Carolina Pride

It’s my favorite time of year! It’s when we celebrate two of the best teams in the National Football League. It’s especially exciting at SAS this year. If you didn’t know the team from North Carolina has made it to the final game! Those cats are located in Charlotte just a few short hours from our headquarters in Cary.

The halls at SAS are filled with people wearing blue, but not our traditional SAS blue. A little greener shade to show off their home team pride.

Everyone’s talking about the parties; the food; the teams; the quarterbacks; the hopes that Dr. Goodnight will give us a day off if our home team wins. Ok, so no one is talking about the day off except me. It’s possible – he is a North Carolina native, born not far from Charlotte. I assume he’s pulling for Cam! I’ll have to ask next time I see him in the hall or the café.

I, myself am hosting a “little” gathering for my friends, most of whom are fellow SAS employees. I go all out for this party - I pull together data around popular snacks, I read and analyze reviews of recipes, I check out the recipe ratings, I even do some pre-testing with my family.  Once that’s done, I evaluate who is coming to ensure I have the right balance of food. I’m in marketing, so it isn’t enough to just make the food, I have to name it too! Check out a SAMPLE  of my menu for the upcoming party.  I’m sure you’ll agree that Data makes every decision, or rather menu, better!  Remember, it’s just a DAB, can’t give away all my creative use of data for free. It’s not SAS University Edition!

Draft Menu (yes, the pun was intended)

Hearty Appetizers

Super “CAM” Sandwiches (Ham and Swiss) 

Play Maker Meatballs (Cocktail Meatballs)

Lil’ Pigskins (Little Smokies)

Finger Foods

      Quarterback Sacks (Bacon Wrapped Dates Stuffed with Olives)

              SpaniKUECHLY Bites (Spanakopita Bites)

              Touchdown Tarts (Brie Cheese Bites)

     Graham Ga”NOT” Gonna Last Long Mushroom Bites (Mushroom Bites)

             Southern Style Rocky Mountain Oysters - (Sausage Balls)

            Flea Flickers (Mozzarella Cheese Bites)


           Heisman Trophy Winning Sausage Dip

           Kicker Dip (Jalapeno Popper)

   No Cardiac Cats Dip (Healthy Hummus)


           Keep Pounding Potato Chips

Main Dishes

           Sack and Cheese (Mac and Cheese)

           Bootleg Baked Beans (Baked Beans)

           Pulled Hamstring Sandwiches (Pulled Pork)

           Halftime Hot Dogs with a DAB of mustard (Hot Dogs)


           Carolina Blowout Brownies

           Tailback Toffee


   Ted Ginn and Tonic - not so junior – (Gin and Tonic)

  Carolina Sweet Tea – (Sweet Tea flavored vodka and lemonade)

 For the kids - Panther Cub Punch (Blue Gatorade)

Just wanted to show that we are a fun group of people at SAS. We are passionate about each other and especially our jobs!

Keep up the hard work learning SAS so you can one day be at a job you love as much as I love mine. That job could even be here at SAS. You'll get to work and be friends with an amazing, fun, creative and passionate group of people! Some with lots of great recipes to share – just ask.

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Behind the scenes of the SAS Global Forum Student Symposium

StudentSymposiumWe’re a little less than three months away from SAS Global Forum 2016. While conference organizers are making final plans and SAS users are busy registering and reviewing the agenda, a group of SAS experts are diligently judging a very special contest for this year’s conference.

The SAS Student Symposium is a new program being added to the conference this year to highlight the next generation of analytics professionals.

The competition is an initiative of the SAS Global Users Group Executive Board (SGUGEB) and SAS, where teams of 2-4 students and a faculty mentor apply SAS analytics to answer a question of their choice using one of the provided publicly available big data sets. The resulting work is submitted as a paper to be considered for presentation at SAS Global Forum 2016. This year 63 teams applied for the symposium; a portion of those teams completed their papers for consideration.

Right now, the papers are being evaluated by a panel of independent analytics professionals from the SAS user community.

To give you a behind-the-scenes look at the competition, I asked the judges (who are remaining anonymous) several questions to help explain the benefits of the competition and why it’s important to the SAS users community.

What are you most looking forward to in reviewing the papers?

