USD receives technology awards for Palm Initiative

USD receives technology awards for Palm Initiative The University of South Dakota has announced that the Palm Initiative started in fall 2001 has won two awards for from national technology publications.

Roberta Ambur, chief information officer, has been recognized by Computerworld as one of the 10 Best in Class of the business world's Premier 100 IT Leaders. In addition, the university was one of 14 companies nationwide to receive an honorable mention for the 2002 User Excellence Award from NetworkWorld.

The award from Computerworld was selected from hundreds of nominees and honors individuals who have creatively applied technology to execute their organization's business strategy.

The Premier 100 IT Leaders award, now entering its fourth year, recognizes exceptional technology leadership, innovative approaches to business challenges, and effective execution of comprehensive IT strategies.

Other award winners include leading IT executives from corporations such as FedEx, Hewlett Packard, and Walt Disney.

The award from NetworkWorld was selected from nearly 60 entries and is for organizations that demonstrate exceptional use of network technology to further business objectives. The User Excellence Award competition is in its 18th year. Other companies in the category include the Toronto Blue Jays and the University of Pennsylvania.

Ambur said the awards are for her department's role in creating the univerity's Palm Initiative, which made The University of South Dakota one of the country's first institutions of higher learning to mandate the use of PDAs among its students.

In fall 2001, the university required Palm PDAs for all incoming freshmen, first-year law and first-year medical students as a part of the university's on-going commitment to use innovative technology to enhance the education of its students.

Now in its second year, about 2,500 PDAs have been distributed and are being used in a wide variety of applications including maintaining course information, assisting with exam review, and facilitating database distribution. PDAs also are helping students with their time management skills and soon will assist them in tracking their graduation requirements.

Ambur has been the chief information officer at USD since Aug. 1, 2001. Ambur grew up near Beresford, and graduated with a B.A. in math education from the university in 1975. Ambur received her CPA certificate in 1986 and her MBA with emphasis in management information systems from the university in 1994.

"The awards received by Ms. Ambur and the university are a testament to the excellent work of many people in making The University of South Dakota a technologically advanced campus," said President James W. Abbott. "At USD we strive to provide a learning environment with the latest technology necessary for our students to excel in a mobile society. It's fantastic to see our employees receiving national awards for their work toward that goal."

The complete list of Premier 100 IT Leaders can be found in the Jan. 6 issue of Computerworld and online at www.computerworld.com . The 2002 User Excellence Awards can be found in the Nov. 11, 2002, issue of NetworkWorld and online at www.nwfusion. com .

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