Skip to Content Skip to Footer

CIMS enthusiastically prepares for third annual Symposium

(March 11, 2024) - For Clayton State University’s College of Information and Mathematical Sciences, the biggest, the best, and the most exciting time of the year is almost here once again.

Students enjoying the second annual Symposium in 2023

The CIMS Symposium will return for its third-consecutive year on Wednesday, March 27, and Thursday, March 28, at the Loch and Mason Barfield Court inside the university’s Athletics Center, bringing with it another year of keynote speakers, student and faculty presentations, industry leader discussions, and more.

And similar to last year’s Symposium, the event’s second day will be centered around the community’s high school students, who will be able to engage with CIMS faculty, alumni, and guests through panels, networking, a campus tour, and other scheduled events.

Assistant Mathematics Professor Louisa Catalano fondly remembers her first CIMS Symposium in 2023 and is ready, like many, for its grand return.

“When we talk to industry partners, they talk about how amazing the event was and how they were very impressed by our students,” Catalano said. “The students really like it because they get to connect with some of those businesspeople, network, and make connections to potentially help them get jobs.”

When asked what she enjoys most from the event, CIMS Archival Studies Professor Penelope Cliff just smiled and talked about the benefits it can create – particularly for the second day’s youngest attendees.

“For me, it’s the connection with the high school teachers, assistant principals, principals, and councilors,” Cliff said. “Our experience with going to high schools and sharing the Symposium ... there’s this excitement and mutual understanding of how beneficial this can be not only for us, but for the students.”

Further calling both the university and the event a “resource for local high schools,” Cliff said that one of the biggest benefits potential future Lakers receive when attending is the first-hand exposure they get to nearby leaders in local government, Google, MailChimp, ADP, and more.

Further reflecting the college’s incentive to bridge together the current and future workforces, the Symposium will also feature a trio of keynote speakers that span through both days of the event – Cobb County Commissioner Jerica Richardson, Google’s David Byrd, and archivist Shane Bell with Nara’s Subject Matter Expert (SME).

“You have all of these leaders and speakers they interact with,” Cliff said. “So, they can form possible connections. But right at the end, you have the tours of the campus, they go into the robotics lab ... they don’t get to see things like this. They’ll be on the bus, saying, ‘did you see that robot and what it did? I might want to come here!’”

When discussing further Symposium features, Catalano said she is additionally excited for the greater public to finally see some of the highly anticipated presentations from the college’s Launchpad Academy students.

“The projects they’re working on are really phenomenal,” Catalano said. “I think those presentations are going to blow absolutely everything out of the water.”

And hoping to see a record-breaking crowd at the event, Catalano said that while the Symposium is naturally geared toward science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) studies, the Symposium is absolutely free and open to all.

“Anyone who thinks they can take away anything away from this event is strongly encouraged to come,” Catalano said.

Clayton State University’s Genesis Polo, the executive assistant to the dean of CIMS, will be among those in attendance at the Symposium and will be seeing it personally for the first time in her CIMS career.

Like Catalano, she’s ready to see it all unfold and is expecting stronger numbers than last year’s event.

And like Cliff, she’s excited to see student impact happen in real time.

“We provide students with opportunities not just at Clayton State, but outside of the classroom, as well,” Polo said. “It is astounding how the CIMS ecosystem works. One day you’re a student networking with industry partners and being recruited, and the next minute you’re the industry partner doing the recruiting.”

The pride of CIMS can be found in its Symposium.

Serving as both an impressive draw for potential new students as well as a “welcome home” for alumni looking to help attract the next generation of STEM Lakers, late March can’t come soon enough for all in the college.

“I just think it’s a great supportive event,” Catalano said. “It gets students interested in STEM, whether they’re in high school or college. It gets those in the industry in here so they can remember what it was like to be in college and see the talent we’re putting out. There are so many different ways in which everyone can benefit from this event.”

“Just coming on campus in this environment, seeing possibilities and dreams – the students are surrounded by dreams,” Cliff said. “They’ll see all of these degrees and the possibilities that come with them and think, ‘I can do that.’ To hear experts in their fields encourage and uplift them ... to have that environment and ecosystem from industry partners to faculty to people who care about them initiate that spark – the Symposium offers that.”

For those looking to attend, registration information can be found on the event's website.

Donations are also being accepted from all interested in providing additional financial support.

Search News