Judge 1: I have always loved SAS and learning about how people do clever things with it. I am looking forward to seeing how a group of highly intelligent university students will approach their challenges as they produce their SAS programs for this competition. I will be interested to see any innovative techniques they come up with, as well as to identify good solid and reliable ones.

Judge 2: I am looking forward to reading fresh literary voices and seeing new ideas in the papers.  Being new to the SAS scene, the students are likely to have new ideas that are borne from their own experiences with data; and not informed by the writings of contemporary SAS Global Forum authors.  I am interested in seeing what is important to the students and their approaches to the problems. Read More »

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Preparing for Big Data Careers: Interview with Jennifer Priestley, Kennesaw State University

Numerous studies and statistics point to the fact that in just a few short years the need for people with analytics skills could significantly outpace supply.

With so much talk around the analytics skills gap and the growing market for analytic talent, we wanted to highlight a variety of avenues students and learners of all ages can explore to prepare for big data jobs. This blog series features interviews with professors, department leads and other educators who are seeding the market with analytical talent and directly impacting the talent management pipeline in this area.


Dr. Jennifer Priestly is Professor of Statistics and Data Science in the College of Science and Mathematics at Kennesaw State University.

How long have you been a SAS® user, and how were you first introduced to SAS? In an earlier chapter of my career, I worked for Accenture and with MasterCard. Both of those institutions utilized SAS for analytics. When I started my Ph.D. in 2000, I was required to learn BASE SAS programming to analyze data. I think I have used it almost every day since.

What SAS applications have you used in the past, and which applications are you currently using in the classroom?   I tend to use BASE for all that I do – I really like the flexibility of writing my own code. I require all of my students to learn BASE SAS as well. When they finally see applications like Enterprise Guide – they come back to me and say “Are you kidding me? Why did you make me write all of this code…I could have just pointed and clicked!” I explain that if they know how to code in BASE SAS…then just about any SAS environment will make sense to them…they will be able to work with JMP, EG or EM…and they will understand how the software works. If we started with EG, it’s A LOT more difficult to learn how to code. The parallel I use is learning to drive on a stick shift…if you learn on a manual transmission…then you can drive anything. But if you start out on an automatic…a stick shift can be a bit of a mystery.

What does the analytics skills gap mean to you? We frequently hear about this analytical skills gap in the context of a large and growing demand for deep analytical skills combined with an insufficient “supply” of people who have these skills. I can give you a very real manifestation of this gap…At our university, we see health care companies, transportation companies, consulting firms and financial services companies all recruiting the same students. I don’t think this would have happened 10 years ago. So why now? I think we are seeing the employment equivalent of a “run on the bank”. Everyone is chasing the same talent at the same time…because they are all trying to solve the same problem…how to translate massive amounts of structured and unstructured data into meaningful information to improve decision making.   And while some domain knowledge is helpful, the reality is that the core skills are the same – regardless of sector or industry.

But, I think there is another dimension to this issue…one that the academic community is falling over themselves trying to address. We have a fundamental misalignment of production and market demand. On the same day we can read an article about how new college graduates are saddled with student loans and can’t find a job…and then read an article about how there are millions of jobs that cannot be filled because there is insufficient talent. How can this be? Of the undergraduate degrees conferred in 2012-2013, the largest number went to “Business” (20%), Health Professions (10%), Social Science and History (10%), Psychology (6%), Biological/Biomedical Sciences (5%).  So, what is obvious by absence? The core disciplines that would close the analytical skills gap! Mathematics and Statistics (<2%), Computer Science (<3%). But, data scientists are not Mathematicians…they are not Statisticians…they are not Computer Scientists…but they are some of all of these. I like the quote from Josh Wills (appropriately sent through Twitter) that the Data Scientist is the “Person who is better at statistics than any software engineer and better at software engineering than any statistician”. The “Priestley Corollary” to this quote is that the data scientist is the “Person who is better at explaining the business implications of the results than any scientist and better at science than any business school student” (can someone Tweet that out?). So, all of this would lead to “Data Science” becoming an interdisciplinary degree that would integrate Mathematics, Statistics, Computer Science, Business (or Health Sciences)…right? I think we all recognize that academia as an industry, is not doing a great job aligning our output with the needs of the market. The solution will include more interdisciplinary degrees like “Data Science”. This was the logic behind the development and launch of our Ph.D. in Data Science – which sits at the intersection of multiple departments and disciplines across the university.

