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Eileen Chen, Leading and Shaping the Future of ICT and Society

This week, Stephen Ibaraki has an exclusive interview with Eileen Chen.

Eileen ChenEileen Chen is a junior studying within the College of Information Sciences and Technology at the Pennsylvania State University at University Park Main Campus. She is also in the Schreyer Honors College. She expects to earn a Bachelor of Science degree in May of 2013 with a major in the option of Integration and Application in Information Sciences and Technology and a minor in Supply Chain and Information Sciences and Technology. She received the David Suarez Memorial Scholarship (a remembrance from his colleagues at Deloitte Consulting/Deloitte & Touche), the Dipple Trustee Scholarship, the Raytheon IST Scholarship, and the Delta Gamma Lamp of Knowledge as well as achieved Deans List all semesters.

Eileen worked as a teaching intern for an introductory Java course during the Fall 2011 semester and a computer lab consultant for Penn State ITS Lab Consulting. She recently joined Dr. Brian H. Cameron, the Executive Director for the Center of Enterprise Architecture in the College of Information Sciences and Technology and the founding president of the Federation for Enterprise Architecture Professional Organizations (FEAPO), as a research assistant. She is currently working with FEAPO and the Communications Committee. She also assisted Dr. Cameron in preparing for the Center for EA at Penn State Meeting, which she attended in October 2011. While learning about the innovative subject of enterprise architecture, she is also gathering research for her honors thesis.

Learning in the classroom and work environment is important to Eileen, but she also values the knowledge she gains outside her coursework. She is passionate about giving back to the community, and her main focus is bettering the quality of life for children. She currently serves as a Technology Captain for the Penn State IFC/Panhellenic Dance Marathon, affectionately referred to as THON. As the largest student-run philanthropy, THON raised $9.56 million in 2011 benefitting the fight against pediatric cancer. Eileen also serves as Administrator and Website Chair for Bee House, a special interest organization with the sole purpose of fundraising for THON. Her sorority, Delta Gamma, in which she serves as the Director for Electronic Communications, also fundraises for THON and other philanthropies. In addition to THON, she has participated in the LeaderShape Institute, the General Electric Student Leadership Conference, Role of a Resident Assistant Course, the National Collegiate Honor Society, Be Engaged House (a leadership and service special living option), and intramural volleyball.

To listen to the interview, click on this MP3 file link

The latest blog on the interview can be found in the IT Managers Connection (IMC) forum where you can provide your comments in an interactive dialogue.


Interview Time Index (MM:SS) and Topic

  Eileen, you have a promising history of significant impact and contribution to society, the community, education, research and the ICT industry as an undergraduate. Thank you for sharing your experiences and insights with our audience.

:00:43: Tell us more about yourself?
"....I am a junior from New York City in the Schreyer Honors College majoring in information sciences and technology and minoring in Supply Chain and IST at Penn State....I am currently a research assistant for the College of IST (specifically working with the Center for Enterprise Architecture)....The research I am doing is helping me develop my honors thesis about applying EA (Enterprise Architecture) to supply chain planning and design...."

:01:40: Which honors are you particularly proud of and why?
"....I am really proud to have received the David Suarez Memorial Scholarship for my last two years of college....He is the kind of person I aspire to be...."

:02:20: One of the big challenges in the industry right now in ICT is getting diversity, especially a higher penetration of women into the field. What prompted you to get into computing?
"....I think my love for technology stems from my amazement of how it is always changing and growing and it could be used to benefit so many aspects of life...."

:04:02: Can you share your experiences with THON and what is it?
"....THON is short for the Penn State IFC/Panhellenic Dance MaraTHON, a year-long effort to raise funds and awareness for the fight against pediatric cancer. It is also the largest student run philanthropy in the world and we’ve currently raised more than $78 million for The Four Diamonds Fund at Penn State Hershey Children's Hospital. I am currently a technology captain as a developer for am also an administrator for an organization called Bee House - an organization that my friends and I started in our freshman year and we solely fundraise for THON...."

