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ISU College of Business names 2017 Outstanding Student Leader


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ISU student Emerald Lewis named 2017 Outstanding Student Leader | Idaho State University

The following is a news release from Idaho State University.

POCATELLO – In the opening remarks of this semester’s Idaho State University College of Business Speaker Series event, College of Business Professional Development Director and Assistant Dean John Ney announced the first Outstanding Student Leader award recipient in six years.

“We were wanting to resurrect the Outstanding Student Leader Award and John and I both felt like Emerald Lewis should be the first recipient,” said Gail Hunt, professional development assistant.

Lewis, an informatics major, is the president of the Informatics and Computer Science Student Organization (ICS).

“The group’s membership had been declining for the past few years,” said Kevin Parker, department chair and advisor for the club. “Last year we only had a handful of students attending meetings. After Emerald accepted my invitation for president of the club she immediately began to turn things around.”

With a struggling membership and activities, Lewis and Parker set out on the task of making new business contacts, and arranging guest speakers.

“We interacted with the Southeast Idaho Developers Group, attended the Boise Startup Week over multiple years, worked with ISU Marketing and Communications to develop a cool new logo for the club and worked with the College of Business Professional Development program to bring in food and guest speakers,” Parker said. “Emerald put in countless hours contacting businesses, making arrangements and serving as the ‘public face’ and liaison for our group.”

After all of her efforts, Lewis brought the club from a depleted membership to 20-30 members over the last two semesters.

“I try my best to be a welcoming presence for the members,” Lewis said. “Learning to manage lots of people has been a completely new experience and a great opportunity for me to grow.”

She has enjoyed the chance to learn from others and replicate great ideas to help improve the ICS club.

Over the past two semesters, Lewis has organized at least eight events so far with guests from Farm Bureau, Idaho Central Credit Union, Melaleuca, Buchanan-Edwards, Clearwater Analytics and the FBI. She also organized more social events like a LAN party and the National Day of Civic Hacking at ISU. In the future, Lewis said she is hoping to expand her focus on professional development opportunities and industry guest speakers to more general campus activities and social events.

Lewis, who is graduating in December, said she is on the hunt for someone to replace her in the upcoming fall semester.

“I’m hoping to pass off the presidency in the fall and play more of a supporting role to the new officers while we continue to grow the club,” she said.

The College of Business’s Outstanding Student Leader Award began in 2006 and was awarded two more times in 2007 and 2012. As part of the award, students’ names have been etched on a plaque hung in the College of Business’s main office in addition to receiving a personal award for their keeping.

“I’m hoping to make the award much more consistent every year to celebrate the hard work our student leaders have put in to keep their clubs, and the opportunities that go with them, going strong,” Ney said.