I think we are starting to see universities entering into the lacuna of meaningful interdisciplinary degrees. Business Schools, Health Professional Programs and the Social Sciences are recognizing the need to integrate more mathematics and programming into their curriculum…Mathematics, Statistics and Computer Sciences need to integrate more communication skills, applied problem solving skills and visualization skills into their curriculum. And, there is no substitute for real world, applied projects, which can (and should) come from any (all) of these disciplines.

How do you think students benefit from learning about analytics and SAS? I tell my students that SAS is an “ante to play” in Data Science. There are a lot of different analytical platforms and languages out there…and they should learn several, but SAS HAS to be part of their analytical portfolio of tools. I believe this is true for two reasons – first, 95% of the Fortune 500s use SAS as their core analytical platform. While I can’t “guarantee” that they will get a job after graduation if they can program in Base SAS, I bet them a diet coke that it will happen (that is an important form of currency for me). The second is the latent learning that students acquire through SAS programming. I don’t like to use “point and click” options for students in the beginning of their studies. The problem with point and click alternatives is that they can generate too much output that they have no idea what it means. My opinion is that these are “cheap results” – they did not have to do much work to generate them, and so they don’t fully understand or appreciate what they mean. It is really hard to generate results “by accident” in Base SAS. And learning how to code, forces the students to translate the concept of what they are trying to accomplish into a methodical, linear series of code. It helps them to think in an organized, disciplined way…that point and click options don’t.

What’s the coolest or most impactful thing you've done using analytics? Perhaps an example you use in your class? At our university, we offer an undergraduate minor in Applied Statistics and Data Analysis – sort of Data Science-lite. The minor requires students to take a series of at least 5 3000 and 4000 level courses in applied statistics (most of these courses require Base SAS programming). So, this means that a student would major in Finance, and minor in Applied Statistics…or major in Chemistry…or Biology…or Psychology…or Communications…and minor in applied statistics. In any given semester, we have over 100 students who pursue statistics as a minor field of study across almost every college across campus. I teach a 4000 level course in Logistic Regression (using Base SAS). The course requires the students to extract, clean, load, transform and model a relatively large dataset (>1MM observations and >300 variables). I allow the students to work in teams…but I encourage them to organize into teams with people who are in a different major. As a result, I have Finance majors paired with Psychology majors…or Biology majors paired with Marketing majors. This is such an important – albeit latent – part of their learning in the class. They learn that (1) all disciplines have needs related to analytics – everyone needs to learn how to translate data into information and (2) people think differently about the same problem – Biology majors approach problem solving differently from Finance majors from Psychology majors. This is real life – we rarely work on homogeneous teams of people who think like we do.

What advice would you give students or adult learners interested in pursuing an analytics career? Learn how to program. And get LOTS of real world analytical experience through internships and projects.

Have you ever attended a SAS Users Group meeting or SAS Global Forum? If yes, please list them. I think I have attended every SAS Analytics Conference since 2010. I was the chair in 2012 and again in 2015. As a university, we participate in the SE SUG, and the Greater Atlanta SAS Users Group (which we have hosted a few times).

Please provide any additional information about yourself that you would like to share.  Becoming an academic was a second career for me – I spent 11 years working in the private sector as a consultant for some great companies like Accenture, MasterCard and VISA EU in London. I “retired” and went back to school at the age of 33 to get my Ph.D. I have now been an academic since 2004. I can tell you that my 11 years as a working professional in the private sector make me a substantively more effective professor in the classroom – because I can integrate the theory and the application and draw from experiences that I had on client sites, working in teams, or unique challenges that you won’t find in the textbook. As we work to find ways to close this analytical talent gap, I would encourage anyone who has considered it, to bring their private sector experience into the classroom – I think industry/university partnerships are going to be an important part of the solution to solving the analytical talent gap problem.


SAS provides a wealth of resources for teaching and learning SAS. Check out the links below to learn more:

  • Access free SAS software and resources for learning through the SAS Analytics U.
  • Download SAS® University Edition software, and access 200+ free tutorial videos for learning SAS.
  • Professors and educators can incorporate SAS into their academic offerings with resources from the SAS Global Academic Program, including curriculum consulting, certificate programs, instructor training programs, and student fellowship programs.
  • Take your expertise to the next level with SAS Certification.
  • See a list of institutions who offer master programs with a SAS focus.
  • See a list of institutions who offer the Joint Certificate Program with SAS.
  • We'd love to hear from you. Tell us about your experiences with SAS in the classroom. And check back soon for more upcoming interviews on this topic.
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Registration for the 2016 Analytics Shootout is OPEN!

