SAS Global Forum is the premier event for SAS professionals around the world. The conference environment this week is electric and it’s just getting started. For several students and faculty, the conference started off with an opportunity to meet the CEO of SAS, Dr. Jim Goodnight, who is well-known for his passion and support for education.
The Academic Reception at SAS Global Forum is an event that focuses on topics of particular interest to students and faculty. This year’s event was Fantastic! Lauren Lake gave a great presentation in which she shared some insights to help students be better prepared to successfully get a job and begin their career after graduation. Jerry Oglesby shared some of the trends he’s observed within academia and also highlighted the growing demand for students with more advanced analytical skills and how university degree programs are responding to this need.
The highlight of the reception was when Dr. Goodnight spoke and personally handed out awards to the 18 students who were named this year’s SAS Student Ambassadors and Honorable Mention award winners. These student researchers were selected as ambassadors because their work exemplifies the use of SAS technologies in innovative ways that benefit their respective fields of study.
This year is especially exciting and unique since it marks the first time high school students have won the award and ambassador title. You heard right. Two of the 2012 SAS Student Ambassadors learned SAS programming as part of their high school studies and will be presenting their research in front of a global audience tomorrow. This year’s conference is actually hosting 38 attendees from academia who are here as part of a SAS Global Forum Scholarship. In addition to the 18 SAS Student Ambassadors, there are 8 Faculty Scholars and 11 Student Scholars that were also recognized at the reception.
Two addtional academic awards were given in recognition of innovation and commitment to Education. The Excellence in Education Award was presented to Western Kentucky University and the SAS Distinguished Professor Award was given to Dr. Jennifer Priestly from Kennesaw State University. The reception was a great opportunity for students and faculty to network and learn from each other.