the HTC Vive. Other stations included a 3D printing demonstration and an Internet of Things display.

Representatives from the Information Management Association (IMA) were at each station to give students more information on the different pieces of technology.


The OPIM department brought in the new technology for experimental purposes, getting students acquainted with the technology aspect of MIS, and just for fun, said Tyler, a student volunteer in the MIS department.

Many students migrated toward the various virtual reality systems. For most students, this was the first time they had ever used virtual reality technology and they were fascinated by how it worked.

As part of the Internet of Things display, The Amazon Echo, named Alexa, was programmed to operate other devices in the room including light bulbs and air monitors. Alexa took commands and answered questions from students, such as playing a specific song or identifying the weather forecast.

Items created by the 3D printer were on display, while the printer was actively creating new pieces. Students were able to see the process and the end results.


There were three different types of virtual reality devices. The most complex system is the HTC Vive, which is a fully immersive experience. Tyler said that it feels like you are physically in the game versus just seeing it. He said that the Google Cardboard VR and the Gear VR operate by following the user’s head and eye movements, while the HTC system operates by all of the user’s physical movements.


Alex Martinez, a junior MIS student said that he has been interested in virtual reality for the past few years but never actually used the technology before the meeting.


One MIS student in attendance said that she is not super technological but she likes to learn about it. She said she wants to understand how it works to bridge the gap between business and technology. She said it was interesting to figure out how the different systems worked.

The event was a great success with over 60 students and faculty in attendance. The department will be holding workshops on the different technologies throughout the semester. The first workshop will be on Friday, October 14th, with a focus on virtual reality.

Successful MIS Case Competition Kickoff


Representatives from each team gathered in the University of Connecticut Business School Board Room on Friday September 16th to kickoff the first annual MIS Case Competition.

Professor Jon Moore, the coordinator of the event said that he started the competition to teach students at the undergraduate level to apply their skills to real world business scenarios. He said that case competitions are very common in graduate business programs but they are not offered very much for undergraduate programs.

Students at the meeting said that they wanted to participate in the competition because it was a way for them to gain valuable career experience.

One student, Vivek Tedla said that he has participated in two other case competitions in the past.

Tedla said that participating in case competitions have been very beneficial for building his presentation skills and acquainting him with business professionals. He said that it is very important to build those skills as early as possible.

The competition presents students with a business case and each team must pitch a solution in front of a panel of judges. The case is based in the information systems field but the competition is open to students of any major within the School of Business.

Moore recommended that students make their teams as diverse as possible with a variety of majors, interests and skills. He encouraged students to think outside of the box and come up with innovative solutions to succeed in the competition.

As of the meeting on Friday, there were six teams confirmed. Individuals still have the opportunity to sign up through Wednesday September 21st.

Student Spotlight – Luke LaBranche (IMA President)

Luke LaBrancheBefore becoming the president of the Information Management Association (IMA) here at UConn, Luke LaBranche had never really held a leadership position. Now, Luke runs IMA—leading weekly meetings, coordinating workshops with professionals in the technology field, and preparing involved students for careers in the information technology field.

This past week, Luke took a an hour off of his busy first week of classes and his job at Pratt & Whitney to tell me all about his role as the president of IMA, the perks of being in the MIS major, his future in the IT field, and even his humble beginnings as a restaurant dishwasher.

While Luke had a normal high school job like the rest of us, getting his hands dirty at a “Ma and Pop” restaurant in his hometown of Ellington, he moved up the line quickly and interned with the information security team at Pratt & Whitney this summer, and said he had the IMA to thank.

When he first joined IMA, Luke said the most helpful part was having the older members serve as mentors, advising him on which classes to take and preparing him for what to expect. When I asked him if he is a mentor to the younger students now that he’s a senior, Luke humbly said he is always open for questions and loves helping out the younger students.

As for the advice he would give to students considering majoring in Management Information Systems (MIS), Luke said he “would tell them not to be intimidated by what other people say about the major” and noted that while every major has its challenges, MIS offers the unique opportunity to focus on either the technical side or the management side of business operations.

Luke also let me know that having the support of the students in IMA can ease the transition into the MIS major, although the association is open to students of all majors who have an interest in information management. Luke said that interested students should go to IMA’s website and fill out the membership form. Once this is done, students can join in on meetings and experience all the benefits of IMA, which consists of about 30 students now—but Luke hopes someday, IMA will have enough students to hold their meetings in a lecture hall.