Students, it’s time to put your Analytical skills to the test. Registration for the 2016 Analytics Shootout competition is now open!  This competition will allow you to use your Analytical skills to solve a hypothetical, but common, real-world business problem.  Gather your fellow students, create a team, and register today!  Winning teams will have the opportunity to present their solution at the 2016 Analytics Experience conference in Las Vegas.  This is a great way to network with industry professionals, gain experience and earn recognition for your work.  With the shortage of analytics professionals, you can stand out to decision makers and top companies who attend the conference.

The top 3 teams and their faculty sponsor will receive:

  • An all-inclusive trip for one team member and faculty sponsor to the Analytics Experience conference September 12-14 in Las Vegas
  • The opportunity to present your work at the conference
  • A monetary donation from SAS to your school

Sounds great, right? Grab some friends and register your team today!

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A text analysis of Game of Thrones

Are you a fan of the television series Game of Thrones or text mining? If your answer is yes and/or yes – then this blog is perfect for you. And don’t worry – I won’t reveal any spoilers.

Brad Gross and Srividhya Naraharirao came up with the idea to do a text analysis of the book series, “A Song of Ice and Fire” by George RR Martin (that’s the book that led to the hit HBO series Game of Thrones). They presented their findings at the Student Symposium at the 2015 SCSUG Educational Forum at Louisiana State University.

Gross and Naraharirao are both pursuing their Master’s degree in Analytics at LSU, and this project gave them their first chance to learn more about text analysis.

“We found a SAS article on text analysis and thought we could change this to something more relevant to us,” said Gross. “We went in with no knowledge, but once we started to see what SAS was capable of we started to see what we could accomplish using it and that drove us down our path.” Read More »

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Student Ambassador Program application deadline extended!

Are you a student who submitted content to SAS Global Forum 2016? You’re in luck, the Student Ambassador Program is still accepting applications! The deadline has been extended until November 15, 2015. This is your chance to earn one of fifteen spots to attend the conference for free. Yes, that’s right, free! The award includes waived conference registration, travel and hotel costs, a pre-conference tutorial and conference meals. The application process doesn’t take long, all you need is your paper submission number and answer a few questions that will tell us why you should be the next SAS Student Ambassador. So, what are you waiting for? Go ahead and get those applications in today!


Apply for the SAS Student Ambassador Program.


Questions? Email us at

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MWSUG and SCSUG scholarships winners

We are smack in the middle of conference season! We hope the WUSS and SESUG scholarship winners received the educational experience they deserved. On deck we have the Midwest SAS Users Group (MWSUG) taking place Oct. 18-20 in Omaha, NE and South Central SAS Users Group (SCSUG) on Oct. 30th in Baton Rouge, LA. SCSUG will also include a student symposium featuring several scholarship winners. We’d like to recognize and congratulate the scholarship winners of the upcoming users conferences:

MWSUG – Midwest Users of SAS Software

MWSUG offers full scholarships for students and junior professionals with an accepted abstract for a paper or poster. The scholarship covers the registration fees plus a stipend for travel expenses. Partial scholarships are also available.

2015 Student Scholarship Winners

Kechen Zhao
University of Southern California

Sara Burns
Washington University - St. Louis

Ran Gu
University of Nebraska-Lincoln

Yage Guo
University of Nebraska–Lincoln

Milan Mcgraw
University of Chicago

Harsh Daiya
University of Nebraska at Omaha

Yufeng Xu
University of Iowa

Karush Jaggi
Oklahoma State University

Sherry Zhou
University of Southern California

2015 Junior Professional Award Winners

Chad Wetzel
Douglas County Health Department

Ting Sa
Cincinnati Children's Hospital Medical Center

Seungyoung Hwang
Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health

Kaushal Chaudhary
Sanford Health

Teresa Smith
Gretchen Swanson Center for Nutrition

Yumin Zhao
Eli Lilly


SCSUG – South Central SAS Users Group

SCSUG offers student and faculty scholarships using SAS in their coursework or research. Applicants must submit a paper that is selected to be presented. Louisiana State University, Oklahoma State University and The University of Alabama are also hosting a joint Graduate Student Symposium in Analytics this year. These students will present at SCSUG.

