For the July/August spotlight, Student Funding and Initiatives Committee (SFIC) member Ashley Kim shares how the Joint Western and Mountain Districts Virtual Annual Meeting hosted student events in the virtual format.
During pre-COVID times, the Western District would typically host in-person events for students at the Annual Meetings such as the Kell Competition, Student Traffic Bowl, Student/Faculty Leadership Forum, resume reviews, and Career Guidance Q&A.
With the decision in May to convert the meeting to virtual, the SFIC had two months to turn our in-person student events into a virtual format. The committee began meeting weekly to plan, test Zoom functionalities, and coordinate tasks to run the events. The committee ran through scenarios on Zoom to address possible technical difficulties. Each committee member oversaw the virtual logistics of a student event.
Typically, the Kell Competition is held on Sunday afternoon of the conference and is hosted by the Student Chapter whose proposal was selected for the event. Due to the virtual format, the SFIC decided to plan and host the Kell Competition for all student participants to compete. Designed and led by Brandon Wong from the Riverside-San Bernardino Section, the students were given virtual allowances for food and transportation and sent to explore the island of Oahu virtually. The student teams prepared fun PowerPoint presentations to share their day’s adventures, eats, and beautiful sightseeing in Oahu. There were 12 student teams from the Western and Mountain Districts. Judges Cathy Leong, Mark Spencer, and Neelam Dorman scored each team, and two BYU teams won first and second place. A Cal Poly San Luis Obispo team and Oregon Tech team tied for third place.
The SFIC also planned resume reviews and a Career Panel. Coordinated by Kayla Fleskes from the Oregon Section, students were invited to submit their resumes before the conference to be reviewed by three ITE working professionals. Students received their resume reviews by the beginning of the conference. 30 working professionals reviewed 18 student resumes and provided feedback.
Session 4B Student Faculty Leadership forum was coordinated by Kimberly Leung from the San Francisco Bay Area Section and led by Dr. David Hurwitz from Oregon State University and Dr. Grant Schultz from Brigham Young University. The attendees discussed topics such as the impacts of COVID-19 restrictions on ITE student activities, fundraising, recruitment, collaboration, and elections. After the session, Dr. Hurwitz and Dr. Schultz wrote a white paper summarizing the results from the session. A recording of Session 4B can be viewed here.
For the Session 7B – Career Guidance Q&A, Kayla Fleskes served as moderator, and Joshua McNeill, Alicia Yang, and Jenny Grote shared their career insights and experiences with the student attendees. The panelists shared their ITE Annual Meeting memories, what they would have done with their fun time in Hawaii, reflected on their transition from student to working professional, and discussed the impacts of the pandemic. A recording of Session 7B can be viewed here.
The Traffic Bowl was converted to a virtual format on Zoom. Led by Ashley Kim from the San Francisco Bay Area Section, the SFIC practiced the details of sharing the gameboard with the attendees, muting audience members, and determining the fine details of the virtual setup on Zoom. For the prequalification round on Sunday, 11 student teams from the Western District and the Mountain District completed the prequalification quizzes on Google Forms. The top three scores from each district advanced to the virtual Jeopardy game hosted by each District.
Immediately after the prequalification round results were sent, the committee led the qualifying Western District teams through a tutorial on how the virtual format would work. Students were instructed to keep themselves on mute unless they were answering a question, utilize the Zoom chat box as a buzzer, and hold a non-Zoom conference call during the game to deliberate with their teammates. The Oregon State University team won first place, and Cal Poly SLO and UCLA tied for 2nd place after a triple tiebreaker. The virtual Jeopardy worked well for the first time, and the committee is passing the knowledge to the International Traffic Bowl committee and providing the logistical details for the virtual International Traffic Bowl taking place in fall 2020.
In total, there were 90 student attendees, representing 26 student chapters from the Western and Mountain Districts, at the virtual meeting. The virtual student events would not have been possible without Kimberly Leung leading the charge by coordinating with the SFIC committee and the LAC and practicing on Zoom as a host to become well-versed with the program. The committee hasn’t seen each other in person in over a year, but we were able to come together within a month’s notice and put together a successful student program all on Zoom. Thank you to the committee members, volunteers, contributors, and students who make these events successful. We hope you all have a safe and healthy summer, and see you next year at the Joint ITE International, Mountain, and Western District Annual Meeting and Exhibition in Portland, OR!
Contributions to the Endowment Fund can be made at westernite.org/endowment-fund/endowment-fund-contribute/