Aug. 16 began the fall semester at Pittsburg State University (PSU), and with the new semester comes approximately sixteen weeks of opportunity for student organizations looking to get involved in the campus community. One organization already planning out what this upcoming semester might look like for them is the Institute of Internal Auditors Student Chapter (IIASC).
Kagan Cole, a senior in marketing and management as well as current IIASC president, originally joined the organization at the insistence of a group of his friends. Now he uses his leadership role to help plan events for IIASC along with organization advisor and instructional professor Ashlee Ables.
“[IIASC] is mainly about promoting student acquisition and raising awareness,” Cole said. “We do a lot of meetings. We do a lot of trying to get either faculty or third-party finance boosters, and companies or the individuals themselves sometimes come in to speak.”
One of the most recent speakers hosted by the organization was Mark L. Johnson, PSU professor and author of the book “Powerful Presentations that Connect.” Johnson presented students with tips on creating dynamic presentations.
“Anytime you can get someone who’s been [in their field] for twenty-to-thirty years, it’s always good to get that knowledge,” Cole said. “[Providing that knowledge to students] is the main thing that we do.”
The Covid-19 pandemic halted the organizations event plans around November of 2020. The presentation by Johnson, hosted on Oct. 8, 2020, was one of the last events posted to the organization’s page on PSU’s student organization software, Gorilla Engage. The necessity of online as opposed to in-person events hampered the organization’s ability to create engaging events for the public. However, the on-going pandemic has not stopped IIASC from trying to revitalize the organization.
“Last year we didn’t get around to having any events,” Cole said. “Covid kind of put a halt on us and a lot of other people too, but this year one of our main objectives is to do some community service. We’re on that track to get back involved with the community.”
Organization advisor Ashlee Ables has played a large role in planning new events for the organization in the world of the pandemic while also looking to bring back some of the organization’s engaging events from past semesters.
“Typically, the IIASC travels to Kansas City for their monthly meetings,” Ables said. “Students get to attend for free, and usually there’s some sort of professional development or continuing education type of speaker as well as opportunities for networking and scholarships. They have student mixers in the Kansas City chapter that have a dinner-like vibe where we connect with students from other schools that are affiliated with the Kansas City chapter, like UMKC or Missouri State. As far as on-campus activities, we try and host some sort of speaker once a month. We are still brainstorming what we want to do for our community service this year. It will probably be something along the lines of a canned food drive or volunteering for an organization in town.”
The first meeting this semester for IIASC will be Sept. 1 at 5 p.m. in the Overman Student Center. More information on upcoming meetings and events from the organization can be found on Gorilla Engage.