2015 Student Scholarship Winner

Deanna Schreiber-Gregory
2015 Student Symposium

University of Louisiana

Gross and Srividhya Naraharirao
Game of Thrones: Text Analysis of the George RR Martin’s book series A Song of Ice and Fire using SAS Enterprise Miner

Andrew Kramer
Contextualized Market Basket Analysis – How to learn more from your Point of Sale Data in Base SAS and SAS Enterprise Miner

Alfred Koffi-Sokpa, Nidhi Gupta, Rahul Roshan
An Insight into Significance of Parameter Estimates: A “Target Shuffling” approach Using Base SAS

Oklahoma State University

Sairam Tanguturi and Nithish Reddy Yeduguri
Study of Cancer Research by Small Businesses: A Text Analytics Approach Using SAS Enterprise Miner

Karush Jaggi
Debt Collection Through SAS® Analytics Lens

Saurabh Nandy
Re-admission Analysis of COPD Patients

The University of Alabama

Matthew B. Collins and Taylor K. Larkin
SAS & R: A Perfect Combination for Sports Analytics

Taylor K. Larkin
Telecommunications, Power Grids, and Cataclysmic Damage

Taylor B. Anderson
SAS: Detecting Phishing Attempts: Minimally Invasive Email Log Data

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Exciting, new opportunity for students at SAS Global Forum 2016!

Are you a student learning SAS in your classes? Interested in Big Data and the power of SAS Analytics? Here’s your opportunity to show us what you’ve got!

At the Academic Summit at SAS Global Forum 2015, an exciting new competition was announced for students – the Student Symposium. This new opportunity allows teams of two to four students, and a faculty advisor/professor, to compete with other teams in the application of SAS Analytics and big data. We give you 8 different data sources to choose from, AND access to the software. All you have to do is choose a data source and come up with a problem to solve. Sounds fun, right? Students will submit a paper about their problem and solution, and the top eight teams will be selected to attend SAS Global Forum 2016 to present in a breakout session. The top three teams will be announced at the conference after their breakout sessions.

Students, this is a great way to apply the skills you’ve learned in the classroom to real-world data and solve a problem using Analytics. You also get to present to a global audience and network with thousands of other SAS users.

SAS Global Forum 2016 will be held in Las Vegas, NV April 19-21.

So, students, get your teams together and start working on those papers! Register your team today!

More information can be found on the Student Symposium page. Questions? Email


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WUSS and SESUG Scholarships Winners

SAS Regional Users Groups (RUGS) are committed to the next generation of SAS users. To encourage hands-on learning, each RUG awards scholarships to students, faculty and new SAS professionals. These awards include full or partial scholarships to attend these valuable events where they learn about SAS software from experienced programmers. Could you or a new SAS professional that you know qualify for this valuable experience? Visit WUSS, SESUG, MWSUG or SCSUG for details.

Without further ado, here are the winners of the WUSS and SESUG scholarships. Congratulations!

WUSS – Western Users of SAS Software

Winners of the WUSS student and faculty scholarships receive complimentary registration, two half-day classes and travel assistance. Registration is still open and the conference takes place September 9-11.

2015 Student Scholarship Winners

Brian Bahmanyar California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo

Timothy Banh University of California, Davis

Citadel Cabasag University of California, Irvine

Katherine Cai Arizona State University

Gene Chen University of Southern California

Eric Dong University of Colorado

Nicholas Ellinwood University of California, Davis

Caiti Feeley California Polytechnic University

Elaina Gates California Polytechnic University

Toni Geronimo San Diego State University

Kathleen Gunn San Diego State University

Kyle Irimata Arizona State University

Fred Jin University of Nevada Las Vegas

Eastern Kang Sim University of California, San Diego

April Moreno Claremont Graduate University

Amit Pande University of Arizona

Alexandria Pech University of Arizona

Hannah Peterson University of Nevada Las Vegas

Niloofar Ramezani University of Northern Colorado

Danny Rithy California Polytechnic University

Deanna Schreiber-Gregory National University

Chelsea Shover University of California, Los Angeles

Nathan Smith University of California, Davis

Hannah Summers San Diego State University

Brandi Vollmer University of Colorado

Sarah Winfield San Diego State University

Erica Yang California State University East Bay

WUSS 2015 Faculty Scholarship Winner

Isaiah Lankham California State University East Bay


2015 Junior Professional Award Winners

Cynthia Alvarez ICON

Richard Armenta Henry Jackson Foundation-Naval Health Research Center

Christine Dobson California Department of Public Health

Navjot Kaur Henry M. J ackson Foundation (at the Naval Health Research Center, San Diego, CA)

