GGC brings home three national AITP championships

GGC’s national reputation continues to grow as Information Technology students capture first and second place wins during the Association of Information Technology Professional National Collegiate Conference.

AITP team holding up trophy

Number One! Georgia Gwinnett College Association of Information Technology Professional National Collegiate Conference team members and their coaches. 

AITP 2015 National Champions Final

At the 2015 Association of Information Technology Professionals (AITP) National Collegiate Conference, GGC information technology students won three championships in database design, mobile application development and Java development, and a second-place trophy in Code-a-Thon. More than 2,000 students represent colleges and universities throughout the U.S. and Canada in the conference and competition. Shown are Yury Park; Quan Tran; Matt Berger; Dr. Lissa Pollacia, assistant dean and professor of information technology; Aida Syrkett; Tyler Thornton; Dr. Evelyn Brannock, assistant professor of information technology; Ryan Alexander; Raquel Lawrence and Jonathan Mayran.

Georgia Gwinnett College (GGC) Information Technology (ITEC) students recently competed at the Association of Information Technology Professional (AITP) National Collegiate Conference (NCC). They were exceedingly successful as they won three first place championships and one second place out of 14 categories.  A total of 173 student chapters with more than 2,000 student members representing colleges and universities throughout the US and Canada, gathered for the conference and competition.
 
“I have taken students to NCC for many years, and this is the first time I've seen a team win three national championships,” said Dr. Lissa Pollacia, assistant dean and professor of information technology.  “I call it the ‘triple crown’ because like in horse racing, it is such a rare occurrence. This shows that with hard work and preparation, an ITEC degree from GGC can take you anywhere you want to go.” 
 
The students prepared weeks in advance for the competition, often after hours and on weekends. They received coaching from Dr. Evelyn Ruth Brannock, assistant professor of information technology who prepped them for the Java competition.
 
The competition was fierce as Aida Syrkett, Lawrenceville, won first place in database design individually.  She and Matthew Berger, Loganville, teamed up to win both mobile application development and Java developer.  The team of Yury Park, originally from Seoul, South Korea, and Quan Tran, an international student from Chau Duc, BRVT, Vietnam, earned a second place win in the Code-a-Thon.
 
The team will lose two members this year as Syrkett is scheduled to graduate this spring and Park is transferring to study artificial intelligence/machine learning. 
 
The NCC is the ultimate event for members of AITP’s student program, which was started in 1968 and is designed for students planning careers in IT or related fields.  
 
“It is very difficult to win first place in any of these competitions,” said Pollacia.  “There are students from all over the U.S., who are also bright and motivated.  Our students competed and were successful on a national level with students from such universities as MIT, Purdue, Brigham Young, Texas A&M, just to name a few.”
 
“I am so proud of our students for what they accomplished at the National Collegiate Conference,” said Dr. Thomas Mundie, dean of the School of Science and Technology. “It is evidence that we have one of the best IT programs in the nation and are quickly becoming known for the excellence of our students and faculty.” 
 
As news of the national championships is beginning to spread, individuals and organizations are reaching out to congratulate the team.  The mayor and City Council of Lawrenceville recognized GGC and the winning students as part of the May city council meeting.  
 
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Photo caption: Number One! Georgia Gwinnett College Association of Information Technology Professional National Collegiate Conference team members and their coaches: Yury Park, Quan Tran, Matt Berger, Dr. Lissa Pollacia, Aida Syrkett, Tyler Thornton, Dr. Evelyn Brannock, Ryan Alexander, Raquel Lawrence and Jonathan Mayran. 
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