:05:27: How are you passionate about community service?
"....I just love giving back. I was fortunate to have had a happy childhood and blessed with great family, friends, and education....I see social inequality in the world and I think everyone deserves a better quality of life, especially children...."

:06:08: Tell us more about your current studies and how you will apply this knowledge into industry?
"....Our IST courses are very group based and I think that's a really great way to learn not only the material but to learn how to act on teams. What I probably learned the most was how to learn, communicate, work with different people and how to analyze problems creatively...."

:07:34: What value will you deliver through your honors thesis?
"....I am doing my honors thesis on applying enterprise architecture with supply chain planning and design. I hope to eventually map the SCOR model with the TOGAF model....EA can be used for anything and my job is to see how that idea would fit with supply chain...."

:08:27: Who are the originators of the 2 models that you talked about?
"....SCOR (Supply Chain Operations Reference) was developed by the Supply Chain Council and TOGAF (The Open Group Architecture Forum) is produced by the Open Group...."

:09:09: What value are you providing to FEAPO (Federation of Enterprise Architecture Professional Organization)?
"....I am currently working with FEAPO's communications committee....I hope to help support FEAPO's goals by promoting FEAPO...."

:09:41: You are an honors student and you have a lot of additional activities and responsibilities you've taken on, how do you find the time?
"....I think that's my biggest challenge. I think it's very important to time manage everything....and knowing what you can and cannot do....Everything that I am doing right now are things that I am extremely passionate about...."

:10:54: What are your top challenges and opportunities?
"....My top challenges are all about time....Greatest opportunities: Getting involved with so many wonderful things that has helped me grow professionally and personally....Meeting so many great people....Being able to just enjoy life...."

:11:45: How will you accomplish your top goals and how will you measure success for each of these goals?
"....I measure success by how happy I am with each goal. If I feel like I'm doing the right things and I like what I'm doing and where I am going I think I'm pretty successful at those things...."

:12:11: In your current research and studies, what are your top 3 challenges and top 3 opportunities? How will the challenges be solved and the opportunities be actioned?
"....Top 3 challenges: Learning both enterprise architecture and supply chain in deep levels with such a short amount of time....Finding the information I'm exactly looking for....Putting it all together....The opportunities: Become really knowledgeable about EA and supply chain....Find out new things while doing my research....Learning how to organize and communicate a lot of information in one document..."

:14:12: Describe three areas of controversy or much discussion in the areas that you research and in your studies.
"....First and second, many people don't think TOGAF or SCOR is very useful....Third, EA cannot be specifically defined...."

:14:45: You are still in your undergraduate years but you are starting to get a sense of what's happening through social media and all the innovation that's occurring worldwide. If I were to ask you to make some predictions what would they be? For example for IT practitioners what specific technologies should they embrace today and into the future?
"....I think IT practitioners should embrace enterprise architecture....I think EA has so much to offer to the whole of the organization and more people should get involved with it....Also Cloud computing...."

:15:38: What specific technologies should businesses embrace today and into the future?
"....Embracing EA and cloud computing...."

:16:12: What are your thoughts on computing as a recognized profession like accounting, medicine and law, with demonstrated professional development, adherence to a code of ethics, and recognized credentials?
[See and the Global Industry Council, ]
"....We already have knowledgeable students with great potential to change the IT world. It could really help them go farther knowing that they are in a valued and respected field that has the structure for them to implement their ideas...."

:17:07: Eileen shares three stories from her research, studies and societal contributions.
"....It's amazing to see the amount of potential in younger people because they are going to be our future and they are starting to be charitable at such a young age...."

:20:21: What do you do for fun?
"....Traveling and learning new things….Eating all different kinds of food and cooking....Playing sports....Dancing....Friends and family..."

:20:53: If you were conducting this interview, what 3 questions would you ask, and then what would be your answers?
"....Who are your role models?....What would you like to be doing with IT when you graduate?....What are your goals in life?...."