Lia Koski Maricopa County Department of Public Health

Edward Lan Los Angeles County Department of Public Health Tuberculosis Control Program

Joseph Lei California Department of Health Care Services

Yunin Ludena University of California, Davis

Eva Mikhael Kaiser Permanente

Montserrat Noboa CA Department of Public Health, Office of Binational Border Health

William Pe SRI International - Center for Education Policy

Siqi Peng University of Phoenix

Nicholas Pisca County of Los Angeles, Department of Mental Health, Data/GIS Unit

Monica Rosales LA County Department of Public Health- TB Control Program

Roshni Shah Santa Clara County Public Health Department

Genie Tang Department of Industrial Relations

Andy Torres SynteractHCR

DeEtte Trubey National University

Rahul Vaswani MarketShare

Josephine Yumul County of Los Angeles, Public Health -TB Control


SESUG – Southeast SAS Users Group

Winners of grants to attend SESUG attend the conference at a discounted rate. Winners who also present receive additional travel assistance. Registration is still open and the conference takes place September 27-29.

2015 Student Scholarship Winners

Nushrat Alam Florida A&M University

Rachael Becker University of Central Florida

Yin Burgess University of South Carolina

Drew Doyle University of Central Florida

Svetlana Gavrilova Middle Tennessee State University

Zhaoxia Guo University of South Carolina

Rana Jaber Florida International University

Verlin Joseph Florida A&M University

Raissa Kouadjo Florida A&M University

Jin Liu University of South Carolina

Jessica Montgomery University of South Florida

Adetosoye Oladokun Florida A&M University

Thanh Pham University of South Florida

Deanna Schreiber-Gregory National University

Yan Wang University of South Florida

SESUG 2015 Faculty Scholarship Winners

Yi-Hsin Chen University of South Florida

Mark Ferguson University of South Carolina

Peter Wludyka University of North Florida


2015 Professional Development Grant Winners

Michelle Dahnke Florida Department of Financial Services

Seungyoung Hwang Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health

Ram Poudel The University of Oklahoma Health Sciences Center

Maxim Terekhov Vanderbilt University Medical Center

Andre Watts University of Central Florida

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Opportunities and Benefits for Students with RUGS and LUGS

 Fall semester has begun and everyone is settling in for a year of learning. However, learning opportunities don’t end at the classroom. SAS Regionals Users Groups (RUGS) conferences also start in the fall. Attending a conference offers valuable learning opportunities from seasoned professionals and also provides a platform for networking. Meeting the right people can certainly help as you venture into a professional career after graduation. Luckily, attending a conference doesn’t have to cost an arm and a leg. WUSS, SESUG, MWSUG and SCSUG all offer scholarships and grants to students and faculty. There are also other ways to be involved such as joining a local users group, or participating in the online community.

Scholarships and Grants

Students and faculty are all eligible for scholarships and grants offered by RUGS. These awards include full or partial registration and can even cover travel costs. This requires planning ahead – the deadline has already passed for WUSS, SESUG and MWSUG, but SCSUG will be accepting scholarship applications until September 7.

Join a Local Users Group

If attending a conference is still out of your reach due to time or finances, you can still find learning and networking opportunities by joining a Local Users Group (LUG). Currently, there are 47 Local Users Groups across 42 states. Membership fees and student discounts vary per group, so contact the LUG closest to you for information. Don’t see a LUG in your area? Be a pioneer and start one!

Get Online

Join any of our online communities and learn from experienced SAS users and leaders from around the world 24/7. As you start your career, online communities will be a valuable resource in solving coding issues and delving into the many features of SAS programs.

Getting involved with the SAS Users groups in person or online provides learning opportunities that can help you as a student, but will also become more valuable with time. The lessons you learn at a conference or the person you meet at a local users group meeting can have a great impact on career prospects after graduation.

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