Dr. Lissa Pollacia’s tireless efforts as a mentor and student organization advisor were recognized recently by the 2012 Going the Extra Mile Award from the Association of Information Technology Professionals (AITP).
Pollacia, a professor of information technology at Georgia Gwinnett College, received the coveted award at AITP’s recent National Collegiate Conference in San Antonio, Texas. The award is given annually to a faculty advisor who has worked hard to promote a student chapter of the AITP. Several student members of the GGC chapter were in attendance to see Pollacia win the award, which was a surprise she described as, “a once-in-a-lifetime honor.”
In their nomination, Pollacia’s colleagues praised her energetic leadership style and mentorship of students.
“The GGC AITP chapter started with only 10 members, but through Dr. Pollacia’s leadership, the chapter has grown to 35 members and now is viewed by students and administration as one of the most effective student organizations on campus,” noted her nomination materials. She has “leveraged many contacts in the Atlanta AITP chapter, and arranged formal internship agreements between GGC and local businesses. She then put internship candidates through training including mock interviews. In just one year, all internship candidates have been placed and the organizations are requesting more. These internships have even led to full-time employment for some students.”
Asked to further describe her thoughts on winning the award, Pollacia directed all attention and praise to the GGC students who attended the San Antonio conference and competed in various events.
“One of the GGC teams took fourth place in the nation in the Database Design competition,” she said. “We were competing against some very big schools, such as Texas A&M, MIT, Brigham Young, and Purdue. It was very exciting.”
“Dr. Pollacia’s distinctive and significant honor is made more so by the fact that her drive to help students achieve success is at the heart of GGC’s mission,” said GGC President Daniel J. Kaufman. “To have leveraged opportunities for the student AITP chapter to inspire students to pursue internships, and even eventual employment, is an achievement of which we can be very proud.”